• Carol A. KauffmanEmail author
Part of the Infectious Disease book series (ID)


Sporotrichosis is a subacute to chronic mycotic infection of skin and subcutaneous tissues. The causative agent, Sporothrix schenckii, is a dimorphic fungus that exists as a mold in the environment and as a yeast in the tissues. S. schenckii is not a single species, but rather a complex of at least six phylogenetically different organisms. In the environment, S. schenckii is found in sphagnum moss, decaying wood, vegetation, hay, and soil. Infection occurs when a person is exposed to an environmental source, and the organism is inoculated through the skin. Outbreaks of sporotrichosis have been traced back to contaminated wood, sphagnum moss, and hay. A large continuing outbreak in Rio de Janeiro is associated with zoonotic transmission from infected cats.

The most common manifestation of sporotrichosis is lymphocutaneous or localized cutaneous infection. Pulmonary sporotrichosis mimics reactivation tuberculosis and occurs most often in those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Osteoarticular sporotrichosis is uncommon and is found most often in middle-aged men who are alcoholics. Disseminated and meningeal sporotrichosis are very uncommon; almost all patients have cellular immune deficiencies, and most cases are in persons with AIDS. Most patients who have sporotrichosis can be successfully treated with oral itraconazole although saturated solution of potassium iodide (SSKI) is still used in some developing countries. Those patients who have disseminated infection, meningitis, or severe pulmonary involvement should be treated initially with an intravenous amphotericin B formulation before transitioning to itraconazole.


Sporotrichosis Sporothrix schenckii Cat-associated sporotrichosis Lymphocutaneous infection Itraconazole SSKI Amphotericin B 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Infectious Diseases Section, Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Internal MedicineUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA

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