Fungal Diseases: Endemic Mycoses

by Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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    Hello and welcome to Fungal Diseases: Endemic Mycoses. After listening to this lecture, you should be able to name some fungi that cause endemic mycoses. You will be familiar with the pathogenesis and the epidemiology of histoplasmosis and coccidiomycosis. And you'll know which drugs can be used to treat endemic mycoses. Endemic mycoses are diseases caused by fungi that exist in very specific geographical locations, that's why we call them endemic, because the fungi are endemic to certain geographical regions. And the first one I'd like to discuss is histoplasmosis, which is a disease caused by the fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum and a photograph of the organism is shown here. This is a section of tissues containing the yeast form of the organism. And the two organisms we are going to talk about today are dimorphic fungi. They exist filamentous form in the environment, and they transform to the yeast form when they get into a host. Histoplasma is located throughout the central and eastern states of the US; you can find it in parts of Central and South America, parts of Africa, Asia and Australia. It is really geographically limited; you can see there are many parts of the world where it does not occur. The fungus lives in the soil and it particularly likes soil with high nitrogen content and the best way to get high nitrogen, besides adding fertilizer to soil, is to have bird droppings or bat droppings in the soil, because bird and bat excrement has high levels of nitrogen in it. So histoplasma is typically associated with places where we find bird and bat droppings, like caves, where the bats would be, or wherever we keep birds, roosts and coops of various sorts, even old buildings, where pigeons are roosting, you know old building, their...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Fungal Diseases: Endemic Mycoses by Vincent Racaniello, PhD is from the course Fungi. It contains the following chapters:

    • Fungal Diseases: Endemic Mycoses
    • Histoplasmosis
    • Histoplasmosis - Diagnosis
    • Histoplasmosis - Treatment
    • Histoplasmosis - Prevention
    • Coccidiomycosis (Valley Fever)
    • Coccidiomycosis - Diagnosis
    • Coccidiomycosis - Treatment
    • Endemic Mycoses: Learning Outcomes

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. A person with several used ash trays scattered throughout their home.
    2. A construction worker helping demolish an old bank.
    3. A chicken farmer.
    4. A spelunker who maps caves for a local park.
    5. A person who has made a hobby of feeding local pigeons.
    1. Having CD4 positive T-helper lymphocytes.
    2. Having COPD.
    3. Having AIDS.
    4. Being an active smoker.
    5. Being immunosuppressed.
    1. Using enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to grow the active fungus from a urine or serum sample.
    2. Analyzing clinical specimens such as sputum, blood, tissue samples or other body fluids.
    3. Analyzing samples from bone marrow, liver, lung or lymph.
    4. Using enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to look for the fungal antigen.
    5. Looking for the polysaccharide antigen from the cell wall of the fungus in a urine or serum sample.
    1. ...the southwestern United States.
    2. ...the northeastern United States.
    3. ...Sub-Saharan Africa.
    4. ...West Africa.
    5. ...Eastern Europe.
    1. With both fungi, spores are inhaled into the lungs and begin infection there.
    2. Both are carried in bat and bird feces.
    3. Both fungal infections can be transferred through coughing and sneezing from an infected individual.
    4. With both fungi, the presence of functioning macrophages is an essential requirement for growth.
    5. Both fungi are endemic to the same geographic area.
    1. A short term treatment option is to combine fluconazole and amphotericin B.
    2. 1 to 2 years of treatment is required.
    3. Treatment is typically done with itraconazole or fluconazole.
    4. More severe infections require amphotericin B as a part of treatment.
    5. Meningitis caused by coccidia requires treatment with fluconazole and that must continue for the rest of the patient's life.

    Author of lecture Fungal Diseases: Endemic Mycoses

     Vincent Racaniello, PhD

    Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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