Coccioidiodal Mycosis Essay.

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HUMAN EUKARYOTIC PATHOGENIC DISEASE..12 POINT FONT..WRITTEN IN NEW TIMES ROMAN..ALL MARGINS SHOULD BE 1 INCH ON ALL SIDES..PAPER SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF 5 COMPLETE PAGES(THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE CHARTS,GRAPHS,PICTURES,OR BIBLIOGRAPHY)..MUST USE 5 DIFFERENT REFERENCES..DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA OR FOUNDATIONS IN MICROBIOLOGY(EIGHTH EDITION)..MUST CITE REFERENCES WITHIN THE BODY OF YOUR TEXT AND CREATE A REFERENCE PAGE..MUST USE APA FORMAT FOR PAPER..MUST HAVE A ABSTRACT PAGE.

 

 

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Coccidioides is a fungus commonly found in the soils of dry, low rainfall areas. It is commonly found in Southwestern United States, Arizona, and Mexico. Also known as the Valley Fever, Coccidioidomycosis has been known to cause pneumonia in the endemic areas. 30% – 60% of the people living in the endemic areas may get exposed to this fungus at one point in their lives. Fauci et al. (2008) classify fungal infections into several categories based on anatomical location, and epidemiology. There two most common epidemiologic categories are opportunistic and endemic. Endemic mycoses like Coccidioidomycosis are caused by fungal organisms, acquired from the environment, and may not be found in human flora. On the other hand, opportunistic infections are caused by organisms found in human microbial flora. Soil, dirt, and dust are natural hosts for most of these fungal infections as proved by cases associated with dust storms, archeological digging, seismic events, and recreational activities (Fauci et al., 2008).

 

Epidemiology

A number of endemic fungi are dimorphic. This term is used to describe fungi that exist as molds or filamentous hyphae in the environment, but grow as yeasts or large spherical structures in tissue. The hyphae form allows the fungi to be easily spread. Classified in this group are a number of organisms including blast mycosis, paracoccidioidomycosis, coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, blast mycosis, and sporotrichosis. Coccidioidomycosis is a systemic infection that produces a wide range of problems in healthy individuals.  The disease is usually asymptomatic at first and may progress to self-limiting community acquired pneumonia (CAP).  In high-risk patients, the disease may progress or disseminate to any area of the body.  The most common sites are the skin, lymph nodes, bone, and meninges.  Individuals at increased risk are pregnant women, immunosuppressed individuals, and some ethnic groups such as Native Americans, Phillipinos, African Americans, and Mexican Americans. In general, natural immunity is the primary defense mechanism against this and most fungi. Although antibodies are formed during fungal infections, antibodies are not the primary mode of defense.

 

Presentation

Manifestations of symptomatic coccidioidomycosis occur within one to three weeks after exposure. The symptoms are generally nonspecific and include dry cough, fever, headache, and pleuritic chest pain. An erythematous skin rash is also common. The rash may be erythema nodosum or multiforme and is referred to as “specific erythemas” of coccidioidomycosis (Wilson & Sande, 2001). These erythemas are associated with an intense immunologic response and indicate a good prognosis. Individuals with this type of immune response are not likely to develop disseminated disease. The most common clinical manifestation of valley fever is pneumonia. Most are self-resolving and go undiagnosed. Pulmonary complications may include asymptomatic nodules or thin cavities, lingering pneumonia, or chronic lung infection (Wilson & Sande, 2001).

 

According to Wilson and Sande, they are most likely to be found during surgical resection to exclude cancer or with fine-needle biopsy. (2001) Cavities occur in younger patients and usually resolve within two years. Complications that can occur are associated with air fluid levels or infiltrates surrounding the cavity. The cavities are generally self-contained and do not spread to other areas of the lungs (Wilson & Sande, 2001). However, if the cavity ruptures, surgical repair is required.

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