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Diagnosing mucormycosis can be challenging. Currently, there are no serological or PCR-based tests available to identify these infections. Tissue biopsy specimens must be examined for the presence of the fungal pathogens. The causative agents, however, are often difficult to distinguish from other filamentous fungi. Infections are typically treated by the intravenous administration of amphotericin B , and superficial infections are removed by surgical debridement. Since the patients are often immunocompromised, viral and bacterial secondary infections commonly develop. Mortality rates vary depending on the site of the infection, the causative fungus, and other factors, but a recent study found an overall mortality rate of 54%. MM Roden et al. “Epidemiology and Outcome of Zygomycosis: A Review of 929 Reported Cases.” Clinical Infectious Diseases 41 no. 5 (2005):634–653.

  • Compare the modes of transmission for coccidioidomycosis, blastomycosis, and mucormycosis.
  • In general, which are more serious: the pulmonary or disseminated forms of these infections?

Aspergillosis

Aspergillus is a common filamentous fungus found in soils and organic debris. Nearly everyone has been exposed to this mold, yet very few people become sick. In immunocompromised patients, however, Aspergillus may become established and cause aspergillosis . Inhalation of spores can lead to asthma-like allergic reactions. The symptoms commonly include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, runny nose, and headaches. Fungal balls, or aspergilloma, can form when hyphal colonies collect in the lungs ( [link] ). The fungal hyphae can invade the host tissues, leading to pulmonary hemorrhage and a bloody cough. In severe cases, the disease may progress to a disseminated form that is often fatal. Death most often results from pneumonia or brain hemorrhages.

Laboratory diagnosis typically requires chest radiographs and a microscopic examination of tissue and respiratory fluid samples. Serological tests are available to identify Aspergillus antigens. In addition, a skin test can be performed to determine if the patient has been exposed to the fungus. This test is similar to the Mantoux tuberculin skin test used for tuberculosis. Aspergillosis is treated with intravenous antifungal agents, including itraconazole and voriconazole . Allergic symptoms can be managed with corticosteroids because these drugs suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. However, in disseminated infections, corticosteroids must be discontinued to allow a protective immune response to occur.

An X ray showing white bones on a black background. White webbing in the upper lung is circled.
A fungal ball can be observed in the upper lobe of the right lung in this chest radiograph of a patient with aspergilloma. (credit: modification of work by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Pneumocystis Pneumonia

A type of pneumonia called Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is caused by Pneumocystis jirovecii . Once thought to be a protozoan, this organism was formerly named P. carinii but it has been reclassified as a fungus and renamed based on biochemical and genetic analyses. Pneumocystis is a leading cause of pneumonia in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and can be seen in other compromised patients and premature infants. Respiratory infection leads to fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Diagnosis of these infections can be difficult. The organism is typically identified by microscopic examination of tissue and fluid samples from the lungs ( [link] ). A PCR-based test is available to detect P. jirovecii in asymptomatic patients with AIDS. The best treatment for these infections is the combination drug trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMZ). These sulfa drugs often have adverse effects, but the benefits outweigh these risks. Left untreated, PCP infections are often fatal.

Questions & Answers

what is elements
Erneet Reply
an Element is a substance that can not be further decomposed by ordinary chemical means.
vannessa
can i get notes of biochemistry
Sneha Reply
yep why not
Abdullah
what is microbiology?
Gayanjali Reply
what is malaria
Gayanjali
bios- life/living things micro- small things that cannot be seen with the naked eye In other words the study of living things that cannot be seen with the naked eye but with the help of a microscope
Coltuneac
logos- science
Coltuneac
it is 10 to the power minus 6 biology which studies life forms on those scales including metabolism , physiology, nutrition requirements
barun
what are prokarytes
NDIMUKIKA Reply
A prokaryotic is a unicellular organanism that lacks a membrane bound nucleus ,mitochondria or other any membrane bound organelle. .......
Maryam
in prokaryotic nucleus is not developed and cell organelles are absent
Harshad
how is one who is feeling blockage in the chest with mucus be diagnosed
Essy Reply
be talking sepitol every morning
Ikenna
is that all?
Ven.phumie
What is prions
Sangeeta Reply
is tuberculosis a viral infection?
hildar Reply
No. It is a Bacterial Infection.
Orooj
what are zn staining
Evelyn Reply
full meaning zeil neelson staining
kezia
By using zn stain we diagnose / examine acid fast bacilli .
Deepak
explain hw bacteria grows
Kanyago Reply
Hw does bacteria grow?
Kanyago
Binary fission
Sangeeta
three successive phase comes in bacteria growth i.e lag phase/adaptation phase ,log phase/exponential phase ,death phase when it is in fermentation process .
Deepak
introduction to virology
Dongyile Reply
is the study of virus
FADAYOMI
Virology
Sangeeta
study of virus which can be seen by using electron microscope i.e below 1micron in size . It requires a host cell to multiply own number to proliferate itself .
Deepak
what are some five benefits of studying microbiology
Joyce Reply
please I'm waiting for answers
Joyce
microbio is very important! 1.) microbes thought to have evolved into our cells 2.) they keep us healthy 3.) they can cause disease and illness 4.) good for bioremediation 5.) show evolution in real time(observable) 6.) make the earth a liveable place (make more o2 than plants)
just
What fields are interesting to study when you are doing your postgraduate degree
Noxolo
what is mean by killed vaccine?
Nasira Reply
Heat or formaldehyde inactivated live strain
Number
what is an antimicrobial
Denis Reply
what are eukaryotes
Oenen Reply
a eukaryote is an organism whose cells contain complex structures enclosed within membranes .
Dipali
has a nucleus. prokaryotes don't have a true nucleus.
Tanisha
they are micro-organisms with complex structure or have a nuclear membrane
Irene
It has true nucleus
Sangeeta
how many protons,electrons and neutrons are there in a matter
Y'NOTS Reply
this would depend what matter you're looking at, on top of other variables such as isotopes and isomers. can we have a better picture of what you're trying to identify
Nicolas

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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