FUNGAL INFECTION AND THE MUST-KNOW FACTS

6 min


Fungal infection is the most common type of infection in different parts of the world. Further, have you ever experienced fungal infections? Is it strange to think about fungus, in the different parts of the body? It’s itchy and uncomfortable, no one likes to talk about these yeast infections. Moreover, these are one of the most common and dangerous infections in the world. Moreover, the incidence of fungal infections increasing worldwide. And also, there are different kinds of fungal species. Hence, this article highlights different kinds of fungal infections and their management, preventive measures, etc.

WHAT IS A FUNGAL INFECTION?

Firstly, yeast infections are caused by a fungus called candida or Monilia. Moreover, this type of fungus usually resides in different parts of our body. And also, more commonly occurs on the skin, vagina, nails, etc.

CAUSES FOR FUNGUS INFECTION:

There are several causes for these infections, which include

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Moist areas in underarms
  • Decreased immunity( immune-compromised patients)

DIFFERENT TYPES OF FUNGAL INFECTIONS:

TYPES OF FUNGAL INFECTIONS
Aspergillosis
Blastomycosis
Candidiasis
Candida Auris
Coccidioidomycosis ( also known as Valley fever)
Candida albicans
Cryptococcus neoformans infection
Cryptococcus gattli infection
Fungal nail infections
Ringworm
Athletes foot
Paracoccidiooidomycosis
Histoplasmosis
Invasive candidiasis
Pneumocystis pneumonia
Mucormycosis ( also known as the black fungus)
Talaromycosis
Sporotrichosis
And, mycetoma

IMPORTANT TYPES OF FUNGUS INFECTION:

ASPERGILLOSIS:


Firstly, aspergillosis is a group of diseases caused by aspergillus fungus. Further, this condition is most commonly seen in immune-compromised individuals. Moreover, this type of fungus is most commonly found as mold type of fungi. Further, it usually affects the respiratory system. These type of fungal spores when enters the respiratory system triggers the allergic response.
Moreover, the signs and symptoms include fever, allergic responses, fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, etc.
The various types of Aspergillosis include:

  • Pulmonary type ( commonly occurs in asthmatic patients)
  • Invasive Aspergillosis
  • Aspergilloma
  • Cutaneous type
  • Allergic bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ASPA)

BLASTOMYCOSIS:


Also called North American Blastomycosis. This type of fungal infection is caused by Blastomyces dermatitis. Further, the symptom includes fever, cough, night sweats, weight loss, fatigue, etc. And also, the symptoms usually occur after three weeks of inhalation of spores. This disease is more prevalent in the eastern United States and is termed an endemic disease in the country. Further, occurs more commonly in people who have suppressed immunity. And also diseases like AIDS, HIV, etc. Moreover, there are high chances of death, about 25-40%.

CANDIDA AURIS:


It’s one of the emerging fungus infections. Further, the species Candida Auris causes this. And also, this type of fungus grows as yeast. Moreover, this infection is a hospital-acquired one. Also, candida Auris is a highly invasive pathogen and has a high mortality rate. Usually, candidiasis spreads superficially. But this type spreads through the bloodstream. Further, in a recent study, they found that this type of infection is more commonly seen in ICU patients. Due to the common use of IV catheters etc. Moreover, this is an emerging multidrug-resistant fungus spreading rapidly across the world. And also, the symptoms include chills and fever etc.

COCCOIDIOMYCOSIS:


Also called valley fever. Coccidioides causes coccidiomycosis. Further, this fungus is found in the soil of the southwestern United States and Mexico etc. Moreover, people get infected by inhalation of the spores of the fungi. Characterized by fever, chills, fatigue, headache, night sweats, joint pain, rashes in the chest, arms, etc. And also, types include acute and chronic, and disseminated types. And also, commonly known as community-acquired pneumonia in endemic areas of the United States.

CANDIDA ALBICANS:

Candida Albicans causes candidiasis. This fungus usually lives on the skin, mouth, throat, gut, vagina, etc. Moreover, if grown out of control can result in deeper infection. However, it can occur as invasive candidiasis, vaginal candidiasis, infection in the throat, mouth, etc.

ATHLETE’S FOOT:


Also called tinea pedis. It’s a contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. Commonly seen in athletes’ foot hence the name. Caused by fungus tinea pedis. This fungus usually lives in a warm and moist environment. Moreover, factors like wearing the closed shoes, sharing shocks, or shoes with the infected person. So, allows direct contact of the fungus into the foot. Further, it’s characterized by severe itching, stinging odour, blisters on feet, discoloured skin, etc.

MUCORMYCOSIS:


Also called zygomycosis or the black fungus. The Mucor group of fungi cause mucormycosis. Moreover, this infection was commonly seen in covid 19 patients as a post covid feature. Also, more commonly occurs in immune-compromised patients and diabetic patients.

RINGWORM:

Also known as dermatophytosis. Further, it’s a contagious fungal infection affecting the scalp and skin. It’s characterized by red itchy patches or scaly patches, blisters, etc.

TYPE OF RINGWORM OTHER NAME FEATURE
Ringworm of the scalpTinea capitisIt occurs as scaly, itchy patches in the scalp.
Ringworm of bodyTinea corporisIt appears as round ring-shaped patches
Ringworm of the groin areaJock itchPresent in the groin, inner thighs, etc. And also, more common in young males.

TREATMENT FOR FUNGAL INFECTIONS:

• After the confirmation of fungal infections, usually anti-fungal medications are given. The topical antifungal medications include clotrimazole, itraconazole, etc.
• Antibiotics tablets like amphotericin B, nystatin are also given. Also, based on the severity of the fungus.
• And, along with the medications, it’s mandatory to take certain hygienic measures.

HYGIENIC MEASURES AFTER FUNGAL INFECTIONS:

  • Avoid using common bath towels, soaps, etc. try to use separate ones, infected persons’ things can be a path for transmission of fungus. And also, do not share your combs.
  • Further, in the case of athletic persons do not share your shoes, socks with others.
  • Try to wash your clothes with hot water every day. Therefore, this might reduce the friction of the fungus to the body surface. And also, iron and use your clothes every day. The heat might remove the fungus.
  • Moist skin is one of the main causes of this infection. Keep your skin dry. Consult dermatologists for moisturizers etc.
  • Moreover, don’t use tightly closed shoes
  • Take anti-fungal medications regularly. Therefore, only regular usage will prevent fungus infection.
  • There is a high chance of recurrence of infection. Therefore, prevent fungal infections with proper measures.

CONCLUSION:

To sum up, fungi are types of yeast present with spores. Also, inhalation of spores or direct contact can result in infection. The different types of fungus are present everywhere. Hence, with proper measures, this can be prevented.


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Dr Shalini S.G
I am a dental surgeon. I love travelling and listening to music and a passionate person in research and doing lots of presentation. My area of interest is pathology, diagnosis and forensics.