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Additional recommended knowledge
Specific instances of fungal infections that can manifest with pulmonary involvement include:
Fungi typically enter the lung with inhalation of their spores, though they can reach the lung through the bloodstream if other parts of the body are infected. Also, fungal pneumonia can be caused by reactivation of a latent infection. Once inside the alveoli, fungi travel into the spaces between the cells and also between adjacent alveoli through connecting pores. This invasion triggers the immune system to respond by sending white blood cells responsible for attacking microorganisms (neutrophils) to the lungs. The neutrophils engulf and kill the offending organisms but also release cytokines which result in a general activation of the immune system. This results in the fever, chills, and fatigue common in bacterial and fungal pneumonia. The neutrophils and fluid leaked from surrounding blood vessels fill the alveoli and result in impaired oxygen transportation.
Fungal pneumonia can be treated with antifungal drugs and sometimes by surgical debridement.
Case mortality in fungal pneumonias can be as high as 70% in immunocompromised patients, though immunocompetent patients generally respond well to anti-fungal therapy.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fungal_pneumonia". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|