Introduction

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Mykos: Fungus. Mycoses: A disease caused by a fungus.

о Fungi are eukaryotic organisms. о Cell wall contains chitin. о Cell membrane contains ergosterol.

Introduction
о Most fungi are obligate aerobe, some are facultative anaerobe, but none are anaerobe. о Some fungi reproduce by forming sexual spore & some asexually by forming conidia.

Several Terms
о Yeast: Unicellular, oval to round reproduce by asexual budding. о Mold: Long filaments, multicellular (hyphae). May be septate or nonseptate.

Yeast

Structure of a Mushroom

Terminology

Pseudohyphae – “Hyphae” formed by “budding” yeasts when the buds do not separate from the mother cell. Mycelium – A term describing the “network” of hyphae.

Terminology

Dimorphism: Capable of growing in mold or yeast form under different environmental conditions. Several medically important fungi are thermally dimorphic; Molds in environment & yeast in human.

Reproduction of fungus
Asexual: Spores: Arthrospore, Chlamydospore, Blastospore, Sporangiospore. Budding (yeast): New cell grows on mature cell then breaks off. Sexual: Mating: Hyphae of 2 fungi grow together and exchange genetic material. Spores: Zygospore, Ascospore, Basidiospore.

Importance of fungi

Harmful:
Diseases in plants and animals, Toxins.

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Useful: Primarily decomposers – return organic matter to the soil. Used to produce antibiotics like penicillin. Used for food – Pizza, Beer, wine, Bread, mushrooms, yeast.

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Risk Factors for Fungal Infections
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Trauma to the skin. Diabetes & immunocompromised (older pts., steroid use, HIV infection). Poor nutrition. Restrictive footwear. Sports participation. Living in a warm, moist climate.

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Fungal Toxin
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Fungal toxin includes: Amanitin & phaloidin – Produced by amanita mushrooms are potent hepatotoxic. Alkaloids (ergotamine & diethylamide) – Produced by Claviceps purpura causes vascular & neurologic effects. Aflatoxin – Produced by Aspergillus flavus cause liver damage and hepatic carcinoma.

LABORATORY DIAGNOSIS

Direct microscopic examination: Gram stain, potassium hydroxide (10% KOH), calcofluor white, India ink prperation. Culture: Sabouraud dextrose agar. DNA probe. Serology.

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Antifungal drugs
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Antifungal drugs includes: Amphotericin B: Disrupts cell membrane. Azoles (Fluconazole, ketoconazole, itrakonazole, miconazole etc. inhibits ergosterol synthesis. Nystatin – Used topically for candida infection.