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Fungal Infections

  • Raíssa Londero Chemello
  • Rafaella Daboit Castagna
  • Taciana Cappelletti
  • Juliana Mazzoleni Stramari
Chapter

Abstract

Superficial mycoses are fungal infections of the skin, hairs, and nails that invade only the stratum corneum and the most superficial layers of the skin, and include dermatophytoses, tinea versicolor, candidiasis, tinea nigra, and piedras (white and black). Dermatophytosis, also known as tinea, is a superficial fungal infection of the stratum corneum, nails, and hair, caused by dermatophytes, and includes three genera: Trichophyton sp., Microsporum sp., and Epidermophyton sp. Pityriasis versicolor, or tinea versicolor, is a common superficial fungal infection of the skin caused by Malassezia yeasts that presents as flaky round or oval macular elements, usually located in the upper aspects of the trunk, neck, and arms. Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by any of the species from the genera Candida, which includes about 150 different species of yeast, among which C. albicans is the most common causative species, accounting for up to 80% of cases. Subcutaneous mycoses include a heterogeneous group of infections that often result from direct penetration of the fungus into the skin through trauma. Systemic mycosis is characterized by infections caused by truly pathogenic fungi as well as those produced by fungi with small intrinsic pathogenicity, enhanced by immunocompromised hosts. In the majority of cases, the respiratory tract may be the first site of entry; fungi then usually spread hematogenously to other organs.

Keywords

Superficial mycosis Tineas Dermatophytosis Pityriasis versicolor Candidiasis Subcutaneous mycosis Sporotrichosis Chromoblastomycosis Systemic mycosis Paracoccidioidomycosis 

Notes

Glossary

Anthropophilic (dermatophytes)

Restricted to human hosts, produce a mild, chronic inflammation.

Cytokine

Any of a class of immunoregulatory proteins such as interleukin or interferon that are secreted by cells, especially of the immune system.

Ectothrix

A fungus that grows inside the shaft of a hair but produces a conspicuous external sheath of spores.

Endothrix

Dermatophyte infections of the hair that invade the hair shaft and internalize in the hair cell.

Folliculitis

Common skin condition whereby hair follicles become inflamed, usually caused by a bacterial or fungal infection.

Geophilic (dermatophytes)

Usually recovered from the soil, occasionally infect humans and animals; they cause a marked inflammatory reaction.

Hyperkeratosis

Hypertrophy of the corneous layer of the skin.

Hypha (plural form hyphae)

Name of the long, individual pieces that comprise a mycelium, overall a fungus; often described as strings and thread-like filaments.

Keratinocyte

The predominant cell type in the epidermis.

Kerion

The most severe form of tinea capitis, characterized by an abscess-like deep infection of the scalp. Clinically it is seen a boggy, indurated, tumor-like mass that exudes pus.

Leukonychia

White spotting, streaking, or discoloration of the fingernails.

Mycelium

Mass of hyphae that forms the body of a multicellular fungus; it enables either sexual or asexual reproduction of fungi.

Onycholysis

Spontaneous separation of the nail plate, usually starting at the distal free margin and progressing proximally; the nail plate is separated from the underlying and/or lateral supporting structures.

Onychodystrophy

Widely used, yet rarely defined term; it describes any kind of irregular difference in the nail, apart from modifications in color (called nail dyschromia).

Spore

Specialized cell of the fungus that can function as resting or dispersal propagules; each spore has the capacity to generate another individual of the species.

Zoophilic (dermatophyte)

Found primarily in animals, it causes marked inflammatory reactions in humans who have contact with infected cats, dogs, cattle, horses, birds, or other animals.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raíssa Londero Chemello
    • 1
  • Rafaella Daboit Castagna
    • 1
  • Taciana Cappelletti
    • 2
  • Juliana Mazzoleni Stramari
    • 3
  1. 1.Service of Dermatology, Federal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Hospital Universitário de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  3. 3.Federal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil

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