"Engyodontium album" is an environmental saprobic mould and an emerging opportunistic pathogen able to cause both superficial and systemic infections. In this study, we isolated a mould from the skin lesion biopsy specimen of the right shin in a patient who received renal transplantation for end-stage renal failure with prednisolone, tacrolimus, and azathioprine immunosuppressant therapy. Histology of the skin biopsy showed mild squamous hyperplasia and neutrophilic infiltrate in the epidermis, active chronic inflammation in the dermis, and fat necrosis in the subcutis, with numerous fungal elements within the serum crusts. On Sabouraud glucose agar, the fungus grew as white, cobweb-like, floccose colonies. Microscopically, conidiogenous cells were arranged in whorls of one to seven at wide angles, with zigzag-shaped terminal fertile regions and smooth, hyaline, oval, apiculate conidia. DNA sequencing showed the mould isolate belonged to "E. album" but matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) failed to identify the isolate. Phylogenetic analyses based on the internal transcribed spacer region, 28S nuclear ribosomal DNA, and β-tubulin gene and MALDI-TOF MS coupled with hierarchical cluster analysis showed that "E. album" is distantly related to other Engyodontium species and should be transferred to a novel genus within the family Cordycipitaceae, for which the name Parengyodontium album gen. et comb. nov. is proposed. Three potential cryptic species within this species complex were also revealed. Antifungal susceptibility testing showed posaconazole and voriconazole had high activities against all clinical P. album isolates and may be better drug options for treating P. album infections.
Keywords: Cordycipitaceae; Engyodontium album; Parengyodontium; Parengyodontium album; cryptic species; cutaneous hyalohyphomycosis.
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