Fungal infections

Morphologically, fungi can be grouped into two major categories:
I Yeasts, which reproduce by budding
2 Moulds, which grow by branching and longitudinal extensions of hyphae Dimorphic fungi are those that behave as yeasts in the host but as moulds in vitro, e.g. Histoplasma and Sporothrix. Despite the fact that fungi are ubiquitous, systemic fungal infections are uncommon. Fungal infections are transmitted by inhalation of spores or by contact with the skin.
Diseases are usually divided into:
• Systemic
• Subcutaneous
• Superficial
Systemic mycoses are unusual, but opportunistic mycoses can cause disease in immunocompromised patients. Fungi do not produce endotoxin, but exotoxin, e.g. aflatoxin, production has been documented in vitro. Fungi may also produce allergic pulmonary disease. In general, human fungal infections are indolent and respond poorly to treatment. Some fungi such as Candida albicans are human commensals.

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