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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Subkingdom: Dikarya
Phylum: Ascomycota
Subphylum: Ascomycotina
Order: Saccharomycetales
Family: Endomycetaceae
Genus: Geotrichum
Species: See text.

Geotrichum is a genus of fungi found worldwide in soil, water, air, and sewage, as well as in plants, cereals, and dairy products; it is also commonly found in normal human flora and is isolated from sputum and feces. It was first described in 1809 by Johann Heinrich Friedrich Link.[1]

The genus Geotrichum includes several species. The most clinical relevant is Saprochaeta capitata, formerly known as Geotrichum capitatum, with most cases occurring in Europe.[2][3]

Saprochaete clavata, formerly known as Geotrichum clavatum, is an uncommon infection that has been associated with sporadic outbreaks.[4] Geotrichum candidum is closely related to Saprochaeta sp., rarely isolated but may cause invasive and disseminated disease with high mortality Yeast-like and mold-like strains have been identified.[5]

The most important risk factor for invasive fungal infection related to Geotrichum is severe immunosuppression, especially in hematological malignancies as acute leukemia, associated with profound and prolonged neutropenia.[2][6]

Fungemia is very common, often with deep organ involvement (lung, liver, spleen, and central nervous system) and also skin and mucous membranes lesions.[7] There is no optimal treatment for Geotrichum infections but based on existing data guidelines recommend amphotericin B with or without co administered flucytosine or with voriconazole showing good in vitro susceptibility.

Mortality associated with Geotrichum-related infections is high, ranging from 57% to 80%.[8]

Increasing the knowledge on Geotrichum related invasive fungal infections may improve early diagnosis and adequate treatment of these severe infections.


  1. ^ J.W. Carmichael (1957) "Geotrichum candidum", Mycologia, Vol. 49, No. 6, Nov. - Dec., 1.
  2. ^ a b Girmenia C, Pagano L, Martino B et al. (Apr 2005). "Invasive infections caused by Trichosporon species and Geotrichum capitatum in patients with hematological malignancies: a retrospective multicenter study from Italy and review of the literature.". J Clin Microbiol. 43 (4): 1818–28. doi:10.1128/JCM.43.4.1818-1828.2005. PMID 15815003. 
  3. ^ García-Ruiz JC, López-Soria L, Olazábal I et al. (Oct 2013). "Invasive infections caused by Saprochaete capitata in patients with haematological malignancies: report of five cases and review of the antifungal therapy.". Rev Iberoam Micol. 30 (4): 248–55. doi:10.1016/j.riam.2013.02.004. PMID 23583265. 
  4. ^ Vaux S et al. (Nov 2014). "Multicenter outbreak of infections by Saprochaete clavata, an unrecognized opportunistic fungal pathogen.". MBio. 5 (6). doi:10.1128/mBio.02309-14. PMID 25516620. 
  5. ^ Gente S, Desmasures N, Jacopin C et al. (June 2002). "Intra-species chromosome-length polymorphism in Geotrichum candidum revealed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis". Int. J. Food Microbiol. 76 (1-2): 127–34. doi:10.1016/S0168-1605(02)00023-5. PMID 12038569. 
  6. ^ Gadea I et al. (Apr 2004). "Genotyping and antifungal susceptibility profile of Dipodascus capitatus isolates causing disseminated infection in seven hematological patients of a tertiary hospital.". J Clin Microbiol. 42 (4): 1832–6. doi:10.1128/JCM.42.4.1832-1836.2004. PMID 15815003. 
  7. ^ Martino R et al. (Feb 2004). "Blastoschizomyces capitatus infection in patients with leukemia: report of 26 cases." (PDF). Clin Infect Dis. 38 (3): 335–41. doi:10.1086/380643. PMID 14727202. 
  8. ^ Rolston K (Nov 2001). "Overview of systemic fungal infections.". Oncology 15 (11). PMID 11757845.