Background: Disseminated fusariosis is a rare and fatal infection in immunocompromised patients.
Objectives: We report a case of disseminated amphotericin-resistant fusariosis in a paediatric patient with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and review the features of reported disseminated fusariosis in China.
Materials & methods: Case reports of disseminated fusariosis were searched from the Chinese literature over the last two decades.
Results: The presented case is a 15-year-old female who developed fever and multiple painful purple plaques with black necrotic centres and blood blisters. Fusarium was detected in blood and skin lesions with a high minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of amphotericin B (AMB) (>32 μg/mL) and a low MIC of voriconazole (VRC) (0.25 μg/mL). The Fusarium fujikuroi species complex was finally identified by rRNA gene analysis. Combination therapy of VRC and terbinafine (TRF) successfully resolved the disease after more than four months of treatment. Based on the review, the most common manifestations of disseminated fusariosis were fever, skin lesions and positive blood cultures, comprising nine cases (64.3%). Other sites of infection, including the lungs, eyes, sinuses or bone marrow, occurred in eight cases (57.1%). Seven patients (50%) were cured after monotherapy or combination therapy with AMB and VRC.
Conclusion: In view of this case and the review of the literature, early identification of Fusarium infection and the appropriate antifungal drugs are critical for successful treatment. Primary therapy should consist of VRC or liposomal amphotericin B (L-AMB), with salvage therapy consisting of posaconazole (PSC). The combination of antifungals is probably necessary and more effective.
Keywords: disseminated fusariosis; acute lymphoblastic leukaemia; amphotericin B; voriconazole; terbinafine.