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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Jan 15;32(2):186-90. Epub 2000 Dec 28.

Candida lusitaniae: a cause of breakthrough fungemia in cancer patients.

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Department of Internal Medical Specialties, Section of Infection Control, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Candida lusitaniae is an infrequent cause of fungemia. We identified 12 cases of C. lusitaniae fungemia that occurred at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1988 to 1999. The mean age of patients was 48 years (range 20--70 years). Eight patients had hematologic malignancy or had received a bone marrow transplant, and 4 had a solid tumor. Most patients (75%) were neutropenic (<10(3)/mm(3)). Treatment with amphotericin B alone failed for 3 of 6 patients, irrespective of neutropenic status. Fluconazole was effective as a single agent in 3 patients with solid tumors. The combination of amphotericin B plus fluconazole was effective treatment for two-thirds of patients with hematologic malignancy, despite persistence of neutropenia. The mortality rate associated with C. lusitaniae infection was 25%. C. lusitaniae presents as breakthrough fungemia in immunocompromised patients and is associated with failure of amphotericin B therapy. Fluconazole may be a useful agent in the treatment of this infection.

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