Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Zoonoses/veterinary

Endemic human blastomycosis in Quebec, Canada, 1988–2011

I. V. LITVINOVa1 c1, G. St-GERMAINa2, R. PELLETIERa3, M. PARADISa4 and D. C. SHEPPARDa1

a1 Division of Dermatology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

a2 Mycology Section, Provincial Public Health Laboratory, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, Canada

a3 Department of Microbiology, Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

a4 Division of Dermatology, University of Montreal Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada

a5 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

SUMMARY

Blastomycosis is a systemic fungal infection found in various parts of the world. A review of literature for Quebec, Canada revealed only few case reports with the most recent one dating back to 1993. However, whether Quebec represents an important endemic region for blastomycosis in North America is unknown. In this work we reviewed 158 cases of human blastomycosis documented in Quebec during 1988–2011 using microbiological records available from the provincial public health laboratory. The estimated annual incidence of blastomycosis in the province is was ∼0·133 cases per 100 000 individuals with the highest rates of 0·79 and 0·46 cases per 100 000 recorded in South-eastern and South-western Quebec. Moreover, the annual incidence rate significantly increased over the past 20 years. This study for the first time establishes Quebec as an important endemic region for Blastomyces dermatitidis.

(Received April 04 2012)

(Revised July 26 2012)

(Accepted July 31 2012)

(Online publication August 29 2012)

Key words

  • Canada;
  • human blastomycosis;
  • Quebec

Correspondence

c1 Author for correspondence: I. V. Litvinov, M.D., Ph.D., 687 Pine Avenue West, Suite H7.83, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A1, Canada. (Email: ivan.litvinov@mail.mcgill.ca)

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