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BACKGROUND: Penicillium marneffei is an important human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated opportunistic pathogen in Southeast Asia. The epidemiology and the predictors of penicilliosis outcome are poorly understood. METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of culture-confirmed incident penicilliosis admissions during 1996-2009 at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. Seasonality of penicilliosis was assessed using cosinor models. Logistic regression was used to assess predictors of death or worsening disease based on 10 predefined covariates, and Cox regression was performed to model time-to-antifungal initiation. RESULTS: A total of 795 patients were identified; hospital charts were obtainable for 513 patients (65%). Cases increased exponentially and peaked in 2007 (156 cases), mirroring the trends in AIDS admissions during the study period. A highly significant seasonality for penicilliosis (P<.001) but not for cryptococcosis (P=.63) or AIDS admissions (P=.83) was observed, with a 27% (95% confidence interval, 14%-41%) increase in incidence during rainy months. All patients were HIV infected; the median CD4 cell count (62 patients) was 7 cells/μL (interquartile range, 4-24 cells/μL). Hospital outcome was an improvement in 347 (68%), death in 101 (20%), worsening in 42 (8%), and nonassessable in 23 (5%) cases. Injection drug use, shorter history, absence of fever or skin lesions, elevated respiratory rates, higher lymphocyte count, and lower platelet count independently predicted poor outcome in both complete-case and multiple-imputation analyses. Time-to-treatment initiation was shorter for patients with skin lesions (hazard ratio, 3.78; 95% confidence interval, 2.96-4.84; P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: Penicilliosis incidence correlates with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Viet nam. The number of cases increases during rainy months. Injection drug use, shorter history, absence of fever or skin lesions, respiratory difficulty, higher lymphocyte count, and lower platelet count predict poor in-hospital outcome.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Infect Dis

Publication Date





945 - 952


AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections, Adult, Female, Humans, Incidence, Male, Mycoses, Penicillium, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Seasons, Vietnam