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Treatment and prevention of Fusarium infection

Marcio Nucci, MD
Elias Anaissie, MD
Section Editor
Carol A Kauffman, MD
Deputy Editor
Anna R Thorner, MD


Fusarium species cause a broad spectrum of infections in humans, including superficial infections such as keratitis and onychomycosis, as well as locally invasive and disseminated infections [1]. Invasive and disseminated infections occur almost exclusively in severely immunocompromised patients, particularly among those with prolonged and profound neutropenia and/or severe T cell immunodeficiency. Among patients with hematologic malignancy, the infection predominates during periods of neutropenia, typically among patients with leukemia receiving induction chemotherapy.

Fusarium species may also cause allergic diseases, such as sinusitis in immunocompetent individuals [2], and mycotoxicosis following ingestion of food contaminated by toxin-producing Fusarium species [3]. Fusarium species are also important plant pathogens that cause various diseases on cereal grains [3] and occasionally cause infection in animals [4].

The treatment and prevention of fusariosis will be reviewed here. The mycology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of fusariosis are discussed separately. (See "Mycology, pathogenesis, and epidemiology of Fusarium infection" and "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Fusarium infection".)


More than 100 species of Fusarium have been identified but only a few cause infections in humans [5]. Fusarium solani is the most frequent cause of invasive disease (in approximately half of all cases), followed by F. oxysporum, F. verticillioides (previously F. moniliforme), and F. proliferatum [6]. Other species that rarely cause infections in humans include F. dimerum, F. chlamidosporum, F. sacchari, F. antophilum, and others.

Molecular phylogenetic studies have revealed that these pathogens comprise species complexes. The clinical relevance of these species complexes remains to be determined.

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Literature review current through: Oct 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 07, 2017.
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