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Perit Dial Int. 2013 Sep-Oct;33(5):559-64. doi: 10.3747/pdi.2012.00024. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

Non-candidal fungal peritonitis in Far North Queensland: a case series.

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Department of Renal Medicine, Cairns Base Hospital, Cairns, Australia.



Fungal peritonitis is a recognized complication in patients with end-stage renal failure treated with peritoneal dialysis (PD). Most infections are attributable to Candida species. In approximately one third of cases, the causative fungus is a non-Candida species. Recent reports in the literature show a rising incidence of non-candidal fungal peritonitis (NCFP). We report a case series of NCFP, together with two hitherto unreported species of fungi causing peritonitis, from a tropical geographic area (Far North Queensland).


This series of 10 cases of NCFP was identified from the PD peritonitis database in Far North Queensland between 1998 and 2010. All 10 patients were from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ethnic group, 8 of whom lived in remote locations. All but 1 patient had type 2 diabetes mellitus. Of the 10 cases, 7 occurred while the patients received continuous ambulatory PD. Only 1 patient avoided catheter removal, and 5 patients were permanently transferred to hemodialysis. No patient died as a result of the fungal infection. All 10 fungi represented different species. Most (6 of 10) were saprophytic; only 2 were normal skin flora. Two of the causative species (Chaetomium and Beauveria) have rarely been associated with any form of human infection. In 7 patients, the infection occurred during the wet season (November - April). All cases met clinical criteria for peritonitis.


The NCFP cases described in this series involved a variety of previously known fungal species and also two new species that have not been reported to cause disease in humans. Indigenous patients from Far North Queensland are particularly predisposed to infection with these exotic fungi as a result of environmental and social factors. Further understanding is desirable to help devise preventive strategies to avoid the consequences of catheter failure.


ATSI; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; Beauveria; Chaetomium; Fungal peritonitis; indigenous

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