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Many fungi in the environment cause disease in severely compromised human hosts. Accordingly, the range of potential pathogenic fungi has increased as the number of immunosuppressed individuals (persons with AIDS, patients receiving chemotherapy or transplant rejection therapy, etc.) has increased.
Few fungal diseases can be diagnosed clinically; most are diagnosed by isolating and identifying the infecting fungus in the clinical laboratory.
Detection of fungi in clinical specimens
Positive slides are reported as 1 or more of the following: yeast or hyphae present, organism resembling Blastomyces dermatitidis, Histoplasma capsulatum, Coccidioides immitis, Cryptococcus neoformans, or Malassezia furfur.
No significant cautionary statements
Lockhart SR, Diekema DJ, and Pfaller MA: The epidemiology of fungal infections. In Clinical Mycology. EJ Anaissie, MR McGinnis, MA Pfaller, eds. Second edition. Elsevier, Inc, 2009, pp 1-14