The challenge of managing fusariosis

Maged Muhammed, Jeffrey J. Coleman, Herman A. Carneiro, Eleftherios Mylonakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Fusarium is the second most frequent mold involved in fungal infections and is particularly important among immunocompromised patients. Culture methods and microscopy are still routinely used in clinical laboratories to identify Fusarium spp., and more sophisticated, timely, and effective methods for detecting Fusarium spp. in laboratory samples could improve the outcome for the patient. These investigational diagnostic approaches include serological assays and specific nested PCR assays that can yield positive and negative predictive values of over 90%. Other assays in development, such as mass spectroscopy techniques, can provide accurate and consistent results. The treatment of fusariosis in immunocompromised patients remains a challenge and the prognosis of systemic fusariosis in this population remains poor. Successful treatment is highly dependent on the particular Fusarium species involved in the infection. High dose intravenous amphotericin B formulation is recommended as the first line of therapy in management of fusariosis in patients. Voriconazole is also effective in treating fusariosis. Intolerance, contraindication, or failure of the amphotericin B formulation warrants the use of voriconazole as an alternative agent, and posaconazole is licensed as salvage therapy against invasive fusariosis. Adjunctive therapies such as surgical debridement of infected tissue, granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) or granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) infusions, or granulocyte transfusions are also tools for managing fusariosis. In conclusion, Fusarium infection is considered an emerging problem and should be suspected in immunocompromised patients experiencing systemic infection and should be treated accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • Amphotericin B
  • Fusariosis
  • Fusarium
  • Invasive fungal infection
  • Posaconazole
  • Voriconazole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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