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Invasive Fungal Infections in Patients with Hematologic Malignancies (Aurora Project): Lights and Shadows During 18-Months Surveillance

Author(s): Maria Teresa Montagna | Osvalda De Giglio | Christian Napoli | Grazia Lovero | Giuseppina Caggiano | Mario Delia | Domenico Pastore | Nicola Santoro | Giorgina Specchia

Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN 1422-0067

Volume: 13;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 774;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: fungal infections | onco-hematology units | surveillance

The aim of this multicenter prospective study was to evaluate the incidence of invasive fungal infections (IFIs) in adult and pediatric patients with hematologic malignancies, involving nine nosocomial facilities in Southern Italy over a period of 18 months. Furthermore, results of an environmental microbial surveillance routinely carried out in some of the enrolled hospitals are reported. A total of 589 onco-hematological patients were enrolled and 27 IFIs were documented. The main infections were caused by yeasts, more than filamentous fungi (overall incidence of 2.7% and 1.9%, respectively). The yeasts were mainly represented by Candida spp. (87.5%), all isolated by blood cultures; C. parapsilosis was the most common species. Among mould infections, the most frequent site was the lung, with regard to aspergillosis (81.8%). In six of the 10 patients with suspected aspergillosis, the diagnosis was made by the detection of galactomannan and (1,3)-β-d-glucan antigens. The microbiological surveillance carried out on 156 air, 312 water and 312 surface samples revealed low environmental contamination: Alternaria alternata was the only fungus isolated from two surface samples. Our data, especially the low occurrence of filamentous fungi, suggest a particular local epidemiology. Further studies are needed to confirm this microbiological trend in onco-hematological patients in Southern Italy, the results of which might be helpful to improve the management of these patients.
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