Sporotrichosis is a fungal disease that affects the skin, the lymphatic system and the entire organism. In addition to humans, sporotrichosis also affects various animal species, such as cats, dogs, chimpanzees and cattle. Since transmission from animals to humans is possible, sporotrichosis is a zoonosis. The causative agent of sporotrichosis is Sporothrix schenckii.
What is sporotrichosis?
Sporotrichosis is one of the fungal diseases and is therefore considered a mycosis. It affects both humans and various animal species. The symptoms of sporotrichosis are most pronounced on the skin. In addition, symptoms in the lymphatic system and the entire body are possible. Patients often notice sporotrichosis from the lesions on the skin. For cardiogenic shock overview, please visit homethodology.com.
Lumps form under the skin that may release mucus. Synonyms for sporotrichosis are Sporothrix mycosis or Schenk disease. The causative agent of sporotrichosis is called Sporothrix schenckii. The disease occurs more frequently in warm regions, especially in the tropics and subtropics.
In addition, sporotrichosis is often found in Japan and North America. On the other hand, sporotrichosis hardly ever occurs in Central Europe. In the context of sporotrichosis, typical nodules develop in the lower layers of the patient’s skin, which sometimes secrete a secretion. Sporotrichosis is primarily treated with antifungal agents and drugs containing iodine.
Sporotrichosis is caused by a pathogen called Sporothrix schenckii. This is a dimorphic mushroom. The pathogen lives, for example, in warm soil and is involved in the decomposition of plant litter or humus. He does not enter into a symbiosis with other plants. Below 30 degrees Celsius, Sporothrix schenckii grows in the form of fungal mycelium, while at body temperature it multiplies as yeast.
Patients with sporotrichosis usually become infected through direct contact with the fungus. Open wounds on the skin in particular are an easy entry point for the germ. Contact with the soil increases the risk, which is why farmers and gardeners are particularly likely to contract sporotrichosis.
In addition, some people contract sporotrichosis from animals. Cats, which excrete the pathogen intensively, are particularly dangerous. If people touch the faeces or skin secretions of cats, they quickly become infected with sporotrichosis.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Sporotrichosis is particularly noticeable in the characteristic changes on the skin. Often the lesions develop near wounds or minor injuries. The nodules are not painful and do not respond to antibacterial therapy approaches. Ulceration often develops over time, causing the nodules to ooze under the skin.
Sporotrichosis usually spreads to other areas of the skin and the body via the lymphatic system. On the one hand, melting nodules form on the skin and on the other hand, so-called satellite lesions. These skin changes are arranged more or less linearly along the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes in the area also swell.
The generalized form of sporotrichosis occurs primarily in people who suffer from a weakened immune system. These include, for example , HIV patients and people who have received a donor organ. The symptoms of sporotrichosis are then rather unspecific and characterized by fever and exhaustion. The pathogen spreads to various types of tissue and internal organs.
Diagnosis & course of disease
The diagnosis of sporotrichosis is made by a specialist. When taking the medical history, the doctor will focus primarily on recent contact with animals. Because cats in particular often act as carriers of sporotrichosis. During the clinical examination, the doctor takes care to avoid infection with sporotrichosis.
The species takes samples of the secretions of the nodules on the skin and examines the excretions under a microscope. In this way, sporotrichosis can be diagnosed relatively easily based on the typical form of the pathogen. In addition, the doctor usually carries out an immunofluorescence test.
As part of the differential diagnosis of sporotrichosis, the doctor clarifies whether nocardiosis, botryomycosis, leprosy or actinomycosis are present. In addition, sporotrichosis must be differentiated from catpox and demodicosis.
Sporotrichosis is particularly noticeable in characteristic skin changes. If the infection is recognized and treated promptly, no complications are to be expected. If not treated adequately, the skin lesions may become inflamed and unresponsive to antibacterial therapy approaches. The typical nodules under the skin can also develop into secreting ulcerations.
If the infection is not contained promptly, it can also spread via the lymphatic system to other areas of the skin and body. So-called satellite lesions are often observed, which form along the lymph channels. Severe swelling of the lymph nodes is also common.
