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Blastomycosis, an endemic mycosis of immunocompetent individuals, is typically seen after exposure to waterways within rural wooded regions. It is not considered a disease of urban environments. Infection can be solely pneumonic or disseminate to skin, bone or central nervous system. Unknown factors influence disease acquisition and severity in children. We analyzed acquisition risks and disease characteristics of blastomycosis in children seen at a tertiary care center from 1998 to 2018 to identify potential exposure sources, measure disease severity and assess the effect of race upon disease severity. Of 64 infected children, mean age was 12.9 years, with median time to diagnosis 38.5 days. About 72% were male, 38% resided in urban counties and 50% had typical environmental exposure. Isolated pulmonary infection occurred in 33 (52%). The remainder had evidence of dissemination to skin (N = 13), bone (N = 16; 7 clinically silent) and cranium (N = 7; 3 clinically silent). Infection was moderate/severe in 19 (30%). Two children (3%) died. About 79% of children with moderate/severe disease (P = 0.008) and 71% of urban children (P = 0.007) lacked typical environmental exposure. Comparing children from urban counties to other residences, 63% versus 5% were black (P < 0.001) and 71% versus 35% developed extrapulmonary dissemination (P = 0.006). Moderate/severe disease was seen in 7/17 (42%) black children but only 12/47 (26%) children of other races (P = 0.23). Blastomycosis, can be endemic in urban children in the absence of typical exposure history, have frequent, sometimes clinically silent, extrapulmonary dissemination and possibly produces more severe disease in black children. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Jaimee M Hall, Peter L Havens, Errin A Mitchell, Gabriel N De Vela, Lauren L Titus, Mahua Dasgupta, Pippa M Simpson, Sue C Kehl, Rodney E Willoughby, Kelly J Henrickson, Michelle L Mitchell, Anna R Huppler, Michael J Chusid. Blastomycosis in 64 Wisconsin Children: Unanticipated Infection Risk and Severity in Urban Residents. The Pediatric infectious disease journal. 2021 May 07

PMID: 33990518

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