Case Report

Rhodotorula mucilaginosa Catheter-related Fungemia in a Patient with Sickle Cell Disease: Case Presentation and Literature Review

Authors: Dionissios Neofytos, MD, David Horn, MD, FACP, Joseph A. De Simone Jr, MD


Rhodotorula mucilaginosa (formerly Rhodotorula rubra) is a ubiquitous, environmental, urease-positive yeast that does not ferment sugars and can assimilate various carbohydrates. Characterized by the salmon-pink to coral-red color of its colonies,Rhodotorula mucilaginosa can disseminate and cause significant disease. We present a case of sustained Rhodotorula mucilaginosa catheter-related fungemia in a patient with sickle cell anemia who refused removal of the implanted port. The patient remained clinically stable, with blood cultures persistently growing Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, despite appropriate antifungal therapy. An extensive literature review revealed a wide range of clinical manifestations in immunocompromised patients. Susceptibility patterns to different antifungal agents and therapeutic considerations are thoroughly discussed. Rhodotorula mucilaginosacan be a significant, recalcitrant pathogen in immunocompromised patients and prompt treatment should be instituted.

Key Points

Rhodotorula mucilaginosa can be a significant, recalcitrant pathogen in immunocompromised patients.

* Susceptibilities to different antifungal agents should be obtained and administration of antifungal therapy combined with catheter removal is the recommended approach in patients who present with R mucilaginosa catheter-related fungemia.

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