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International Journal of Infectious Diseases: Volume 3, Number 1
Epidemiology and Management of Penicilliosis in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Patients
Thira Sirisanthana, MD; and Khuanchai Supparatpinyo, MD

Int J Infect Dis 1998; 3:48-53

Penicillium marneffei is a dimorphic fungus that can cause systemic mycosis in humans. It is endemic in Southeast Asia, the Guangxi province of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Prior to the epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), penicilliosis was a rare event. The incidence of this fungal infection has increased markedly during the past few years, paralleling the incidence of HIV infection. The patients usually present with fever, anemia, weight loss, skin lesions, generalized lymphadenopathy, and hepatomegaly. The skin lesions are most commonly papules with central necrotic umbilication. The average number of CD4+ T lymphocytes at presentation is 64 cells/mm3. The fungus is usually sensitive to amphotericin B, itraconazole, and ketoconazole. The response to antifungal treatment is good if the treatment is started early. After the initial treatment the patient may need to take an antifungal drug as secondary prophylaxis for life. New tests for the laboratory diagnosis of penicilliosis have been reported. Further studies of these tests, as well as the epidemiology, natural history, and management of this potentially fatal systemic fungal infection are needed.

KEYWORDS: AIDS, emerging infection, fungal infection, HIV, opportunistic infection, penicilliosis, Penicillium marneffei

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