Such complications are particularly likely to occur in individuals with compromised immune systems, particularly those infected with HIV. This group of patients often develops additional symptoms such as fever or exhaustion. The course of the disease can also be complicated by the fact that the disease is zoonotic and humans and pets can infect each other.
This ping-pong effect can lengthen therapy considerably. However, the disease only becomes really dangerous when the sporotrichosis spreads to the lungs. If the lungs are affected, intensive medical monitoring of the infection is absolutely necessary, since in this case there is a risk of death for the patient.
When should you go to the doctor?
With sporotrichosis, the patient needs medical evaluation and treatment. Since this disease cannot heal itself, early diagnosis and treatment always has a very positive effect on the further course of this disease. A doctor should therefore be consulted as soon as the first symptoms of sporotrichosis appear. A doctor should be consulted if the person affected suffers from significant changes in the skin. Small knots form, which can usually be seen with the naked eye.
The lumps can appear on different parts of the body and usually have a very negative effect on the aesthetics of the person concerned. If these symptoms occur, a doctor should be consulted. Swollen lymph nodes also usually indicate sporotrichosis. Most patients also have a high fever and severe fatigue. Sporotrichosis can be recognized and treated by a general practitioner. As a rule, there are no further complications and there is also no reduced life expectancy for the person concerned.
Treatment & Therapy
Sporotrichosis in humans is primarily treated with medication. First, patients are required to take the active ingredient itraconazole every day for a few months. In addition, the drugs fluconazole, terbinafine and amphotericin B are suitable for the treatment of sporotrichosis.
If the lungs of patients are affected by sporotrichosis, people are also given amphotericin B. Lung involvement poses a threat to the lives of patients and should be closely monitored. Later, people receive the active ingredient itraconazole.
Drug treatment for sporotrichosis lasts at least a year. In some cases, the focus of the disease in the lungs is removed by surgical intervention. Patients with HIV may need lifelong treatment for sporotrichosis.
Sporotrichosis can be prevented to a certain extent if people are aware of the risk factors. Since cats in particular act as carriers of sporotrichosis, contact with infected cats should be avoided if possible.
In many cases, aftercare measures are significantly limited in the case of sporotrichosis. First and foremost, a quick and, above all, very early diagnosis of this disease should be made so that complications or other symptoms do not arise in the further course. The earlier a doctor is consulted, the better the further course of this disease is usually.
Treatment is usually with a variety of medications, although creams or ointments can also be used to relieve the symptoms of sporotrichosis. The person concerned should always ensure that they are taken regularly and that the correct dosage is used in order to counteract the symptoms properly. In many cases, regular check-ups by a doctor are necessary to check the current condition of the disease.
Furthermore, if you have any questions or are unclear, you should consult a doctor first. As a rule, sporotrichosis does not reduce the life expectancy of the person affected, and no further follow-up measures are necessary. However, the affected person should not keep close contact with other people, so that there is no infection with sporotrichosis.
You can do that yourself
As soon as sporotrichosis has been diagnosed in an animal, the person concerned should take extensive protective measures themselves and consult a doctor. The transmission of pathogens from animals to humans is possible. It is therefore important to ensure that contact with the infested animal is prevented in everyday life. In particular, contact with cats should be avoided. Contact with the skin can lead to infection.
As soon as the disease is diagnosed in a human, protective measures must also be taken to prevent transmission. People in the immediate vicinity and your own pets must be protected from a possible risk of infection. Strengthening the immune system is important for overcoming the disease. The body’s defense system can minimize the spread of the fungus when supported by a healthy lifestyle. A diet rich in vitamins, sufficient oxygen and regular exercise are helpful in stabilizing the organism. The food intake is a particular focus. Obesity should be avoided and the food consumed should be balanced.
Since sick people suffer from exhaustion, they need sufficient rest. Conditions of physical stress must therefore be adapted to the patient’s possibilities. Excessive demands should be avoided at all costs. Restful sleep is also very important in overcoming the disease.