A Case of Emmonsiosis in an HIV-Infected Child
Opportunistic fungal infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. We describe a paediatric case of an unusual disseminated fungal infection. A three-year-old HIV-infected child with severe immunosuppression (CD4+ T-cell count 12 × 106/L) was admitted to hospital with pneumonia, gastroenteritis and herpes gingivostomatitis. Despite antibacterial and antiviral therapy, he experienced high fevers and developed an erythematous maculopapular rash and abdominal tenderness. The child’s condition progressively worsened during the admission. A thermally dimorphic fungus was cultured from bone marrow and identified as an Emmonsia species on DNA sequencing. The patient made a good recovery on amphotericin B deoxycholate and antiretroviral therapy. Itraconazole was continued for a minimum of 12 months, allowing for immune reconstitution to occur. This case is the first documented description of disseminated disease caused by a novel Emmonsia species in an HIV-infected child in South Africa.
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