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General Practice 2023

Blastomycosis: what é, symptoms, types and treatment

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Blastomycosis: what é, symptoms, types and treatment
Blastomycosis: what é, symptoms, types and treatment

Blastomycosis, also known as South American blastomycosis, is an infectious disease caused by the inhalation of spores of the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis, which can affect the lungs or spread through the bloodstream, giving rise to the disseminated or extrapulmonary form. of the disease.

The transmission of blastomycosis occurs through the inhalation of the fungus spores that are dispersed in the air, which, when entering the respiratory tract, take refuge in the lungs, where they grow and cause inflammation. Blastomyces dermatitidis is considered an opportunistic fungus, and infection can occur both in people who are carriers of diseases that compromise the immune system, as well as in people who are he althy, as long as they have a decrease in the immune system due to any factor, such as stress or cold, for example. example.

Pulmonary blastomycosis, which is the most frequent form of blastomycosis, is curable as long as treatment is started as soon as possible, otherwise the fungus can multiply easily and reach other organs, such as skin, bone and nervous system, and can cause death.

Main symptoms

The symptoms of blastomycosis are related to where the fungus is located. The most common form of blastomycosis is pulmonary, in which the fungus is lodged in the lungs, which can cause the following symptoms:

  • Fever;
  • Dry cough or with car;
  • Chest pain;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Chills;
  • Excessive sweating.

In the presence of signs and symptoms possibly indicative of blastomycosis, it is important that the general practitioner or infectious disease specialist be consulted, so that the diagnosis can be made and the most appropriate treatment initiated.

The diagnosis of blastomycosis is made by the physician based on the evaluation of symptoms, the result of the chest X-ray and laboratory tests, in which the fungal structures must be microscopically observed for the infection to be confirmed.

Types of blastomycosis

When the fungus reaches the bloodstream, it is possible for it to reach other organs and systems more easily, resulting in the appearance of more specific signs and symptoms. Thus, according to the place where the fungus is found, it is possible to classify blastomycosis into some types, the main ones being:

  • Cutaneous blastomycosis, in which the fungus reaches the skin and leads to the appearance of single or multiple lesions on the skin, which as they grow, form atrophied scars;
  • Osteoarticular blastomycosis, which happens when the fungus affects bones and joints, leaving the site swollen, hot and tender;
  • Genital blastomycosis, which is characterized by genital lesions and is more common in men, and there may be swelling of the epididymis and increased sensitivity of the prostate, for example;
  • Blastomycosis Nervosa, in which the fungus reaches the central nervous system and causes abscesses and, if left untreated, can result in meningitis.

The development of these types is indicative that the infection is at a more advanced stage, which can make treatment more complicated and increase the chances of complications. Therefore, it is essential that the doctor is consulted as soon as the first symptoms of blastomycosis appear.

How the treatment is done

The treatment of blastomycosis is done according to the general state of he alth of the person and the severity of the disease. Typically, patients who are not considered critically ill are treated with oral Itraconazole.However, for people whose disease is at a more advanced stage or who have a contraindication for the use of Itraconazole, the doctor may recommend the use of Amphotericin B.

Prevention of blastomycosis is not always possible, as the spores of the fungi circulate easily in the air. Areas near rivers, lakes and swamps are areas where this type of fungus often exists.

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