Rhodotorula is a pigment-producing yeast that occasionally causes serious infections in the bloodstream, CNS or eyes of immunosuppressed patients (HIV/haematology) who are receiving invasive hospital treatment, such as peritoneal dialysis or a CVC.
For a recent systematic review please see Ioannou et al (2018) or visit Doctor Fungus for further information about the culture characteristics and susceptibility data of R. mucilaginosa and R. minuta
Rhodotorula mucilaginosa (previously Rhodotorula rubra)
Terrestrial and aquatic, including marine habitats. Frequently isolated from human beings. Also found in pillows.
Fungaemia, sepsis, endophthalmitis, catheter infections, peritonitis, meningitis mainly in immunocompromised patients. Produces several allergens and potentially involved in allergic disease.
Unknown but in general terms is an infrequent agent of fungal infections in humans.
Colonies growing in culture media are pink to coral red, glistening or dull, mucous, smooth or rough. Microscopy – budding cells. In some cases, rudimentary pseudomycelium can be observed.
Biosafety level 1
Amphotericin B and flucytosine are the most active agents against R. mucilaginosa. All strains are resistant to fluconazole. Cross resistance to other azole drugs is not the rule but more than 60% of the strains show resistance to itraconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole. Echinocandins are inactive against this yeast species.
Carotenoid production for the food industry