Fungi can cause deadly lung infections, study finds

Credit: Unsplash+.

A recent study from Washington University in St. Louis has found that three types of fungi that cause serious lung infections, once thought to be confined to certain regions of the United States, have now become widespread across the country.

The study found that Histoplasma fungi, which causes histoplasmosis infections, were originally thought to be primarily found in Midwest soil and in parts of the East and South.

However, the study’s analysis of Medicare records from 2007 through 2016 revealed that 47 states and Washington, D.C. had cases of histoplasmosis above a certain threshold, indicating that the fungi are much more common than previously thought.

In addition to Histoplasma, the study also found that Coccidioidomycosis cases, caused by Coccidioides fungi, have spread from their original roots in the Southwest to 35 states.

The fungi includes those that cause valley fever, which has been linked to recent wildfires.

Finally, the study found that Blastomyces, primarily found in the Midwest and East in 1955, had spread to 40 states between 2007 and 2016.

The team emphasized that doctors using maps from the 1950s and 1960s may fail to diagnose infections in patients who live outside of the fungi’s historical borders, potentially leading to missed or delayed diagnoses and deadly consequences.

The study’s authors hope that the updated maps will encourage doctors to test for these fungi more often in patients with lung infections.

If you’re interested in maintaining lung health, there are a variety of studies that can provide useful information.

For example, recent research has found that Viagra may be useful in treating lung diseases, while scientists have also discovered a herbal supplement that shows promise in treating lung cancer.

However, it’s also important to be aware of potential risks – another study found that gum disease is linked to impaired lung function, while research has shown that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory illness, but can also cause strokes.

The study was conducted by Andrej Spec and his colleagues, and was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Histoplasma is a type of fungus that is found in soil, particularly soil that contains large amounts of bird or bat droppings.

When the soil is disturbed, the spores of the fungi can be released into the air, where they can be inhaled by humans and animals.

Histoplasma is most commonly found in the central and eastern regions of the United States, particularly in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys.

However, as climate change has altered weather patterns and created conditions that are more favorable for the growth of the fungus, it has become more widespread.

When people inhale Histoplasma spores, they can develop a lung infection called histoplasmosis.

In some cases, the infection can be severe, particularly in people with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of histoplasmosis can include fever, cough, chest pain, and fatigue. In severe cases, the infection can spread from the lungs to other parts of the body, including the brain and spinal cord.

Coccidioides fungi, also known as Valley fever fungi, are a type of fungi that can cause coccidioidomycosis or Valley fever.

These fungi are found in arid and semi-arid areas of the Americas, including the southwestern United States, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America.

The fungi exist in the soil in a filamentous form and can become airborne when the soil is disturbed, such as during construction, farming, or natural disasters like dust storms or earthquakes.

When people inhale the fungal spores, they can develop Valley fever, which can range from mild flu-like symptoms to severe pneumonia.

Symptoms usually appear one to three weeks after exposure and include cough, fever, chest pain, chills, and fatigue.

Most people recover from Valley fever without treatment, but in some cases, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause more severe illness, such as meningitis or disseminated coccidioidomycosis.

Blastomyces is a genus of fungi that can cause blastomycosis, a serious fungal infection that primarily affects the lungs and skin.

Blastomyces fungi are found in soil, particularly in regions with moist soil that contains decomposing organic matter.

Humans can become infected by inhaling spores of the fungi, which can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and fatigue.

In severe cases, blastomycosis can lead to pneumonia, skin lesions, and even death. Blastomycosis is rare, but it can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to those of other respiratory illnesses.

Treatment for blastomycosis typically involves antifungal medications.

If you care about lung health, please read studies about why Viagra may be useful in treating lung diseases, and scientists find herbal supplements to treat lung cancer.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about gum disease linked to impaired lung function, and results showing  COVID-19 is not just a respiratory illness, it can cause strokes too.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.