Fatal, disseminated Acremonium strictum infection in a neutropenic host.
Disseminated Acremonium strictum infection in a neutropenic patient is reported. Positive fecal cultures preceded positive cutaneous and blood cultures by 18 and 21 days, respectively, which suggests gastrointestinal colonization and invasion as initiating events. Microscopic examination of cutaneous biopsy and pulmonary specimens revealed hyphae, phialides, and phialoconidia in vivo. These adventitious forms also can occur in infections due to other phialidic fungi such as Fusarium and Paecilomyces species and can be misdiagnosed as Candida species. Budding cells also can occur in vivo for species of Fusarium, Paecilomyces, and apparently Acremonium, further adding to the potential for misdiagnosis. The occurrence of adventitious forms in infections caused by species of Acremonium, Fusarium, Paecilomyces, Scedosporium, and Blastoschizomyces is suggested as a mechanism for dissemination of infection and as an explanation of the relatively higher frequency of positive blood cultures in these cases.
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