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Introduction to Clinical Mycology

Part One

Fungal Infections: Classification

Slide 8

November 2011

The superficial infections you can remember by just thinking about the fact they involve the keratinized tissue: the hair, the skin, and the nails. The dermatophytes are good examples of those and some others. Subcutaneous infections involve the skin and contiguous subcutaneous tissues that include the lymphatic vessels and most of the infections that are involved in the subcutaneous tissues are acquired by trauma to a sight usually an extremity. Systemic infections can involve any organ system and generally they are caused by certain groups of fungi that have specific geographic niche out of the environment and they live in certain locales within the world that we know where those are and so the clinician asks appropriate questions. The organisms that are involved in this, actually, can infect any organ system and actually do that. The patients may be totally asymptomatic and unaware of this, or they may be very, very ill if they happen to be immunocompromised. And then the last group is a very important one, opportunistic fungal infection. These are infections caused by fungi that normally don’t cause disease in humans. They are environmental floras and if we have a break down of our immune system and we happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, then we acquire these infections and they progress very quickly, particularly in transplant patients. So we need to be aware of what organisms cause these infections.

Fungal Infections: Classification


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