4 Easy Questions on Fungal Diseases in Humans
The Main Fungal Diseases
1. What are the main human diseases caused by fungi?
The main human diseases caused by fungi in immunocompetent patients are coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, paracoccidioidomycosis, or South American blastomycosis, sporotrichosis and onychomycosis (nail mycosis).
In immuno-deficient patients, in addition to the diseases mentioned above, other fungal diseases such as systemic candidiasis, aspergillosis, cryptococcosis and other opportunistic diseases may occur.
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2. Moniliasis is one of the most common opportunistic diseases in AIDS patients. What is the etiological agent of moniliasis and what is the other name for the disease? Why is monilia also common in healthy newborns?
The etiological agent of moniliasis is Candida albicans, a fungus. Moniliasis is also known as mucocutaneous candidiasis. In AIDS, moniliasis can complicate and turn into systemic candidiasis, affecting many organs.
The immune system of newborns does not yet work with complete efficiency and, as a result, they are more susceptible to candidiasis, which generally appears in the mouth and in the genital mucosae, and disappears naturally.
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3. What are some fungal diseases transmitted by animal feces?
Bat and pigeon feces can carry Histoplasma capsulatum, the fungal agent of histoplasmosis. The infection is transmitted through the inhalation of contaminated dust in places visited by these animals (caves, tunnels, squares, roofs, etc.). Cryptococcosis is another fungal disease transmitted by pigeon feces.
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4. What are some antibiotics used against fungi?
Topical or systemic azoles (such as itraconazole, fluconazole and others), amphotericin B, echinocandins (caspofungin, micafungin), terbinafine and griseofulvin are examples of antifungal drugs.
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