In people with weak immune systems, a certain category of infections occurs due to the weakness of the immune system, which is called opportunistic infections. The causative agent of this type of infection can be infectious fungi. The disease caused by these fungi is called Opportunistic fungal infections, which will be the subject of our discussion in this article.
What is meant by opportunistic mushrooms?
We know that some fungi can cause infections in a person with a balanced immune system.But when we talk about opportunistic fungi, we mean the types of fungi that under normal circumstances are not able to cause disease and infection in a person with a normal immune system.
Opportunistic fungi seek the opportunity to cause infection, and as soon as the opportunity arises, they cause fungal infections.
What is meant by a good opportunity?
The body of the following people is a suitable environment for the infection of opportunistic fungi:
- People with weak immune systems
- People with Acquired Immune Deficiency (AIDS)
- People with cancer
- People who have been transplanted
- People with disabilities
- People with low white blood cell counts (especially neutrophils) (people with neutropenia)
- People who have been treated with antibiotics for a long time
What are the types of opportunistic fungal infections?
The following fungal or yeast infections can occur in normal, healthy people:
- Nail fungal infections
- Tinea versicolor or pityriasis versicolor
- Athletes’ feet
- Intrigue ???? that occurs in the folds of the body
But the following opportunistic fungal infections will only occur in people with weak immune systems:
- Candida infection (candidiasis):
Candida or thrush is caused by a pseudo-yeast called Candida albicans and can affect the mouth, skin, urinary tract and stomach in people with weak immune systems, such as infants and the elderly.
Oral thrush includes white cream-like patches on the throat or mouth, and painful cracks in the corners of the lips occur in the elderly or people with immunodeficiency due to candidiasis.
- Candida symptoms:
Itchy skin with scaling and blistering between the toes and fingers, groin and under large and sagging breasts is a clinical manifestation of this opportunistic infection.In immunocompromised people, painful swallowing may be due to candidiasis of the esophagus, and women also develop a vaginal yeast infection called candidiasis vaginitis.
It usually affects the respiratory system of people with weakened immune systems.
Aspergillus can grow in the lungs and form a fungal ball called Aspergillus.
- Symptoms of Aspergillus:
As the opportunistic fungal infection progresses, the infected person may gradually develop the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Weight Loss
- Bloody sputum cough
- Worsening of asthma symptoms
Sometimes Aspergillus’s lung infection occurs in people with severe immunodeficiency or chemotherapy and attacks the brain, heart, skin, and kidneys, causing headaches, eye symptoms, or skin lesions.
Aspergillus can also affect the nose and sinuses, causing nasal congestion and bloody discharge from the nose.
- Treatment of Aspergillus:
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis is treated with the following drugs:
- Amphotericin B.
- Surgery is sometimes needed when there is bleeding from aspergilloma, or fungal balls in the lungs.
- Mucor fungal infection:
Mucormycosis is an infection with the opportunistic fungus Mucor. Another name for this infection is zygomycosis
- Symptoms of Mucor fungal infection:
People with immunodeficiency and diabetes usually develop cold-like symptoms as a result of this opportunistic fungal infection.
For example, he suffers from sinusitis, etc., and if treatment is not started early, he gradually develops protrusion of the eyeballs or proptosis, then blindness and cerebral palsy, and finally a decrease in the level of consciousness.
- Mucor treatment:
Mucormycosis is treated with the antifungal drug amphotericin B and occasionally drains the affected sinuses and even the affected eyeball.
People who are deficient in neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) have the following symptoms with this infectious agent:
- Corneal infection (most common) or keratitis
- Nail fungal infections
- Fungal infections of the skin
- And fungal infections of the musculoskeletal system
This type of opportunistic fungal infection usually occurs in people with leukemia and blood cancers. This type of fungal infection is also very difficult to treat.