Infection in a neonate caused by Pichia fabianii: Importance of molecular identification

H. S. Bhally, S. Jain, C. Shields, N. Halsey, E. Cristofalo, William G. Merz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Pichia fabianii, an uncommon yeast species recovered from clinical specimens, was documented as the cause of an infection in a 5-week-old female twin delivered at 25 and 3/7 weeks. She developed respiratory distress syndrome and necrotizing enterocolitis. At the time of the infection, she was febrile, thrombocytopenic, and still was requiring minimal ventilatory support. Blood cultures drawn on two consecutive days were positive for a germ tube negative yeast. Phenotypic methods including carbohydrate fermentations and assimilations (API 20C AUX) did not identify the yeast. Sequencing of D1/D2 domain of the large subunit rDNA was performed in one laboratory and sequencing a subunit of D2 performed in a second laboratory identified the yeast as P. fabianii. The organism was susceptible in vitro to amphotericin B, fluconazole and 5-fluorocytosine. The patient responded to amphotericin B and removal of her vascular catheter. This case illustrates that there are an increasing number of fungi that may be pathogenic. Phenotypic tests may fail to identify them, emphasizing the need for commercially available, molecular based assays for identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-187
Number of pages3
JournalMedical mycology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Neonatal infection
  • Pichia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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