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Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2006 Sep;20(3):609-20.


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Division of Infectious Diseases, Wayne State University, Harper University Hospital, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


Phaeohyphomycosis is an uncommon infection, but has become increasingly recognized in a wide variety of clinical syndromes. Many species are associated with human infection, though a few are responsible for most cases. Because these are typically soil organisms and common laboratory contaminants, they are often disregarded from clinical specimens as non-pathogenic. The clinical setting in which they are isolated, however, should always be carefully considered before making decisions regarding therapy. Bipolaris and Curvularia are often associated ith allergic disease. Diagnosis depends on a high degree of clinical suspicion and appropriate pathologic and mycologic examination of clinical specimens. Therapy is evolving for many of the clinical syndromes described, and randomized clinical trials are unlikely given the sporadic nature of cases. Case reporting of successful and unsuccessful clinical experiences is important in attempting to better define optimal therapy for the more refractory infections. Itraconazole and voriconazole demonstrate the most consistent in vitro activity against this group of fungi. Itraconazole should be considered the drug of choice for most situations, given the greater clinical experience associated with its use for these infections. Given the lack of comparative clinical data, however, decisions over which azole to use in particular setting are largely empiric. Much additional work is needed to better understand the pathogenic mechanisms underlying phaeohyphomycosis and optimize therapy for these often refractory infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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