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North American blastomycosis (Gilchrist's disease)

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.

Treatment -
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.

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