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Sporotrichosis from the Northern Territory of Australia

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  • National Mycology Reference Center, SA Pathology, Adelaide, South Australia; Royal Darwin Hospital, Microbiology, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia; Royal Darwin Hospital, Department of Medicine, Royal Darwin Hospital, Northern Territory, Australia; Global Tropical Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

We report three cases of lymphocutaneous infection caused by the thermally dimorphic fungus, Sporothrix schenckii from Australia's tropical Northern Territory. Two cases were acquired locally, making them the first to be reported from this region. All three cases presented with ulceration in the limb; however, the classical sporotrichoid spread was present only in the first two cases. Their occurrence within several weeks of each other was suggestive of a common source of environmental contamination such as hay used as garden mulch. Diagnoses were delayed in each case, with each patient having substantial exposure to ineffective antibiotics before the correct diagnosis was made. These cases bring the total number of reported sporotrichosis cases in Australia since 1951 to 199. Lessons from these cases are to consider the diagnosis of sporotrichosis in lesions of typical appearance, even in geographical settings from where this pathogen has not previously been reported.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Shradha Subedi, 105 Rockland Drive, Tiwi, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia 0810. E-mail: subedi_82@yahoo.com

Authors' addresses: Shradha Subedi, Department of Medicine, Royal Darwin Hospital, Tiwi, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, E-mail: subedi_82@yahoo.com. Sarah E. Kidd, National Mycology Reference Centre, SA Pathology, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, E-mail: sarah.kidd@health.sa.gov.au. Robert W. Baird, Royal Darwin Hospital, Microbiology, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, E-mail: rob.baird@nt.gov.au. Nicholas Coatsworth, Royal Darwin Hospital, Department of Medicine, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, E-mail: nicholas.coatsworth@nt.gov.au. Anna P. Ralph, Global Tropical Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, E-mail: anna.ralph@menzies.edu.au.

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