Rhodotorula mucilaginosa

Rhodotorula mucilaginosa (formerly R. rubra) is an ubiquitous yeast and a known cause of fungal peritonitis in patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) due to saprophytic colonization of catheters or dialysis machinery.

Rhodotorula forms salmon pink to coral red colonies (pdf) and is susceptible to amphotericine B

Apart from CAPD related infections Rhodotorula can cause many opportunistic infections. Patients with solid tumors, lymphoproliferative diseases, AIDS, chronic renal failure, and diabetes mellitus are at risk of infections due to Rhodotorula species that include septicemia, endocarditis, meningitis, ventriculitis, and peritonitis.

In this case an HIV-1 infected man with a CD4 count of 56 had a meningitis due to R. rubra. Despite treatment with amphotericine B and 5-fluorocytosine, the patient succumbed.


If CAPD is involved, removal of the source of contamination usually leads to clearing of the symptoms, the use of antifungal therapy is debatable. Antifungal therapy can effectively be given in the form of amphotericine B. Rhodotorula mucilaginosa is resistant to fluconazole (Pubmed).

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