Severe Fungal infection caused by Basidiobolus spp.

Severe Fungal infection caused by Basidiobolus spp.

Basidiobolomycosis is an extremely rare and serious fungal infection caused by Basidiobolus spp. It is a disease involving human organs, especially the gastrointestinal tract, and is considered an emerging infectious disease in some parts of the world. It is caused by soil-borne organisms, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. In some cases, the infection can be fatal without prompt diagnosis and medical intervention.

Basidiobolomycosis is an anamorphic dematiaceous fungus, which means it appears black in color and is microscopically visible. These microscopic fungi can invade mucosal surfaces and cause an active local inflammatory response. Ingested strands of the fungus subsequently penetrate the epithelial cells of the intestine, where they can cause the production of purulent material. As the infection progresses, the tissue around the infected area may become necrotic, leading to the formation of an abscess.

Patients with Basidiobolomycosis usually present with abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Other symptoms may include massive abdominal distention, abdominal tenderness, and bloody mucoid stools. In cases of severe lung infection, respiratory or pulmonary symptoms may be seen.

Diagnosis of the disease is based on symptoms, imaging studies, and the presence of the infected organism in infected tissues. Cultures may be used to confirm the diagnosis as well as to rule out other potential fungal infections. Treatment typically includes antifungal drugs, such as fluconazole, followed by surgical removal of the affected tissue.

To reduce the risk of Basidiobolomycosis, basic hygiene and sanitation practices should be observed. Food and water should be treated with caution, particularly if acquired from an unknown source. People living in tropical and sub-tropical climates should be especially mindful of potential risks.

Prevention Tips

  • Wash all food thoroughly before consuming.
  • Avoid contact with soil where Basidiobolus spp. organisms may be present.
  • Wear gloves and protective shoes when gardening or working in the soil.
  • Effective sanitation is essential, particularly in parts of the world where Basidiobolomycosis is common.
  • If any of the symptoms associated with Basidiobolomycosis are observed, seek prompt medical assistance.