Skip to main content Accessibility help

Construction Activity: An Independent Risk Factor for Invasive Aspergillosis and Zygomycosis in Patients with Hematologic Malignancy

  • J. John Weems (a1), Barry J. Davis (a1), Ofelia C. Tablan (a1), Leo Kaufman (a1) and William J. Martone (a1)...


Between November 1982 and July 1984, five patients at a 110-bed pediatric hospital were diagnosed with invasive filamentous fungal infection; three had invasive aspergillosis (IA) and two had invasive zygomycosis (IZ). All five had underlying hematologic malignancy (HM). In a case-control study, these five HM patients (cases) were compared to 10 autopsied HM patients without evidence of aspergillosis or zygomycosis (controls). Cases and controls did not differ in underlying disease or in the degree of immunosuppression, as measured by duration of granulocytopenia and number of platelet transfusions. However, case-patients were more likely than controls to have been hospitalized during the construction of a hospital addition (p<0.02, Fisher's exact test [FET]). Four (80%) of five HM patients autopsied during the period of construction had IA or IZ compared with one (5%) of 21 autopsied before construction began (p=0.001, FET). These findings suggest that, in a population of comparably immunosuppressed patients, construction activity may represent an independent risk factor for IA or IZ. Hospitals caring for such patients should take precautions which minimize exposure of these patients to construction or renovation activity.


Corresponding author

Epidemiology Branch, Hospital Infections Program, Centers for Disease Control, Building 1, Room 5044, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA30333


Hide All
1.Aisner, J, Murillo, J, Schimpff, SC, et al: Invasive aspergillosis in acute leukemia: Correlation with nose cultures and antibiotic use. Ann Intern Med 1979; 90:49.
2.Gerson, SL, Talbot, GH, Hurwitz, S, et al: Prolonged granulocytopenia: The major risk factor for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in patients with acute leukemia. Ann Intem Med 1984; 100:345351.
3.Gustafson, TL, Schaffner, W, Lavely, GB, et al: Invasive aspergillosis in renal transplant recipients: Correlation with corticosteroid therapy. J Infect Dis 1983; 148:230238.
4.Rotstein, C, Cummings, KM, Tidings, J, et al: An outbreak of invasive aspergillosis among allogeneic bone marrow transplants: A case-control study. Infect Control 1985; 6:347355.
5.Arnow, PM, Anderson, RL, Mainous, PD, et al: Pulmonary aspergillosis during hospital renovation. Am Rev Respir Dis 1978; 118:4953.
6.Burton, JR, Zachery, JB, Ressin, R, et al: Aspergillosis in four renal transplant recipients. Ann Intern Med 1972; 77:383388.
7.Kyriakides, GK, Zinneman, HH, Wall, WH, et al: Immunologic monitoring and aspergillosis in renal transplant patients. Am J Surg 1976; 131:246252.
8.Aisner, J, Schimpff, SC, Bennett, JE, et al: Aspergillus infections in cancer patients. JAMA 1976; 235:411412.
9.Mahoney, DH Jr, Steuber, CP, Starling, KA, et al: An outbreak of aspergillosis in children with acute leukemia. J Pediatr 1979; 95:7072.
10.Lentino, JR, Rosenkranz, MA, Michaels, JA, et al: Nosocomial aspergillosis. Am J Epidemiol 1982; 116:430437.
11.Krasinski, K, Holzman, RS, Hanna, B, et al: Nosocomial fungal infection during hospital renovation. Infect Control 1985; 6:278282.
12.Sarubbi, FA Jr, Kopf, HB, Wilson, MB, et al: Increased recovery of Aspergillus flavus from respiratory specimens during hospital construction. Am Rev Respir Dis 1982; 125:3338.
13.Rose, HD: Mechanical control of hospital ventilation and Aspergillus infections. Am Rev Respir Dis 1972; 105:306307.
14.Rosen, PP, Sternberg, SS: Decreased frequency of aspergillosis and mucormycosis. N Engl J Med 1976; 295:13191320.
15.Rhame, FS, Streifel, AJ, Kersey, JH Jr, et al: Extrinsic risk factors for pneumonia in the patient at high risk of infection. Am J Med 1984; 76(5A):4252.
16.Opal, SM, Asp, AA, Cannady, PB Jr, et al: Efficacy of infection control measures during a nosocomial outbreak of disseminated aspergillosis associated with hospital construction. J Infect Dis 1986; 153:634637.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Construction Activity: An Independent Risk Factor for Invasive Aspergillosis and Zygomycosis in Patients with Hematologic Malignancy

  • J. John Weems (a1), Barry J. Davis (a1), Ofelia C. Tablan (a1), Leo Kaufman (a1) and William J. Martone (a1)...


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.