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Shmuel Shoham, M.D., Aimee Zaas, M.D.
Fusarium is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Filamentous fungi ubiquitous in environment.
    • Fusarium species most often found in association with soil and vegetation, especially around roots.
    • Contamination of hospital water systems reported as a potential risk in some immunocompromised patients.
    • Contamination/infection of wheat, corn and other foodstuffs is a major agricultural challenge causing damage to crops and toxin-mediated disease in humans and animals.
  • There are hundreds of species within the Fusarium genus, approximately 70 of which have been associated with human and animal infection. Clinically important species are grouped as complexes, each of which is composed of many species
    • Species with potential to cause invasive infections:
      • Fusarium solani complex: ~50% of cases
      • F. oxysporum complex: ~20% of cases
      • F. fujikuroi complex: ~10% of cases and includes the species
        • F. verticillioides (formerly F. moniliforme): associated with rotting corn and can cause invasive human infections.
      • Other complexes:
        • F. incarnatum-equiseti 
        • F. dimerum 
        • F. chlamydosporum  
    • Multiple Fusarium species have the potential to cause toxin-mediated disease in humans and animals due to poisoning from mycotoxins such as fumonisins and trichothecenes that contaminate agricultural products like wheat, corn and other cereals (e.g. F. sporotrichioides, F. avenaceum, F. graminearum, F. culmorum, F. poae, F. verticillioides).
  • Appearance in tissue:
    • Nonpigmented (hyaline), septated hyphae (3-8 µm in diameter) with acute and right angle branching.
      • Typical appearance, Fig 1
      • May be impossible to distinguish from Aspergillusin tissue
    • Yeast-like structures (called adventitious spores or aleuroconidia) may also be present in tissue. The combination of hyphae and aleuroconidia in tissue is highly suggestive of fusariosis.
  • Appearance in culture: Canoe-shaped multicellular conidia (spores) are characteristic.
    • Blood cultures: Unlike almost all other filamentous fungi, blood cultures may be positive with fusariosis (typically in immunocompromised patients and central vascular catheter infections).

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Last updated: January 3, 2017


Shoham, Shmuel, and Aimee Zaas. "Fusarium." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2017. Pediatrics Central, peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540236/0/Fusarium.
Shoham S, Zaas A. Fusarium. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2017. https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540236/0/Fusarium. Accessed June 24, 2019.
Shoham, S., & Zaas, A. (2017). Fusarium. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540236/0/Fusarium
Shoham S, Zaas A. Fusarium [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2017. [cited 2019 June 24]. Available from: https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540236/0/Fusarium.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Fusarium ID - 540236 A1 - Shoham,Shmuel,M.D. AU - Zaas,Aimee,M.D. Y1 - 2017/01/03/ BT - Johns Hopkins ABX Guide UR - https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540236/0/Fusarium PB - The Johns Hopkins University DB - Pediatrics Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -