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Mycoses. 2012 May;55(3):237-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2011.02073.x. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

Airborne fungus exposure prior to hospitalisation as risk factor for mould infections in immunocompromised patients.

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Department of Hygiene and Social Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between fungal exposure prior to hospitalisation and ensuing onset of invasive mould infections (IMI) in patients at risk. Patients admitted to the Department of Haematology, Oncology and Transplant Surgery of the Medical University Innsbruck received a questionnaire regarding fungal exposure prior to hospital stay. Questions inquired heavy fungal exposures up to 5 days before hospitalisation. A total of 234 patients were enrolled in this study. Multiple fungus exposures were associated with the onset of community-acquired IMI in patients with haematological malignancies. In univariate analysis, haematological malignancies (P = 0.013) and allergy to dust, pollen or moulds (P = 0.015) were significantly associated with fungal infections. In multivariate analysis, logistic regression showed that haematological patients (P = 0.015) and patients with allergy (P = 0.015) were significantly more frequently infected with fungi. Hospital-independent fungal sources highlight risk-factors for IMI in severe immunocompromised patients and the rate of community-acquired IMI does increase.

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