Mycology - all about fungi

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Information about Mycology - all about fungi
Health & Medicine

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: aashuvj1234



This is a series of lectures on microbiology, useful for undergraduate medical and paramedical students..

MYCOLOGY Dr. Ashish V. Jawarkar M.D.


Mycology Greek – mukes – fungus  Candida was described early as 1839  But fungi were not studied till recently because most infections are mild  After bacterial infection control developed, fungal infections became more common  Fungi cause serious infections in immunosupressed and those on steroid treatment 

BASICS Fungi are eukaryotes  Have multilayered cell wall  Bilayered cell membrane 

Types  Depending on cell morphology Yeasts  Molds  Dimorphic 

Yeast  Unicellular, reproduce by budding

Examples of yeasts Candida  Cryptococcus neoformans  malassezia 


Examples of molds  dermatophytes

Classification according to type of infection Superficial infections  Subcutaneous infections  Systemic infections 

Superficial mycoses Affect skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes  Include  Candidosis  Pityriasis versicolor  Tinea  Pedra  dermatophytosis 

Candidosis Usually superficial – infect skin, nails and mucous membranes  Systemic infection in immunosupressed  Yeast and hyphae – dimorphic fungus 

Lab diagnosis Wet films  Gram stain – budding gram positive cells  Sabourand’s dextrose agar 

Pityriasis versicolor Areas of depigmentation or hyperpigmentation on skin of trunk, abdomen and upper limbs  Diagnosis by skin scrapings – yeasts seen 

Tinea nigra Infection of palms  Black or brownish lesions  Hyphae and budding yeasts on smear  Cultured on SDA, green to black colonies 

Piedra Infection of hair  Irregular nodules on hair shaft 

Dermatophytosis Skin, hair and nails  a/k/a tinea or ring worm  About 40 of them are known  Classified on the basis of type of colony on SDA and spores they produce 


Classification Trichophyton – only micro  microsporum – both micro and macro  Epidermophyton – only macro   Colonies Trichophyton – powdery  Microsporum – cotton like – with pigmentation  Epidermophyton – greenish yellow color 


Epidemiology  Classified into three types accd to source Anthrophilic – human beings eg tinea rubrum  Zoophilic – animals – M canis  Geophilic - soil 

diagnosis  ectothrix KOH mount endothrix

Lab diagnosis  SDA trichophyton

 epidermophyton

 microsporum


Mycetoma Infection of subcutaneous tissue of foot  Reported from Madurai – a/k/a madura foot  Multiple sinuses are seen in foot discharging pus onto surface  Pus contains ‘sulfur granules’ which are colonies of fungi 

Chromoblastomycosis Cauliflower like lesions on lower limb  Fungi are in soil, enter at site of trauma  Seen in bare foot agricultural workers 

 Diagnosis by demostration of sclerotic bodies on histology or KOH mount

SPOROTRICHOSIS Fungus found on thorns  Infection seen in gardeners  Nodules are seen in skin, along lymphatics and lymphnodes  Upper limb  Caused by fungus Sporothrix schenckii 

 Diagnosis by demostration of asteroid bodies

RHINOSPOROIDOSIS Polyps around nose, mouth or eye  Majority cases from Sri lanka  Agent Rhinosporoidium Seeberi 


Systemic mycoses   Affect multiple body systems, usually spread through blood stream Two groups  True pathogens – cause disease in healthy • Histoplasma • Blastomyces • P. marneffei  Oppurtunistic pathogens – cause disease in immunosupressed • Candida • Aspergillus • Zygomycetes  Other • Cryptococcus neoformans

CRYPTOCOCCUS NEOFORMANS Yeast  Found in feces of pigeons/birds  Most often seen in patients with HIV 

Fungus is inhaled  Can cause pneumonia, meningitis, skin ulcers etc.  Diagnosis by demonstration of capsulated budding yeast in CSF/sample  India ink is used to demostrate capsule 

Negative staining – India ink

Histoplasma Grows as mold in nature, yeast in tissues  Most common in USA  In India found in west bengal  Found in bird feces  Inhaled – lung infection, may spread 

Oppurtunistic systemic mycoses

Candidosis Common in immunosupressed  Can affect kidneys, liver, spleen  Diagnosis by blood culture, tissue biopsies 


Enough of negativity……..

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