Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25887752
BMC Oral Health 2015 Mar;15:39
BACKGROUND: During a research project on fungal Candida species in patients wearing obturator treated with radiotherapy for their recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma, we serendipitously observed the presence of black fungus in two consecutive samples from a patient.
CASE PRESENTATION: The samples were collected from a 57 year-old Hong Kong gentleman who diagnosed to have undifferentiated type of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. He was treated with definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and then received a second-course radiotherapy with IMRT. 18S rDNA sequencing revealed that the isolates belong to Exophiala dermatitidis which was susceptible to fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole and voriconazole. Interestingly, E. dermatitidis isolates were resistant to caspofungin and one isolate was resistant to amphotericin B. Both isolates formed biofilms comparable to that of Candida albicans. Single isolate of E. dermatitidis showed hemolysin and proteinase ability comparable to C. albicans whilst the other isolate was not.
CONCLUSION: We, for the first time, reported the discovery of a black fungus-E. dermatitidis isolates derived from a patient with nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with radiotherapy. These isolates were shown to be resistant to caspofungin, a major antifungal agent for systemic candidiasis. As little is known about the black fungus in the clinical setting, it is important that clinicians must keep abreast of the new discovery in this field.