Author(s): Sarabahi S, Tiwari VK, Arora S, Capoor MR, Pandey A
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Abstract Invasive fungal burn wound infection is an important emerging cause of late onset morbidity and high mortality in patients with major burns. Following a pilot study done in our unit in 1 year, i.e. January 2008-March 2009 in 71 patients where 28\% (20 patients) of the burn wound biopsies from suspected cases showed fungal wound invasion (FWI), a detailed study was planned in order to study the epidemiology of fungal infection in burns in our unit wherein routine wound biopsies in 100 patients were sent on 7th, 14th and 21st postburn day over a one year period (July 2009-June 2010). 12 patients (12\%) were diagnosed with FWI on culture. This was then followed by another study in a 9 month period (July 2010-March 2011) when wound samples for only 36 patients in whom there was clinical suspicion of fungal infection were sent. 16 of these patients were diagnosed with fungal wound invasion (FWI) thus establishing an incidence of 44\% from suspected cases. These studies showing the increase in fungal infection in our unit have therefore made us wiser, increased our awareness and our accuracy in diagnosing this uncommon infection in extensive burns where patient is not only severely immunocompromised but also has many other risk factors making them more vulnerable to fungal invasion. Another glaring fact which emerged from these studies was the rising incidence of nonalbicans Candida infection compared to Candida albicans, especially C. tropicalis and C. krusei which are more severe in nature and associated with a higher mortality. This signifies that there is a shift of FWI in burns from commensal organism, i.e. C. albicans to pathogenic nosocomial organisms, i.e. C. nonalbicans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Burns
and referenced in Fungal Genomics & Biology