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Microbiol Spectr. 2016 Jun;4(3). doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.DMIH2-0002-2015.

Filamentous Fungi.

Abstract

Filamentous mycoses are often associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Prompt diagnosis and aggressive treatment are essential for good clinical outcomes in immunocompromised patients. The host immune response plays an essential role in determining the course of exposure to potential fungal pathogens. Depending on the effectiveness of immune response and the burden of organism exposure, fungi can either be cleared or infection can occur and progress to a potentially fatal invasive disease. Nonspecific cellular immunity (i.e., neutrophils, natural killer [NK] cells, and macrophages) combined with T-cell responses are the main immunologic mechanisms of protection. The most common potential mold pathogens include certain hyaline hyphomycetes, endemic fungi, the Mucorales, and some dematiaceous fungi. Laboratory diagnostics aimed at detecting and differentiating these organisms are crucial to helping clinicians make informed decisions about treatment. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the medically important fungal pathogens, as well as to discuss the patient characteristics, antifungal-therapy considerations, and laboratory tests used in current clinical practice for the immunocompromised host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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