Published online Feb 25, 2018. doi: 10.5495/wjcid.v8.i1.1
Peer-review started: September 16, 2017
First decision: October 23, 2017
Revised: November 9, 2017
Accepted: November 27, 2017
Article in press: November 27, 2017
Published online: February 25, 2018
Mucormycosis is a rare fungal infection which is largely diagnosed in immune-compromised patients. The infection can cause pulmonary, rhinocerebral, skin and soft tissue, central nervous system and gastrointestinal system. The gastrointestinal involvement is the rarest presentation, especially the stomach. We present a 38 years old HIV positive female seen in Steve Biko Academic Hospital with 2 wk history of cough, shortness of breath and lethargy. She was clinically found to be pale, pyrexial, dyspnoea and had severe oral thrush. Blood tests revealed hemoglobin of 6 g/dL CD4 count of 63 cells/uL. Chest X-ray showed multi-lobe pneumonia and gastroscopy confirmed esophageal candidiasis and nodular gastritis. She continued to deteriorate despite antibiotics, antifungal and antituberculous treatment. She developed upper gastrointestinal bleed on day 34, and gastroscopy showed a plaque like lesion in the stomach, histology of which confirmed mucormycosis. She improved on Amphotericin B but subsequently deteriorated and demised a few days later. These cases illustrate the occurrence of a rare fungal infection of the stomach and the poor mortality when diagnosis is delayed. Mucormycosis can co-exist with candidiasis and clinicians should have a high index of suspicion especially in patients not responding to appropriate treatment.
Core tip: Gastric mucormycosis is very rare; co-infection with candida albicans is even more rare. Candidiasis masked the presence of mucormycosis in this patient and was suspected because of poor response to diflucan. Treatment with amphotericin B was delayed but once instituted, the response was good. Awareness of this co-existence of mucormycosis and candida infection in immune-compromised patient should be improved.