Liver transplant recipients are at high risk of developing invasive aspergillosis and in particular by Aspergillus fumigatus which is the most commonly encountered species in this population. Other non-fumigatus Aspergillus species with reduced susceptibility to antifungal drugs can also be involved. Accurate identification associated to antifungal susceptibility testing is essential for therapy adjustment. We report a case of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis due to Aspergillus pseudodeflectus in a liver transplant recipient. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of invasive aspergillosis due to this species with a reduced susceptibility to azoles.
A 64 year-old woman with drug-induced fulminant hepatitis underwent liver transplantation. Prophylactic treatment with caspofungin was introduced due to aspergillosis risk factors consisting in hemodialysis and fulminant hepatitis. Six weeks after transplantation, CT scan showed a right pulmonary opacity associated with an increase of galactomannan (index 5.4). Culture of BAL grew with several colonies of Aspergillus sp. The diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis was probable according to the EORTC criteria. The antifungal susceptibility tests (Etest®) revealed low MICs to echinocandins and amphotericin B) but high MICs to azoles. After these results, voriconazole was switched to liposomal amphotericin B. The patient died one month after diagnosis from a refractory septic shock with multiple organ failure. A molecular identification of isolate, based on partial β-tubulin and calmodulin genes, was performed and identified A. pseudodeflectus.
Our case raises the question of pathogenicity of this species, which belongs to Aspergillus section Usti and is genetically and morphologically very close to Aspergillus calidoustus that was previously reported in human transplant recipients.
Aspergillosis; Aspergillus pseudodeflectus; Azoles resistance; Liver transplantation; Molecular identification