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Sporotrichosis is a disease caused by the infection of the fungus Sporothrix schenckii. This fungal disease usually affects the skin, although other rare forms can affect the lungs, joints, bones, and even the brain. Because roses can spread the disease, it is one of a few diseases referred to as rose-thorn or rose-gardeners' disease.
Because S. schencki is naturally found in soil, hay, sphagnum moss, and plants, it usually affects farmers, gardeners, and agricultural workers. It enters through small cuts and abrasions in the skin to cause the infection. In case of sporotrichosis affecting the lungs, the fungal spores enter through the respiratory pathways. Sporotrichosis can also be acquired from handling cats with the disease; it is an occupational hazard for veterinarians.
Sporotrichosis progresses slowly - the first symptoms may appear 1 to 12 weeks (average 3 weeks) after the initial exposure to the fungus. Serious complications can also develop in patients who have a compromised immune system.
Additional recommended knowledge
Forms and symptoms of sporotrichosis
Sporotrichosis in animals
Sporotrichosis can be diagnosed in domestic and wild mammals. In veterinary medicine it is most frequently seen in cats and horses. Cats have a particularly severe form of cutaneous sporotrichosis and also can serve as a source of zoonotic infection to persons who handle them and are exposed to exudate from skin lesions.
Sporotrichosis is a chronic disease with slow progression and often subtle symptoms. It is difficult to diagnose, as many other diseases share similar symptoms and therefore must be ruled out.
Patients with sporotrichosis will have antibody against the fungus S. schenckii, however, due to variability in sensitivity and specificity, it may not be a reliable diagnosis for this disease. The confirming diagnosis remains culturing the fungus from the skin, sputum, synovial fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid.
Cats with sporotrichosis are unique in that the exudate from their lesions may contain numerous organisms. This makes cytological evaluation of exudate a valuable diagnostic tool in this species. Exudate is pyogranulomatous and phagocytic cells may be packed with yeast forms. These are variable in size, but many are cigar-shaped.
The majority of sporotrichosis cases occur when the fungus is introduced through a cut or puncture in the skin while handling vegetations containing the fungal spores. Prevention of this disease includes wearing long sleeves and gloves while working with soil, hay bales, rose bushes, pine seedlings, and sphagnum moss.
Treatment of sporotrichosis depends on the severity and location of the disease. The following are treatment options for this condition:
Sporotrichosis can develop into other diseases, including cellulitis, sarcoidosis, and tuberculosis.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sporotrichosis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|