Journal of Global Infectious DiseasesOfficial Publishing of INDUSEM and OPUS 12 Foundation, Inc. Users online:3368  
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-42

Fungus or parasite or both: A diagnostic challenge

1 Department of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Respiratory Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
2 Department of Dermatology, Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Correspondence Address:
Tanmay S Panchabhai
Department of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Respiratory Institute, Cleveland, Ohio
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-777X.146380

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Protothecosis is a rare opportunistic infection caused by achlorophilic algae Prototheca wickerhamii, mainly in immunocompromised hosts. Due to their morphologic appearance in routine culture media, they can often mimic yeast-like opportunistic pathogens such as Pneumocystis jirovecii. This can delay the identification of other culprit organisms. We present a fatal case of protothecosis in a 74-year-old immunosuppressed male with concomitant Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP). The presence of a coinfection along with resemblance in routine culture media and microbiological and histopathological staining can prove to be a diagnostic challenge and delay appropriate care of an immunosuppressed patient.

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2008 Journal of Global Infectious Diseases | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th December, 2008