Phaeohyphomycosis in Kidney Transplant Recipients: Highlighting the Importance of Early Recognition and Surgical Debridement

Transplant Direct. 2022 Dec 12;9(1):e1430. doi: 10.1097/TXD.0000000000001430. eCollection 2023 Jan.


Fungal infections are a recognized complication of immunosuppression in solid organ transplant recipients. Phaeohyphomycoses are fungal infections caused by a diverse group of dematiaceous fungi.

Methods: We share the learning points from 2 Australian cases of phaeohyphomycosis secondary to Phaeacreomonium species (spp). A literature review was performed using Medline, Embase, and Google Scholar to identify this condition among kidney transplant recipients.

Results: With the 2 cases reported in this article, a total of 17 cases were identified in the literature. Phaeacremonium spp is ubiquitous in humid and temperate flora, including Australia. Minor trauma is likely the source of inoculation in most cases and diagnosis is often delayed. Presently, no guidelines for management exist given the rarity of this condition. Most known cases have been treated with surgical debulking combined with long-course antifungal therapy.

Conclusion: This paper describes 2 Australian cases of phaeohyphomycosis in kidney transplant recipients. A high index of suspicion, especially in the immunosuppressed, is essential for timely diagnosis in kidney transplant recipients. There are several diagnostic and therapeutic challenges that remain with this condition.