fungal infection


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Related to fungal infection: fungal diseases

fungal infection,

infection caused by a fungus (see FungiFungi
, kingdom of heterotrophic single-celled, multinucleated, or multicellular organisms, including yeasts, molds, and mushrooms. The organisms live as parasites, symbionts, or saprobes (see saprophyte).
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), some affecting animals, others plants.

Fungal Infections of Human and Animals

Many fungal infections, or mycoses, of humans and animals affect only the outer layers of skin, and although they are sometimes difficult to cure, they are not considered dangerous. Athlete's foot and ringwormringworm
or tinea
, superficial eruption of the skin caused by a fungus, chiefly Microsporum, Trichophyton, or Epidermophyton. Any area of the skin may be affected, including the scalp and nails, but the most common site is the feet.
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 are among the common superficial fungal infections. Fungal infections of the mucous membranes are caused primarily by Candida albicans (see candidiasiscandidiasis
, infection caused by fungi of the genus Candida; also called moniliasis after a former name of the genus. The most common forms of candidiasis, caused by C.
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). It usually affects the mouth (see thrushthrush,
in medicine, infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans, manifested by white, slightly raised patches on the mucous membrane of the tongue, mouth, and throat. The mucous membrane beneath the patches is usually raw and bleeding.
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) and the vaginal and anal regions.

The fungi that affect the deeper layers of skin and internal organs are capable of causing serious, often fatal illness. Sporotrichosis is an infection of farmers, horticulturists, and others who come into contact with plants or mud. The disease affects the skin and lymphatic system and, in rare cases, becomes disseminated. Blastomycosis is caused by a yeastlike fungus that reproduces by budding. The North American variety, caused by Blastomycosis dermatitidis, occurs more often in men and seems to be limited to the central and E United States and Canada. Wartlike lesions appear most often on the skin, sometimes spreading to the bones and other organs. The South American variety of blastomycosis is caused by B. brasiliensis. Chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is a deadly fungal skin infection in amphibians, which it kills by damaging to the animals' normally permeable skin, thus disrupting the transport of air and moisture.

Among the fungi that infect the deeper tissues is Coccidioides immitis, which causes coccidioidomycosiscoccidioidomycosis
, systemic fungus disease (see fungal infection) endemic to arid regions of the Americas, contracted by inhaling dust containing spores of the fungus Coccidioides immitis.
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, sometimes called valley fever, a lung infection that is prevalent in the SW United States. Cryptococcosis is another fungus disease that may be localized in the lung or disseminated, especially to the central nervous system. It has a worldwide distribution, affecting men twice as often as women. The causative agent (Cryptococcus neoformans) has been isolated in pigeon excretions. Histoplasmosis, which is caused by spores of the fungal genus Histoplasma, is a severe infection that shows varied symptoms. In acute cases ulcers of the pharynx and enlargement of the liver and spleen are present. In other forms tubercularlike lesions of the lung occur. In its benign form no symptoms may be present.

Fungal infections sometimes follow the use of antibiotics, which kill nonpathogenic as well as pathogenic bacteriabacteria
[pl. of bacterium], microscopic unicellular prokaryotic organisms characterized by the lack of a membrane-bound nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. Once considered a part of the plant kingdom, bacteria were eventually placed in a separate kingdom, Monera.
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, thereby providing a free field in the body for fungal invasion. Opportunistic fungal infection occurs when a fungus enters a compromised host, as in the case of such diseases as AIDSAIDS
or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,
fatal disease caused by a rapidly mutating retrovirus that attacks the immune system and leaves the victim vulnerable to infections, malignancies, and neurological disorders. It was first recognized as a disease in 1981.
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. Treatment for fungal infections includes systemic antifungal agents, such as amphotericin Bamphotericin B
, antibiotic that halts the growth of several disease-causing fungi. Discovered in 1956, it is produced by bacteria of the genus Streptomyces. It is used in lotion or ointment form to treat fungal infections of the skin and is given internally only to
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, fluconazole, and itraconazole, and agents usually used topically, such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin) and miconazole (Monistat).

Fungal Infections of Plants

Serious damage is done to crops each year by fungal infections of plants such as smutssmut,
name for an order of parasitic fungi (Ustilaginales) and the various diseases of plants caused by them. Smuts produce sootlike masses of spores on the host. The spore masses may break up into a dustlike powder readily scattered by wind (loose smuts) or remain more or less
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, rustsrust,
in botany, name for various parasitic fungi of the order Uredinales and for the diseases of plants that they cause. Rusts form reddish patches of spores on the host plant. About 7,000 species are known.
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, ergotsergot
, disease of rye and other cereals caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea. The cottony, matlike body, or mycelium, of the fungus develops in the ovaries of the host plant; it eventually turns into a hard pink or purple body, the sclerotium, or ergot, that resembles
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, and mildewsmildew,
name for certain fungi and protists, for the diseases they cause in various crops, and for the discoloration (and sometimes the weakening and disintegration) they cause in such materials as leather, fabrics, and paper.
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. Dutch elm disease, a disease that has seriously depleted the number of elmelm,
common name for the Ulmaceae, a family of trees and shrubs chiefly of the Northern Hemisphere. Elm trees (genus Ulmus) have a limited use as hardwoods for timber, especially the rock or cork elm (U. thomasi).
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 trees in the United States, is caused by the fungus Ceratostomella ulmi. Such diseases are usually fought with fungicidesfungicide
, any substance used to destroy fungi. Some fungi are extremely damaging to crops (see diseases of plants), and others cause diseases in humans and other animals (see fungal infection).
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 or by developing resistant plants. See also diseases of plantsdiseases of plants.
Most plant diseases are caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Although the term disease is usually used only for the destruction of live plants, the action of dry rot and the rotting of harvested crops in storage or transport is similar to the rots
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.

References in periodicals archive ?
As heart patients are the most sensitive of all, we had to postpone the surgeries and ensure that the fungal infection is taken out from the root," he added.
Laurence Von Kalm, a UCF biologist who worked on the study said that their study showed that a biochemical pathway needed to fight fungal infections is seriously compromised in the flies after space flight.
Fungal infections historically have been underrecognized and difficult to detect, and treatment options are poor.
Dr Mike Bromley, NOFUN Project Coordinator from The Manchester Fungal Infection Group at The University of Manchester, added “We are delighted that this project has been funded and it confirms The University of Manchester as a centre of excellence in fungal biology and disease.
The fungal infection in question is commonly called zygomycosis, though formally it is being called mucormycosis.
The team, headed by Dr Ahmed Al Emaadi, Technical Director and ENT Head at the hospital, performed the surgery to remove a persisting fungal infection for a UAE national who had been transferred from Al Qassimi Hospital.
We had to treat the track for a fungal infection that was identified towards the end of the week before last," said Stickels.
The aim of this report is to emphasize the importance of chest pain as an initial complaint of pulmonary fungal infection and the superiority of pulmonary computerized tomography (CT) scanning over plain chest X-rays in the detection of pulmonary fungal involvement, which enables early diagnosis and treatment in these immunologically compromised patients.
Fungal infections of the feet are common and give rise to areas of cracked, itchy, sore skin.
Interviewed physicians regard isavuconazole as a highly promising new antifungal, and we forecast the agent to be an important driver in the severe fungal infection market through 2017," said Jose Avalos, Ph.
Hole lot of bother: Smelly belly button may be fungal infection
A new study suggests that sepsis brought on by a fungal infection is less lethal in people taking cholesterol-lowering pills called statins than in those not getting the drugs.