Fungal identification in burn patients. A retrospective study and risk factors

Medicina (B Aires). 2021;81(5):780-785.


A retrospective analysis of fungal infections was carried out in a health-care burn center between 2011 and 2014 using the patients' medical records (n = 36). Patients ranged from 18 to 87 years of age, with 23 (63.9%) being women. The most prevalent widespread total body surface area affected (TBSA) was 30-50% (p = 0.03), and 71-100% in younger patients, mainly associated with femicide. Fourth degree burns were revealed in 69.4% of the patients while in 50%, inhalation injuries were observed to represent a higher mortality rate (p = 0.04). The Candida score was 3 in 77.7% of cases respectively. Central venous catheter and mechanical ventilation were used. All patients received antibiotic treatment and 91.7% antifungal treatment. Surgical excision of the burn was performed in 33 (91.7%) patients, and skin autografting in 29 (80.6%). The median of the fungal infection developed was 21.4 days after admission to the ICU. The specimens analyzed involved 52 yeast samples isolated from different cultures: urine (42.3%), blood (26.9%), skin biopsy (9.6%), catheter tip (15.4%) and tracheal aspirate (5.8%). The use of microbiological culture and molecular methods allowed for the identification of Candida albicans (53.8%), C. tropicalis (23.1%), C. parapsilosis sensu stricto (13.5%), C. krusei (5.8%), C. glabrata (1.9%) and C. dubliniensis (1.9%). Fungal infections observed in skin burns lead to severe complications in at-risk patients.