Pulmonary infection secondary to Blastobotrys raffinosifermentans in a cystic fibrosis patient: Review of the literature

Mohanad Al-Obaidi, Hamid Badali, Connie Cañete-Gibas, Hoja P. Patterson, Nathan P. Wiederhold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The genus Blastobotrys consists of at least 20 species. Disease in humans has been reported with B adeninivorans, B raffinosifermentans, B proliferans and B serpentis, mostly in immunocompromised patients and those with cystic fibrosis. Objective: We report a lung infection secondary to B raffinosifermentans in a cystic fibrosis patient successfully treated with isavuconazole and review the literature of invasive infections caused this genus. We also evaluated clinical isolates in our laboratory for species identification and antifungal susceptibility. Methods: Phylogenetic analysis was performed on a collection of 22 Blastobotrys isolates in our reference laboratory, and antifungal susceptibility patterns were determined for nine clinically available antifungals against 19 of these isolates. Results: By phylogenetic analysis, 21 of the 22 isolates in our collection were identified as B raffinosifermentans and only 1 as B adeninivorans. Most were cultured from the respiratory tract, although others were recovered from other sources, including CSF and blood. Isavuconazole, caspofungin and micafungin demonstrated the most potent in vitro activity, followed by amphotericin B. In contrast, fluconazole demonstrated poor activity. The patient in this case responded to isavuconazole treatment for breakthrough infection due to B raffinosifermentans that was cultured from pleural fluid while on posaconazole prophylaxis post–bilateral lung transplantation for cystic fibrosis. Conclusions: Blastobotrys species are rare causes of infections in humans and primarily occur in immunocompromised hosts. In our collection, the majority of isolates were identified as B raffinosifermentans. To our knowledge, this is the first report of successful treatment of such an infection with isavuconazole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-623
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Blastobotrys raffinosifermentans
  • Blastobotrys species
  • antifungal susceptibility
  • cystic fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Dermatology


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