About european blastomycosis

What is european blastomycosis?

Cryptococcosis is caused by a fungus known as Cryptococcosis neoformans. The infection may be spread to humans through contact with pigeon droppings or unwashed raw fruit. Contact with an infected individual may also spread the infection. Individuals with disorders characterized by lowered immunity (for instance, HIV infection) are at high risk for contracting these infections.

Cryptococcosis may appear in various forms depending on how the infection is acquired. In most cases, the infection begins in the lungs (pulmonary form) and may then spread to the brain, urinary tract, skin, and/or bones (disseminated form). When the infection is limited to the lungs, symptoms may be minimal or not apparent at all. Respiratory symptoms may include coughing and chest pain. When the infection spreads, it tends to seek out the central nervous system, especially the brain. In some affected individuals, inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) may occur as a serious complication. Symptoms associated with meningitis may include dizziness, blurred vision, severe headache, and/or stiffness of the neck. In such cases, immediate treatment is essential to help prevent potentially life-threatening complications.

What are the symptoms for european blastomycosis?

Night sweats symptom was found in the european blastomycosis condition

Blastomycosis is an infectious disease characterized by fever, chills, headaches, chest pain, weight loss, night sweats, cough, and/or difficulty breathing (dyspnea). Some affected individuals do not experience these symptoms although they are actively infected (asymptomatic). Muscle and joint Pain may occur during the acute stage which typically lasts less than three weeks. The disease may resolve on its own or persist into the chronic form of the infection. Chronic Blastomycosis, which lasts more than three weeks, may affect the lungs, skin, bones, joints, genitourinary tract, and/or central nervous system.

Involvement of the skin is very common in individuals with Blastomycosis. Wart-like (verrucous) and small raised pus-filled (papulopustular) lesions are common. They may be violet colored and have very small abscesses around the borders of the lesions. Nodular lesions may be present under the skin (subcutaneous) and are usually accompanied by active fungal infection of the lungs.

When Blastomycosis affects the lungs, which are common sites of fungal involvement, it usually takes the form of chronic pneumonia. Symptoms may include a cough ccompanied by thick sputum, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and/or rapid heartbeat. In some severe cases of Blastomycosis, Respiratory Distress Syndrome may develop, characterized by excessive deep and rapid breathing (hyperventilation) and insufficient levels of oxygen in the circulating blood (hypoxemia). Affected individuals typically require mechanical ventilation to assist breathing. (For more information on this disorder, choose “Respiratory Distress” as your search term in the Rare Disease Database.)

Blastomycosis may also affect the bones and cause lesions that destroy bone tissue (osteolytic). The ribs, vertebrae of the spine, and the long bones of the arms and legs are most frequently involved. In many cases these lesions are painless but may develop an overlying abscess.

Involvement of the urogenital tract is common in males with Blastomycosis. In about 30 percent of cases, the prostate gland and the tubes that carry sperm from the testes (epididymis) are infected by the fungus. Symptoms may include inflammation, swelling, and/or Pain in the groin. Involvement of the central nervous system, liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract, thyroid, adrenal glands, and other organs has also been reported in chronic cases of Blastomycosis.

What are the causes for european blastomycosis?

Blastomycosis is a rare infectious disease caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis. This fungus grows and is inhaled through mold spores. In the body the fungus converts to yeasts and invades the lungs. It travels throughout the body through the blood. Blastomycosis usually affects people with a compromised immune system.

What are the treatments for european blastomycosis?

The treatment of choice for both acute and chronic forms of Blastomycosis, especially those involving the central nervous system, is the oral administration of the antibiotic drug amphotericin B. If the disease is mild to moderate, then ketoconazole may be the drug of choice. Prolonged therapy may be necessary in some cases and relapses may occur. When the central nervous system is involved, the drug amphotericin B is usually administered. Affected individuals who cannot tolerate amphotericin B may be treated with hydroxystilbamidine isethionate. This drug is difficult to administer and may have various side effects. Other treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Other newer antifungal drugs such as fluconazole and itraconazole appear to be effective for the treatment of mild or moderate cases.

What are the risk factors for european blastomycosis?

Blastomycosis affects males and females in equal numbers. The organism that causes this disease (Blastomyces dermatitidis) is most common (endemic) in the south central and southeastern portions of the United States. It may also be found around the perimeter of the Great Lakes, and along the St. Lawrence River in Canada. Blastomycosis has also been reported in Mexico, the Middle East, Africa, India, and South and Central America.

The natural habitat of this fungus is unclear but it is suspected to come from the soil. Farmers, construction workers, and others who work with soil appear to be at increased risk for Blastomycosis. Also at increased risk for severe chronic Blastomycosis are individuals who have a compromised immune system such as people with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), these taking medications that suppress the immune system, and the elderly.

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