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Reminder of important clinical lesson
Saccharomyces boulardii fungemia caused by treatment with a probioticum

Summary

Saccharomyces cerevisiae, known as baker’s yeast, is normally considered a non-pathogenic yeast. A genetically very similar subtype, S boulardii, is used in a probioticum (Sacchaflor) to prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and in the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile associated diarrhoea. The authors present a case report of a 79-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis, who after a bowel resection developed S boulardii fungemia. Her postoperative course was complicated by nutritional problems, anaemia and several nosocomial infections including recurrent C difficile associated diarrhoea. The diarrhoea was treated with metronidazole, vancomycin and Sacchaflor. After 13 days of treatment, the patient developed fungemia with S boulardii. Treatment with Sacchaflor was immediately discontinued and the patient was successfully treated with amphotericin B. Fungemia is a rare, but a serious complication to treatment with probiotics. Accordingly, the authors find it important to remind the clinicians of this risk when prescribing probiotics especially to immunocompromised patients.

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