North American blastomycosis (Gilchrist's
Blastomycosis is caused by the fungus Blastomyces
dermatitidis. It is a rare but potentially
serious fungal infection. Blastomyces
dermatitidis is found in wood, soil, decaying
leaves and vegetation. It produces infecting
particles or spores only under specific weather
conditions and nutrition.
Blastomycosis cannot be transmitted from
person to person or dog to person (canine
Blastomycosis). People with compromised immunity,
for example HIV or transplant patients, are more
susceptible to Blastomycosis infection.
The person gets infection from inhalation of spores
because of exposure to soil and the lungs get the
infection first. Lung infection may produce no
symptoms. Later patient might show symptoms of flu
like cough, breathlessness, fever, malaisehest pain,
or in serious cases sputum may contain blood.
The infection may spread by blood to the skin, bone,
or other organs. It can lead to large abscesses.
Bones and joints can get involved. The patient can
have bone or joint pain, joint stiffness or muscles
pain. There can be skin involvement showing rashes
or skin lesions. Urogenital system can also get
involved. A progressive disease can lead to multiple
organ system involvement and if not treated properly
can lead to death. In the initial stages, treatment
leads to complete recovery otherwise there are
chances of relapse or disease recurrence. The follow
up is required to detect any recurence.
For Blastomycosis with systemic involvement or
life-threatening Blastomycosis, the drug of choice
is FUNGISOME® a Liposomal Amphotericin B.
In less serious cases or the patients those do not
have central nervous system involvement and who can
take oral medication - FUNGITRACE® (Itraconazole)is
the drug to be administered.