Zygomycosis in neonates: An uncommon but life-threatening infection

Emmanuel Roilides, Theoklis E. Zaoutis, Aspasia Katragkou, Daniel K. Benjamin, Thomas J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We systematically reviewed all published cases of zygomycosis, an increasingly important infection with high mortality, in neonates. We searched PubMed and individual references for English publications of single cases or case series of neonatal (0 to 1 month) zygomycosis. Cases were included if they fulfilled prespecified criteria. Fifty-nine cases were published through July 2007. Most of the infants (77%) were premature. The most common sites of zygomycosis were gastrointestinal (54%) and cutaneous (36%) diseases. This pattern differs from sinopulmonary and rhinocerebral patterns of older children. Fifty-six percent of cases were diagnosed by histology only and 44% by histology and culture. Rhizopus spp. were isolated from 18/25 (72%) cases. Thirty-seven percent of patients received no antifungal therapy. Thirty-two (54%) neonates underwent surgery with (39%) or without (15%) antifungal agents. Overall mortality was 64%. A higher fraction of neonates treated with amphotericin B and surgery survived than those who received no therapy (70% versus 5%). Zygomycosis is a life-threatening infection in neonates with a distinct pattern of gastrointestinal and cutaneous involvement and high mortality. Combination of amphotericin B and surgery was common management strategy in survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-573
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of perinatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal infection
  • Mucormycosis
  • Outcome
  • Rhizopus spp.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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