Fusarium infections in immunocompromised patients

Clin Microbiol Rev. 2007 Oct;20(4):695-704. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00014-07.


Fusarium species cause a broad spectrum of infections in humans, including superficial, locally invasive, and disseminated infections. The clinical form of fusariosis depends largely on the immune status of the host and the portal of entry, with superficial and localized disease occurring mostly in immunocompetent patients and invasive and disseminated disease affecting immunocompromised patients. Risk factors for severe fusariosis include prolonged neutropenia and T-cell immunodeficiency, especially in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients with severe graft-versus-host disease. The most frequent presentation of disseminated fusariosis is a combination of characteristic cutaneous lesions and positive blood cultures, with or without lung or sinus involvement. The prognosis is poor and is determined largely by degree of immunosuppression and extent of infection, with virtually a 100% death rate among persistently neutropenic patients with disseminated disease. These infections may be clinically suspected on the basis of a constellation of clinical and laboratory findings, which should lead to prompt therapy. Treatment options include the lipid formulations of amphotericin B, voriconazole, and posaconazole. Prevention of fusarial infection among high-risk patients should be considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Fusarium / classification
  • Fusarium / drug effects
  • Fusarium / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Mice
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mycoses* / drug therapy
  • Mycoses* / epidemiology
  • Mycoses* / microbiology
  • Mycoses* / physiopathology


  • Antifungal Agents