Fusariosis associated with pathogenic Fusarium species colonization of a hospital water system: A new paradigm for the epidemiology of opportunistic mold infections

Elias J. Anaissie, Robert T. Kuchar, John H. Rex, Andrea Francesconi, Miki Kasai, Frank Michael C. Müller, Lozano Chiu Mario, Richard C. Summerbell, M. Cecilia Dignani, Stephen J. Chanock, Thomas J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We sought the reservoir of Fusarium species in a hospital with cases of known fusarial infections. Cultures of samples from patients and the environment were performed and evaluated for relatedness by use of molecular methods. Fusarium species was recovered from 162 (57%) of 283 water system samples. Of 92 sink drains tested, 72 (88%) yielded Fusarium solani; 12 (16%) of 71 sink faucet aerators and 2 (8%) of 26 shower heads yielded Fusarium oxysporum. Fusarium solani was isolated from the hospital water tank. Aerosolization of Fusarium species was documented after running the showers. Molecular biotyping revealed multiple distinct genotypes among the isolates from the environment and patients. Eight of 20 patients with F. solani infections had isolates with a molecular match with either an environmental isolate (n = 2) or another patient isolate (n = 6). The time interval between the 2 matched patient-environment isolates pairs was 5 and 11 months, and 2, 4, and 5.5 years for the 3 patient-patient isolate pairs. The water distribution system of a hospital was identified as a reservoir of Fusarium species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1871-1878
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume33
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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