Airborne transmission of invasive fusariosis in patients with hematologic malignancies

Maria Luiza Moretti, Ariane Fidelis Busso-Lopes, Cibele Aparecida Tararam, Renato Moraes, Yasunori Muraosa, Yuzuru Mikami, Tohru Gonoi, Hideaki Taguchi, Luzia Lyra, Franqueline Reichert-Lima, Plínio Trabasso, Gerrit Sybren de Hoog, Abdullah Mohammed Said Al-Hatmi, Angelica Zaninelli Schreiber, Katsuhiko Kamei

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


From 2006 to 2013, an increasing incidence of fusariosis was observed in the hematologic patients of our University Hospital. We suspected of an environmental source, and the indoor hospital air was investigated as a potential source of the fungemia. Air samplings were performed in the hematology and bone marrow transplant (BMT) wards using an air sampler with pre-defined air volumes. To study the molecular relationship among environmental and clinical isolates, 18 Fusarium spp. recovered from blood cultures were included in the study. DNA sequencing of a partial portion of TEF1α gene was performed for molecular identification. Molecular typing was carried out by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) using a four-gene scheme: TEF1α, rDNA, RPB1 and RPB2. One hundred four isolates were recovered from the air of the hematology (n = 76) and the BMT (n = 28) wards. Fusarium isolates from the air were from five species complexes: Fusarium fujikuroi (FFSC, n = 56), Fusarium incarnatum-equiseti (FIESC, n = 24), Fusarium solani (FSSC, n = 13), Fusarium chlamydosporum (FCSC, n = 10), and Fusarium oxysporum (FOSC, n = 1). Fifteen Fusarium isolates recovered from blood belonged to FSSC, and three to FFSC. MLST identified the same sequence type (ST) in clinical and environmental isolates. ST1 was found in 5 isolates from blood and in 7 from the air, both identified as FSSC (Fusarium petroliphilum). STn1 was found in one isolate from blood and in one from the air, both identified as FFSC (Fusarium napiforme). F. napiforme was isolated from the air of the hospital room of the patient with fungemia due to F. napiforme. These findings suggested a possible clonal origin of the Fusarium spp. recovered from air and bloodcultures. In conclusion, our study found a diversity of Fusarium species in the air of our hospital, and a possible role of the air as source of systemic fusariosis in our immunocompromised patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0196426
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • DNA, Fungal/chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins/chemistry
  • Fusariosis/complications
  • Fusarium/classification
  • Hematologic Neoplasms/complications
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1/chemistry
  • Phylogeny


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