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Fatal Prototheca zopfii Algaemia in a Patient with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: a Case Report by Tae Yeul Kim, Hui-Jin Yu, On Kyun Kang, Chang-Ki Kim, Chul Won Jung, Kyungmin Huh, Cheol-In Kang, Hee Jae Huh, Nam Yong Lee

Background: Prototheca algaemia is a rare but life-threatening disease that occurs primarily in immunocompromised patients. We report a fatal case of Prototheca zopfii bloodstream infection in a 54-year-old woman receiving chemotherapy for relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Methods: The isolate was identified using an automated biochemical identification system (VITEK 2; bioMerieux) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (VITEK MS; bioMerieux). Partial 18S and 28S rDNA sequencing was performed for definitive identification and genotyping.
Results: The patient had persistent neutropenic fever, and isolates from blood culture were identified as P. zopfii. Sequencing was performed and the isolate was confirmed to be P. zopfii genotype 2, which was newly named as P. bovis. The patient was treated with liposomal amphotericin B but died of septic shock.
Conclusions: Prototheca spp. should be considered an emerging pathogen, especially in immunocompromised patients, due to its ubiquitous nature.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2021.210723