Environmental factors related to fungal wound contamination after combat trauma in Afghanistan, 2009–2011

David R. Tribble*, Carlos J. Rodriguez, Amy C. Weintrob, Faraz Shaikh, Deepak Aggarwal, M. Leigh Carson, Clinton K. Murray, Penny Masuoka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


During the recent war in Afghanistan (2001–2014), invasive fungal wound infections (IFIs) among US combat casualties were associated with risk factors related to the mechanism and pattern of injury. Although previous studies recognized that IFI patients primarily sustained injuries in southern Afghanistan, environmental data were not examined. We compared environmental conditions of this region with those of an area in eastern Afghanistan that was not associated with observed IFIs after injury. A larger proportion of personnel injured in the south (61%) grew mold from wound cultures than those injured in the east (20%). In a multivariable analysis, the southern location, characterized by lower elevation, warmer temperatures, and greater isothermality, was independently associated with mold contamination of wounds. These environmental characteristics, along with known risk factors related to injury characteristics, may be useful in modeling the risk for IFIs after traumatic injury in other regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1769
Number of pages11
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


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