JOURNAL ARTICLE

Cerebral and pulmonary aspergillosis, treatment and diagnostic challenges of mixed breakthrough invasive fungal infections: case report study

Ali Amanati, Mehrzad Lotfi, Mohammad Sadegh Masoudi, Hadis Jafarian, Fatemeh Ghasemi, Haleh Bozorgi, Parisa Badiee
BMC Infectious Diseases 2020 July 23, 20 (1): 535
32703183

BACKGROUND: Breakthrough invasive fungal infections (bIFIs) are an area of concern in the scarcity of new antifungals. The mixed form of bIFIs is a rare phenomenon but could be potentially a troublesome challenge when caused by azole-resistant strains or non-Aspergillus fumigatus. To raise awareness and emphasize diagnostic challenges, we present a case of mixed bIFIs in a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

CASE PRESENTATION: A newly diagnosed 18-month-old boy with acute lymphoblastic leukemia was complicated with prolonged severe neutropenia after induction chemotherapy. He experienced repeated episodes of fever due to extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli bloodstream infection and pulmonary invasive fungal infection with Aspergillus fumigatus (early-type bIFIs) while receiving antifungal prophylaxis. Shortly after pulmonary involvement, his condition aggravated by abnormal focal movement, loss of consciousness and seizure. Cerebral aspergillosis with Aspergillus niger diagnosed after brain tissue biopsy. The patient finally died despite 108-day antifungal therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: Mixed bIFIs is a rare condition with high morbidity and mortality in the patients receiving immunosuppressants for hematological malignancies. This case highlights the clinical importance of Aspergillus identification at the species level in invasive fungal infections with multiple site involvement in the patients on antifungal prophylaxis.

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