Epidemiologic and Ecologic Features of Blastomycosis: A Review
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Blastomycosis is a potentially fatal infection caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis, a fungus endemic to North America in areas surrounding the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and the Great Lakes. The clinical manifestations, diagnostic techniques, and treatment strategies for blastomycosis are relatively well-described in the literature; however, the epidemiologic features of disease are not as clearly defined as those of other endemic mycoses, such as histoplasmosis and coccidioidomycosis. We review the ecologic and epidemiologic aspects of B. dermatitidis and blastomycosis, including geographic distribution, environmental niche, seasonality, and possible risk factors.