The Balancing Universe: The Story of Human Invasion and The Primitive yet Evolutionary Prototheca

  • Raman Sardana Department of Microbiology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi
  • Hena Butta Department of Microbiology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi
  • Leena Mendiratta Department of Microbiology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi
  • Sanjiv Jasuja Department of Nephrology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi
  • Immaculata Xess All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
  • Gagandeep Singh All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
  • Parul Sobti Department of Pathology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi
Keywords: Prototheca, Chlorella, immunocompromised, cutaneous


Prototheca is an achlorophyllic environmental algae and is an underrecognized pathogen. It may cause infections in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients but usually misidentified as yeast. The identification of this microorganism requires advanced methods like MALDITOF MS (Matrix assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight) and Molecular techniques. Hereby, we report a case of Cutaneous infection by Prototheca wickerhamii in a 49 years old post kidney transplant patient which resembled morphologically as Cryptococcus on histopathological examination but turned out to be Prototheca wickerhamii on fungal culture using MALDITOF MS method for identification. Patient responded to treatment with Amphotericin B.


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Case Report