Multidrug-resistant Trichosporon species: underestimated fungal pathogens posing imminent threats in clinical settings

Amir Arastehfar, João N. de Almeida Júnior, David S. Perlin, Macit Ilkit, Teun Boekhout, Arnaldo Lopes Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Species of Trichosporon and related genera are widely used in biotechnology and, hence, many species have their genome sequenced. Importantly, yeasts of the genus Trichosporon have been increasingly identified as a cause of life-threatening invasive trichosporonosis (IT) in humans and are associated with an exceptionally high mortality rate. Trichosporon spp. are intrinsically resistant to frontline antifungal agents, which accounts for numerous reports of therapeutic failure when echinocandins are used to treat IT. Moreover, these fungi have low sensitivity to polyenes and azoles and, therefore, are potentially regarded as multidrug-resistant pathogens. However, despite the clinical importance of Trichosporon spp., our understanding of their antifungal resistance mechanisms is quite limited. Furthermore, antifungal susceptibility testing is not standardized, and there is a lack of interpretive epidemiological cut-off values for minimal inhibitory concentrations to distinguish non-wild type Trichosporon isolates. The route of infection remains obscure and detailed clinical and environmental studies are required to determine whether the Trichosporon infections are endogenous or exogenous in nature. Although our knowledge on effective IT treatments is rather limited and future randomized clinical trials are required to identify the best antifungal agent, the current paradigm advocates the use of voriconazole, removal of central venous catheters and recovery from neutropenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-698
Number of pages20
JournalCritical Reviews in Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


  • Antifungal agent
  • drug resistance
  • invasive fungal infection
  • trichosporonosis
  • white piedra


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