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Am Surg. 1998 Feb;64(2):122-6.

Aspergillus: a rare primary organism in soft-tissue infections.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta 30912, USA.


Nonclostridial necrotizing soft-tissue infections are usually polymicrobial, with greater than 90 per cent involving beta-hemolytic streptococci or coagulase-positive staphylococci. The remaining 10 per cent are usually due to Gram-negative enteric pathogens. We describe the case of a 46-year-old woman with bilateral lower extremity fungal soft tissue infections. She underwent multiple surgical debridements of extensive gangrenous necrosis of the skin and subcutaneous fat associated with severe acute arteritis. Histopathological examination revealed Aspergillus niger as the sole initial pathogen. Despite aggressive surgical debridement, allografts, and intravenous amphotericin B, her condition clinically deteriorated and she ultimately died of overwhelming infection. Treatment for soft-tissue infections include surgical debridement and intravenous antibiotics. More specifically, Aspergillus can be treated with intravenous amphotericin B, 5-fluorocytosine, and rifampin. Despite these treatment modalities, necrotizing fascitis is associated with a 60 per cent mortality rate. Primary fungal pathogens should be included in the differential diagnosis of soft-tissue infections.

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