Clinical and diagnostic pathways in pediatric fungal infections

Elio Castagnola



Generally speaking, in pediatrics the patients mostly affected by fungal infections are hematological patients, followed by those with solid tumors, and transplant recipients. Candida infections generally occur just after birth, whereas Aspergillus infections are age-related, and increase their incidence with age. However, among infections, the incidence of bacteremias are still greater than that of mycoses. In pediatrics, in Italy the immunocompromised patients – thus particularly susceptible to fungal infections – are mainly those with severe combined immunodeficiency, chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis, and chronic granulomatous disease. Particular Aspergillus or Scedosporium infections should be considered in peculiar kinds of patients, such as those affected by cystic fibrosis. Finally, different kinds of fungi should be considered in those who come from or spend a lot time in specific areas, such as South America (e.g. coccidioidomycoses, for which differential diagnosis is with tuberculosis).


Fungal infections; Children; Risk factors; Underlying pathologies; Oncology; Leukemia

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