Original Article

Epidemiology, laboratory diagnosis and clinical aspects of fungal pulmonary infections in 384 patients hospitalized in pulmonary units in Guilan province, Iran


Background and Objectives: The respiratory tract is the most common site for developing fungal infections. People who have a weakened immune system are more susceptible to respiratory system involvement with fungi. Fungal infections of the respiratory tract are largely unrecognized and their true burden is elusive. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to evaluate the clinical spectrum, demographic characteristics, risk factors, and etiology of fungal respiratory infections in 384 patients hospitalized in pulmonary units of Razi hospital, Guilan province, Iran.
Materials and Methods: A total of 384 lung specimens (192 Bronchoalveolar lavages (BAL) and 192 sputa) were obtained from patients who met the inclusion criteria. All samples were analyzed by direct microscopy and culture. Fungal identification was accomplished by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and beta-tubulin sequencing. Also, in patients suspected to invasive pulmonary aspergillosis BAL specimens were tested for galactomannan (GM) antigen. According to the host factors (clinical symptoms, radiology findings and predisposing factors which were defined as inclusion criteria), and the positive results in direct examination, culture and serology (GM for aspergillosis) the infection was confirmed.
Results: Fungal respiratory infection was confirmed in 137 cases (35.67%) including 86 (62.77%) males and 51 (37.23%) females and the highest prevalence of infection was found in the age group of 46-72 years (n=75, 54.74%). Cough (n=129, 94.16%), dyspnea (n=111, 81.02%), purulent sputum (n=85, 62.04%) and weight loss (n=77, 56.2%) were the predominant symptoms. Tuberculosis (n=34, 24.81%), taking chemotherapy regimen (n=30, 21.89%) and diabetes mellitus (n=27, 19.70%) were the predominant underlying conditions. Candida albicans (37.22%) and Candida tropicalis (21.89%) represent the two most commonly isolated species in the current study. Furthermore, according to revised EORTC/MSG (2008) definitions for invasive fungal infections, from 5 cases of pulmonary aspergillosis, 2 (40%) cases of probable invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) and 3 (60%) cases of possible IPA were diagnosed.
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, infected infants with congenital CMV infection could identify at early stage by testing Guthrie cards (within 21 days of life). Furthermore, since there is a lack of CMV knowledge in our population, educating and effective counseling by obstetricians/ gynecologists to the pregnant women are recommended.

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IssueVol 12 No 4 (2020) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijm.v12i4.3940
Bronchoalveolar lavage; Sputum; Candidiasis; Fungal respiratory infections; Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis; Galactomannan antigen

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How to Cite
Rafat Z, Hashemi SJ, Ashrafi K, Nikokar I, Jafari A, Rahimi Foroushani A, Roohi B, Borjian Boroujeni Z, Najar-Shahri N. Epidemiology, laboratory diagnosis and clinical aspects of fungal pulmonary infections in 384 patients hospitalized in pulmonary units in Guilan province, Iran. Iran J Microbiol. 2020;12(4):353-363.