BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuBlastomycosisNorth American blastomycosis; Gilchrist diseaseBlastomycosis is an infection caused by breathing in the Blastomyces dermatitidis fungus. The fungus is found in decaying wood and soil. Causes You can get blastomycosis by contact with moist soil, most commonly where there is rotting wood and leaves. The fungus enters the body through the lungs, where the infection starts. The fungus can then spread to other parts of the body. The disease may affect the skin, bones and joints, and other areas.Blastomycosis is rare. It is found in the central and southeastern United States, and in Canada, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Africa.The key risk factor for the disease is contact with infected soil. It most often affects people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or who have had an organ transplant, but it can also infect healthy people. Men are more likely to be affected than women.HIV/AIDSHuman immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS. When a person becomes infected with HIV, the virus attacks and weakens the immune ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Symptoms Lung infection may not cause any symptoms. Symptoms may be seen if the infection spreads. Symptoms may include:Joint pain Chest pain Chest painChest pain is discomfort or pain that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Cough (may produce brown or bloody mucus) Fatigue Fever and night sweats General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise) MalaiseMalaise is a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Muscle pain Unintentional weight lossUnintentional weight lossUnexplained weight loss is a decrease in body weight, when you did not try to lose the weight on your own. Many people gain and lose weight. Uninten...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Most people develop skin symptoms when the infection spreads. You may get papules, pustules, or nodules on exposed body areas.The pustules:May look like warts or ulcers Are usually painless Vary in color from gray to violet May appear in the nose and mouth Bleed easily and form ulcers Exams and Tests The health care provider will perform a physical examination. You'll be asked about your medical history and symptoms.If the provider suspects you have a fungal infection, diagnosis can be confirmed by these tests:Chest CT scan Chest CT scanA chest CT (computed tomography) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the chest and upper abdomen....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Chest x-ray Chest x-rayA chest x-ray is an x-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Skin biopsy BiopsyA biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Sputum culture and examination Sputum cultureRoutine sputum culture is a laboratory test that looks for germs that cause infection. Sputum is the material that comes up from air passages when y...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Urinary antigen detection AntigenAn antigen is any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it. This means your immune system does not recognize the su...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Tissue biopsy and culture Urine cultureUrine cultureA urine culture is a lab test to check for bacteria or other germs in a urine sample. It can be used to check for a urinary tract infection in adults...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment You may not need to take medicine for a mild blastomycosis infection that stays in the lungs. The provider may recommend the following antifungal medicines when the disease is severe or spreads outside of the lungs.Fluconazole Itraconazole KetoconazoleAmphotericin B may be used for severe infections.Follow up regularly with your provider to make sure the infection does not return. Outlook (Prognosis) People with minor skin sores (lesions) and mild lung infections usually recover completely. The infection can lead to death if not treated. Possible Complications Complications of blastomycosis may include:Large sores with pus (abscesses) AbscessesAn abscess is a collection of pus in any part of the body. In most cases, the area around an abscess is swollen and inflamed.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Skin sores can lead to scarring and loss of skin color (pigment) Return of the infection (relapse or disease recurrence) Side effects from drugs such as amphotericin B When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your provider if you have symptoms of blastomycosis. Prevention Avoiding travel to areas where the infection is known to occur may help prevent exposure to the fungus, but this may not always be possible. Open ReferencesReferencesElewski BE, Hughey LC, Hunt KM, Hay RJ. Fungal diseases. In: Bolognia JL, Schaffer JV, Cerroni L, eds. Dermatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 77.Gauthier GM, Klein BS. Blastomycosis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 264.Kauffman CA, Galagiani JN, Thompson GR. Endemic mycoses. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 316.AllVideoImagesTogFungus - illustration Fungal infections are caused by microscopic organisms (fungi) that can live on the skin. They can live on the dead tissues of the hair, nails, and outer skin layers.FungusillustrationLung tissue biopsy - illustration To obtain a sample of lung tissue for biopsy, a needle is inserted within the lung and a sample is withdrawn and sent to the laboratory. The laboratory test isolates and identifies organisms that cause infection from the lung specimen. A lung needle biopsy culture is performed when infection of the lung is suspected and sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage cultures have not identified the cause of the infection.Lung tissue biopsyillustrationOsteomyelitis - illustration Osteomyelitis is infection in the bones. Often, the original site of infection is elsewhere in the body, and spreads to the bone by the blood. Bacteria or fungus may sometimes be responsible for osteomyelitis.OsteomyelitisillustrationFungus - illustration Fungal infections are caused by microscopic organisms (fungi) that can live on the skin. They can live on the dead tissues of the hair, nails, and outer skin layers.FungusillustrationLung tissue biopsy - illustration To obtain a sample of lung tissue for biopsy, a needle is inserted within the lung and a sample is withdrawn and sent to the laboratory. The laboratory test isolates and identifies organisms that cause infection from the lung specimen. A lung needle biopsy culture is performed when infection of the lung is suspected and sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage cultures have not identified the cause of the infection.Lung tissue biopsyillustrationOsteomyelitis - illustration Osteomyelitis is infection in the bones. Often, the original site of infection is elsewhere in the body, and spreads to the bone by the blood. Bacteria or fungus may sometimes be responsible for osteomyelitis.OsteomyelitisillustrationRelated Information Skin lesion of blastomycosis(Condition)Leg amputation - discharge(Discharge) Review Date: 10/25/2020 Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.