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- The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,
Clinical Characteristics and Prognosis of Penicilliosis among Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Infected Patients in Eastern China
Talaromyces marneffei infection is increasingly observed in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in eastern China, a nonendemic area. This study aimed to draw the clinician's attention to this disease by presenting the clinical characteristics and prognosis of penicilliosis among HIV‐infected patients from this region. We retrospectively analyzed HIV‐infected patients with culture‐proven T. marneffei infection admitted during January 1, 2014–December 31, 2015, at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center. A total of 48 patients with confirmed HIV infection and penicilliosis were enrolled, which accounted for a mean of 3.2% (95% confidence interval: 2.4–4.2%) of yearly HIV infection admissions among patients from eastern China. Symptoms included fever, cough, and gastrointestinal complaints, whereas the most common sign was skin lesions. Anemia occurred in 87.5% (42/48) of the patients. The overall mortality rate was 16.7%. Low CD4 T‐cell count and hemoglobin level were correlated with mortality. Based on these results, we concluded that penicilliosis should be considered in HIV‐infected patients from eastern China who present with fever, cutaneous lesions, and anemia. The clinical characters and the prognosis of patients with penicilliosis are similar to those in endemic areas. More attention should be paid to penicilliosis patients with low CD4 T‐cell count and/or low hemoglobin level.