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

  • Zahra Rafat Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Seyed Jamal Hashemi Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran AND Food Microbiology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Keyhan Ashrafi Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
  • Iraj Nikokar Medical Biotechnology Research Center, School of Paramedicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
  • Alireza Jafari Urology Research Center, Razi Hospital, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
  • Abbas Rahimi Foroushani Department of Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Behrad Roohi Department of Medical Mycology, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
  • Zeinab Borjian Boroujeni Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Niki Najar-Shahri Medical Biotechnology Research Center, School of Paramedicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
Bronchoalveolar lavage;, Sputum;, Candidiasis;, Fungal respiratory infections;, Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis;, Galactomannan antigen


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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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. 12(4):353-363.
Original Article(s)