Zygomycosis also called as mucormycosis is an infection caused by bread mold fungi. Members of Zygomycetes are known to cause infection in humans and animals. These fungi are primitive and fast growing and cosmopolitan in distribution. Zymgomycosis is a lethal invasive infection in immunocompromised patients. The causative agent for zygomycosis is generally found in soil and in decaying matter.
The person can gets infected with zygomycetes by inhaling the fungal spores. The fungal spores are generally harmless for a healthy individual, but are harmful for people who are immunocompromised or have a serious chronic illness. These fungal spores mainly affect the lungs and sinus after inhalation.
The fungal spores can enter into your body either through inhalation or through skin. The open wounds o the skin, burns, cuts on the skin surface can helps the fungal spores to enter the body and cause infection.
The symptoms depend on the part of the body where fungus is growing. When the infection involves the brain and sinus it is referred to as rhino cerebral mucormycosis or rhinocerebral zygomycosis. The common symptoms of rhinocerebral mucormycosis are:
- One-sided swelling
- Nasal congestion
When the infection spreads to the lungs, it is referred to as pulmonary mucormycosis. The common symptoms observed in pulmonary mucormycosis patients are:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Fungal spores can cause skin lesions or ulcers and the infection is referred to as cutaneous mucormycosis. The common symptoms of cutaneous mucormycosis are:
- Blisters on skin
- Skin ulcers
- Black coloration of the infected area
- Pain in the infected area
- Redness on the spot of infection
- Swelling around the wound
The fungal spores can cause infection in the gastrointestinal system of your body. The visible symptoms in gastrointestinal mucormycosis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
There are certain infections that occur in a person who is already sick from different infections or disease conditions. Disease that does not show any clear visible symptoms due to the presence of an existing infectious condition is called disseminated mucormycosis.
Zygomycosis or mycosis is a very infectious disease see in people. Person’s immune system plays a major role in preventing this infection. There are different conditions that specify the risk factors for zygomycosis.
Diabetes patients have a weak immune system and thus it increases the risk of developing zygomycosis.
Cancer patients are at an increased rate of developing zygomycosis.
Patients who has undergone a surgery in past have more chances of developing zygomycosis.
Stem cell transplant
Stem cell transplantation is essential for many other diseases. If you have undergone a stem cell transplantation surgery, you need to be careful as you will be getting directly exposed to fungal infection or zygomycosis.
Presence of less number of neutrophils is a condition called neutropenia. Patients suffering with neutropenia are at high risk of any infection.