Risk factors of severe blastomycosis and comparison of diagnosis and outcomes between immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients

Evelyn Villacorta Cari, Nicole Leedy, Julie A. Ribes, Jaime Soria, Thein Myint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Blastomycosis is an endemic fungal infection that causes pulmonary and systemic disease. It can occur irrespective of the patient's immune status. The risk factors associated with the severity of the disease are not well studied. Methods: This is a retrospective study of patients admitted with blastomycosis at the University of Kentucky Hospital from 2004 to 2019. Logistic regression was used to identify variables associated with severe blastomycosis. Results: A total of 76 patients were identified; 22 (28.9%) had at least one immunosuppressive condition. Pulmonary blastomycosis was reported in 49/76 (65%) of the patients and disseminated infection in 27/76 (35.5%). All diagnostic tests were not significantly different in diagnostic results in immunocompromised vs immunocompetent patients. Cultures and histopathology were positive in 56/61 (91.8%) and 54/63 (85.7%) respectively. Blastomyces or Histoplasma antigen test was positive in 13/17 (76.4%) in immunocompromised patients compared to 26/42 (61.9%) in immunocompetent patients. Immunocompromised patients were more likely to be admitted to the hospital and ICU compared to immunocompetent patients. In the multivariate analysis, pulmonary multilobar disease (RR 5.68; 95% CI 2.13–15.15), obesity (RR 2.39; 95% CI 1.26-4.51), diabetes mellitus (RR 3.50; 95% CI 1.38-8.90) and immunosuppression (RR 2.28; 95% CI 1.14-4.56) were significant independent risk factors for severe blastomycosis. Inpatient mortality proportion was higher in immunocompromised patients but not statistically significant. Conclusion: Pulmonary multilobar disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus and immunosuppression were risk factors associated with severe blastomycosis. Immunocompromised patients required more frequent hospitalisations compared to immunocompetent patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

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© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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