Encyclopedia

Blastomycosis

Blastomycosis is a fungal disease characterized by a deep involvement of the human organism, which begins by infecting the lungs and then spreads throughout the body.

Ulcers form in the affected tissues, which are involved in the purulent process, the adrenal glands, the prostate, the meninges, the liver, the sexual organs, the skeletal system are most often affected.

The disease is widespread throughout North America and throughout Africa. The causative agent of blastomycosis multiplies most rapidly in moist environmental conditions, therefore it is most often found in large river basins, near lakes and dams.

Fungal infection is more common in young and middle-aged people. Men suffer more often, approximately 10 times more cases than women.

They are also at risk of developing the disease if they have:

• Immune deficiency:

– Infection with the HIV virus;
– People who are undergoing chemotherapy;
– People in the post-transplant period who are taking medications to suppress immunity;
• Chronic diseases in stage of decompensation;
• Diabetes mellitus;
• Sarcoidosis;
• Hypothyroidism;

Factors for the development of this type of fungal infection:

• Population in areas where the disease is endemic;
• Farmers;
• Agricultural workers;
• Tourists;
• Hunters;
• Mushroom pickers;
• Fishermen;

With timely diagnosis and appointment of correct treatment, this type of fungal infection is subject to complete cure and passes without any consequences for the body as a whole.

The fatal outcome without treatment of the disease occurs in 80-95% of cases. Blastomycosis recurs in 10% of cases.

What are the causes?

The cause of the disease is Blastomyces dermatitidis. This type of fungus in different environments looks different, that is, it shows polymorphism.

In the environment, it is in the form of mycelial threads, and when it enters the human body, it turns into yeast-like cells with a diameter of 10 microns, with a thick capsule reaching a width of 1 micron.

Inside the human body, this type of fungus multiplies by budding.
Infection with blastomycosis takes place by air-droplet route, less often by contact with infected objects, especially if there is a previous violation of the integrity of the skin. From person to person, this type of fungal infection can only be transmitted sexually.

The source of infection is infected soil, sand, fungal spores in water.
The incubation period lasts from 1 week to 4 months, on average about 45 days.

Everything depends on the state of the person’s immune system and the amount of fungus that has penetrated the body.

Most often, the causative agent of the disease enters the body through the respiratory system, in the lungs this type of fungus divides many times and subsequently spreads through the circulatory and lymphatic systems throughout the body, penetrating to the greatest extent in the following organs.< /p>

• The skin;
• The skeletal system;
• The central nervous system;
• Reproductive organs;
• The adrenal glands;

What are the symptoms?

In the beginning of the disease, the patients initially report symptoms related to intoxication of the body due to the increase in the volume of the products of the metabolism of the fungus.

• Increase in body temperature – up to 39-40 degrees Celsius;
• Lack of appetite;
• Vomiting of intestinal contents;
• Weight loss;

Treatment of blastomycosis

For a mild form of the infection, intraconazole or ketoconazole is prescribed for several months, usually 4-6.
In more severe forms, antifungal preparations are administered immediately internally as amphotericin B is most often used.

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