Open Access Open Badges Case Report

Human nasal rhinosporidiosis: an Italian case report

Luca Morelli1, Mario Polce2, Francesco Piscioli1, Franca Del Nonno3, Renato Covello4, Alessia Brenna3, Antonio Cione3 and Stefano Licci3*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Pathology, "S. Maria del Carmine" Hospital, Rovereto, Italy

2 Division of Otorhinolaryngology, "S. Maria del Carmine" Hospital, Rovereto, Italy

3 Division of Pathology, National Institute for Infectious Diseases "L. Spallanzani", Roma, Italy

4 Division of Pathology, Istituto Regina Elena per lo studio e la cura dei tumori, Roma, Italy

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Diagnostic Pathology 2006, 1:25  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-1-25

Published: 31 August 2006



Rhinosporidiosis is a disease affecting primarily the mucosa of nose, conjunctiva and urethra. It is endemic in some Asiatic regions, affecting people of any age and sex. Its manifestation is a polypoid mass growing inside the affected cavity and the only treatment is surgical excision. Rhinosporidium seeberi is the aetiological agent. Many discussions arouse regarding the taxonomic classification of the microorganism, recent studies established it is an aquatic protistan parasite. The lesion may recur and sometimes cause osteolytic bone lesions. In endemic areas it is not easy to establish if recurrent lesions are due to relapse or reinfection.

Case presentation

A 26-year-old male patient from India, resident in Italy since 2005, presented in March 2006 with a history of nasal obstruction of three months duration. Physical examination showed an erythematous, papillomatous mass, 3 cm in diameter, obstructing the right nasal cavity. A microscopic diagnosis of rhinosporidiosis was made. Few Italian human cases of this disease have been previously reported in the literature.


Rhinosporidiosis is a condition which both clinicians and pathologists should keep in mind when managing patients from endemic countries with nasal masses. Moreover, it is very interesting in such cases to follow the clinical course: an eventual recurrence of the lesion in our patient would mean a true relapse, excluding the possibility of a reinfection, more probable in the endemic areas.