Basidiobolus (the fungus that pictured on the background image of this blog) still seems to be gaining steam as a possibly emerging and/or frequently mis- or undiagnosed pathogen in incompetent humans (see my previous hacky post about this). In another paper out in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, Geramizadeh et al. report 14 more cases over the last decade in southern Iran (Fars province). Although only a single case is reported with positive culture identification, the other cases were presumed Basidiobolus based on histology. Two of the patients (infants) died, but the others were alive after surgery, and post operative anti-fungal treatments (one patient had a relapse or re-infection). These doctors did not use the saturated KI (the drug of choice in some Indian Basidiobolus literature).
In some of our previous work we showed that parts of the Basidiobolus genome differed in copy number and the genome was fairly large for a fungus, but we have also found that Basidiobolus had a temperature dependent phenotype. When temperatures got near mammalian body normal (33º-38º), the fungus switched to a yeast-like growth form. From the histology sections in case reports, infectious Basidiobolus was growing as filamentous hyphae. Perhaps this fungus has a longer history of mammalian gut colonization than has been recognized? I think it is looking like a good target to study phenotype switches, host-interaction, and genome instability. I'll try to write a short primer on Basidiobolus this week and publish here on London Fungal Research.
Bita Geramizadeh, Razieh Foroughi, Marzieh Keshtkarjahromi, Seyedali Malekhosseini, & Abdolvahab Alborzi (2012). Gastrointestinal basidiobolomycosis, an emerging infection in immunocompetent host: a report of 14 patients Journal of Medical Microbiology DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.046839-0