A review of German Scedosporium prolificans cases from 1993 to 2007

Med Mycol. 2009 Jun;47(4):351-8. doi: 10.1080/13693780802627440. Epub 2009 Mar 18.


Scedosporium prolificans is one of the most life-threatening fungal opportunistic pathogens due to its high resistance to common systemic antifungal agents. While a close relative of Pseudallescheria boydii, S. prolificans has a more limited geographic range being primarily found in Australia, USA and Spain. Infections have also been reported from several other European countries and from Chile. Twenty patients with Scedosporium prolificans infection or colonization from August 1993 to May 2007 were retrospectively reviewed in Germany. They had all been identified at or reported to the Reference Laboratory for Pseudallescheria/Scedosporium spp. in Berlin. Twelve of 13 patients with haematological disorders and/or on immunosuppressive therapy developed a fatal invasive scedosporiosis. Colonization of the respiratory tract was reported for one patient after heart-lung-transplantation, all six patients with cystic fibrosis and one with chronic sinusitis. Molecular studies of the S. prolificans isolates confirmed that parts of the 18S, the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) regions and the D1/D2 domain of the 28S region of rDNA are monomorphic. However, sequencing of parts of the translation elongation factor EF1-alpha (EF-1alpha) and the chitin synthase (CHS-1) genes revealed the presence of three and two distinct genotypes, respectively. Two informative mutations were found in EF-1alpha and a single nucleotide exchange in the CHS-1 gene.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Chitin Synthase / genetics
  • DNA, Fungal / chemistry
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / chemistry
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal Spacer / chemistry
  • DNA, Ribosomal Spacer / genetics
  • Female
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoses / epidemiology*
  • Mycoses / microbiology*
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1 / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 28S / genetics
  • Scedosporium / isolation & purification*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • DNA, Ribosomal Spacer
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 28S
  • Chitin Synthase