Background: Human pythiosis, caused primarily by the aquatic oomycete, Pythium insidiosum, is an emerging but uncommon infection in North America. The infection is frequently life-threatening and is often initially unrecognized due to its rarity and similar presentation to certain fungal infections. Methods: We report a case of skin and soft tissue pythiosis in a patient without significant underlying comorbidities acquired in a New Mexico hot spring and review its successful treatment. We also review all reported pythiosis cases in North America. Results: Eleven confirmed cases of human pythiosis acquired in North America were identified. The majority of cases occurred in children (64%), ten of eleven cases were acquired in the southern U.S., Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean and four of the eleven individuals succumbed to the infection. Conclusions: With recognition and aggressive surgical and medical treatment good clinical outcomes can be achieved when treating human pythiosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases