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Common diseases caused by fungi

Thrush (oral yeast), vulvovaginal candidiasis, or monilia (vaginal yeast)

Organism: Candida spp. (yeast)
Predisopsing Cond./Transmission: Oral-during birth; Other-after antibiotic therapy, oral birth control, severe diabetes
Symptoms: White, cheesy growth
Test/Specimen: Swab for KOH prep, culture

Athlete's foot, jock itch, ringworm (tinea)

Organism: Trichophyton spp., Microsporum spp., and others (skin fungi)
Predisposing Cond/Transmission: Opportunish; direct contact; clothing; prolonged exposure to moist enviroment
Symptoms: Hair loss, thickening of skin, nails; itching; red, scaly patches
Test/Specimen: Skin scraping for KOH prep; skin, hair for culture


Organism: Histoplasma capsulatum
Predisposing Cond/Transmission: Inhalation of dust contaminated with bird or bad droppings
Symptoms: Mild, flulike to systemic
Test/Specimen: Serologic; culture of biopsy material


Organism: Cryptococcus neoformans
Predisposing Cond/Transmission: Contact w/poultry droppings
Symptoms: Cough, fever, malaise; can become systemic
Test/Specimen: Sputum culture; cerebrospinal fluid culture, India ink direct examination


Organism: Sporothrix schenckii
Predisposing Cond/Transmission: Farmers, florists, people exposed to soil
Symptoms: Skin lesions that spread along lymphatics; can become systemic
Test/Specimen: Skin scraping for KOH prep; serologic

Pneumocystis pneumonia

Organism: Pneumocystis carinii
Predisposing Cond/Transmission: Widely prevalent in animals; occurs in debilitated or immunosuppressed individuals; common in pt w/AIDS
Symptoms: Pneumonia-like
Test/Specimen: Biopsy of lung tissue w/microscopic exam

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