Fungal Infections Definition By Medical
Fungal infections definition is a common disease caused by fungi. There are about 1.5 million species of fungi in the world and most are harmless. But there are several types of fungi that have the potential to threaten health.
This type of infection is very common and can be experienced by anyone. However, people with weakened immune systems have a high risk of developing yeast infections. For example, people with HIV/AIDS, people undergoing chemotherapy, corticosteroid users, and patients in the hospital.
Symptoms of a fungal infection are very diverse, depending on the affected body part and the fungus that causes it. Clinical signs of mild mildew infections often appear like normal skin rashes and are common. Meanwhile, fungal infections in the lungs have symptoms similar to flu or tuberculosis.
If there are symptoms that are disturbing and do not go away, see a doctor immediately. Examination and treatment as early as possible will increase the potential for healing as well as prevent serious complications.
The following is a description of the types of fungal infections based on the cause.
This infection is caused by the Aspergilluss fungus. These fungi are often inadvertently inhaled by humans and rarely cause infection. However, people with pulmonary disease or people with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of infection due to this fungus.
There are several types of aspergilosis. Common types are:
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). This infection often affects people with asthma, and cystic fibrosis. Inflammation of the lungs that appear usually accompanied by symptoms of cough, wheezing, sometimes accompanied by fever, and shortness of breath. Steroid drugs will use to decrease the allergic reaction of the immune system to the fungus, while antifungal drugs will be given to kill the fungus.
- Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA). This chronic infection generally occurs in people with lung diseases such as tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or sarcoidosis. Symptoms can include a cough that does not heal, fatigue, shortness of breath, weight loss, and coughing up blood. CPAs will generally be treated with long-term antifungal drugs. If there is aspergilloma (fungus ball) growing in the lungs, surgery steps will be recommended to remove aspergilloma or infected tissue, and prevent bleeding in the lungs.
- Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). People with weakened immune systems are at high risk for experiencing IPA. For example, bone marrow, heart, or lung transplant patients, and people with blood cancer who undergo high-dose chemotherapy. Chest pain, cough, and shortness of breath are symptoms of this infection. Infection that can spread rapidly, usually treated with strong antifungal administration through infusion.
Candidiasis is caused by Candida fungus. Under normal conditions, the fungus does exist on the surface of human skin. Infection can occur when the fungus develops uncontrollably.
These infections commonly appear on the mouth, throat, vagina, or in the bloodstream. Symptoms also vary, depending on the body part of the infection. The example is:
- Oral candidiasis (oral trush). Symptoms generally include white patches on the inside of the mouth and tongue, skin at the corners of the mouth are cracked, redness in the oral cavity, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing.
- Diaper rash with symptoms of red skin on the buttocks, thighs, and around the genitals.
- Candidiasis around the genitals. Indications of fungal infection of the vagina include the extraordinary itching that feels around the vagina, the area around the vagina reddening and stinging, as well as the whitish that clumps like cheese. Meanwhile, symptoms experienced by men can be a red rash on the penis, itching and burning sensation at the tip of the penis, and odor. These infections include sexually transmitted diseases, especially if they occur in partners. Therefore, treatment as soon as possible is very important for infected patients.
If left untreated and left too long, candidiasis can potentially cause the fungus to enter into the bloodstream and trigger infection in the blood (sepsis).
Infants, the elderly, people with chronic diseases (such as diabetes), and drugs (for example, antibiotics) are factors that increase the risk of this infection.
The main treatment for this fungal infection is with antifungal drugs. Maintaining cleanliness will also help the recovery process as well as prevention.
Ringworm is a yeast infection with an incubation period of 4 days to 2 weeks after exposure to fungi. The disease has typical symptoms of a rash-shaped reddish rash with irregular edges, and generally appears on the feet, scalp, and genitals. The rash feels amazingly itchy and potentially spread to other body parts.
Types of antifungal drugs for dealing with ringworm are various and are sold freely. Generally in the form of topical drugs, but there is also a powder. If this infection does not heal despite being treated, you should see a doctor.
Fungal Infections on Nails
Fungal infections are more common in toe nails than fingernails. People with ringworm in the feet, diabetes, or blood circulation disorders are more susceptible to this disease. Likewise with people who have weak immune systems.
Fungal infections of the nails are harmless, but are generally difficult to treat and affect comfort. These infections also rarely cause pain unless the infection is very severe. Infected fungus nails will change color (turn yellow, brown, or white), thickening, and easy to crack and split.
Medical treatment for this infection may include the consumption of antifungal drugs, use of antifungal waxes, or removal of infected nails. The healing process takes years to come.
Cryptococcus neoformans infection
Cryptococcus neoformans infection is most commonly experienced by people with weakened immune systems, especially those with advanced HIV / AIDS. The lungs and central nervous system are part of the body susceptible to this infection.
If it invades the lungs, the symptoms of this infection are similar to the indications of pneumonia in the form of shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, and fever. While C. neoformans infection of the brain will cause meningitis with symptoms of headache, fever, neck pain, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion, and behavioral changes.
This non-infectious infection treatment step depends on the severity of the infection. The use of antifungal drugs for people with C. neoformans infection will generally be recommended for at least 6 months.
Histoplasma-induced infections are generally caused by bird or bat droppings.
The incubation period in histoplasmosis is about 3 days to 2.5 weeks after a person has inhaled histoplasm spores. This infection can trigger symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, chills, headache, chest pain, and aches.
These symptoms will generally disappear within a few weeks or after a month. But if it does not heal or get worse, you should see a doctor. When left unchecked, histoplasmosis has the potential to cause long-term lung infections and spread to the central nervous system. Especially in people with weak immune systems, in infants, as well as adults over 55 years of age.
Handling done with the administration of antifungal drugs is needed to treat pulmonary, chronic, or pulmonary histoplasmosis which has spread from the lungs to other parts of the body. The treatment period of this infection generally takes 3-12 months.
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP)
PCP is caused by the fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii. People with weakened immune systems have a high risk of developing this disease. For example, people living with HIV / AIDS, HIV-exposed and non-infected children, immunosuppressive people, and people with chronic lung disease.
Dry cough, fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue are symptoms of PCP. High-risk people are encouraged to see a doctor if they experience any of these symptoms because they can harm them.
The trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole drug administered to handle PCP should generally be taken for 21 days. These drugs can also trigger side effects such as the appearance of rashes and nausea.
The cause of sporotrichosis is the Sporothrix fungus that is found in soil and plants. Sporotrichosis is divided into 3 types, namely:
- Sporotrichosis skin. This is the most common sporotrichosis. Symptoms are small, red, purple, or pink lumps that do not hurt and grow in the hands. The lump can appear more than one and will grow and become ulcers or wounds that are difficult to heal.
- Sporotrichosis of the lungs with symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
- Sporotrichosis that spreads to other body parts, such as bone, joints, or central nervous system. This type of sporotrichosis usually affects people with weakened immune systems.
Most cases of sporotrichosis are treated with antifungal drugs for several months to 1 year. Especially sporotrichosis of the lungs, people may undergo surgical removal of infected tissue if needed.
People with allergies and asthma are very susceptible to infection due to Cladosporium fungus. This fungus is commonly found in plants, air, or damp spots indoors. For example, on the surface of the wall or carpet. Although rare, this fungus can cause infections of the skin, eyes, sinuses, and brain.