Rhodotorula infection. A systematic review of 128 cases from literature

Rev Iberoam Micol. 2008 Sep 30;25(3):135-40. doi: 10.1016/s1130-1406(08)70032-9.


Rhodotorula is an emerging opportunistic pathogen, particularly in immunocompromised patients. Many cases of fungemia associated with catheters, endocarditis, peritonitis, meningitis, and endophthalmitis are infections incited by this yeast. The main purpose of this study was to review all cases of Rhodotorula infection reported in the literature and to describe risk factors, underlying conditions and outcome. From 128 cases, 79% were fungemia (103 cases), 7% eye infections (nine cases) and 5% (six cases) peritonitis associated with continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Eighty seven percent of Rhodotorula infections are associated with underlying immunosuppression or cancer. The most common isolated risk factor associated with Rhodotorula infection was the use of a central venous catheter, which was found in 83.4% of Rhodotorula fungemia (86 cases). Rhodotorula mucilaginosa was the most common species of fungemia (74% of cases), followed by Rhodotorula glutinis with 7.7%. The species was not identified in 17% of the cases of fungemias. Amphotericin was the drug of choice in the treatment of fungemia and most of the eye infections were treated with topical amphotericin, although all patients lost their vision. All peritonitis cases associated with continous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis needed to have the Tenckoff catheter changed. The overall mortality of Rhodotorula infection was 12.6%.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoses* / drug therapy
  • Mycoses* / epidemiology
  • Mycoses* / etiology
  • Rhodotorula*
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult