What is Sporotrichosis?

Sporotrichosis is a fungal infection caused by the species-specific fungus Sporothrix schenckii. The infection is acquired through direct inoculation of the fungus through breaks in the skin. It is known as ‘rosehandler’s disease’ because it used to be seen mainly in people handling roses. The fungus Sporothrix schenckii is commonly found in soil, plant material, and decaying organic matter.

Symptoms of Sporotrichosis

Sporotrichosis has two main clinical forms:
  • Lymphocutaneous form: This is the most common form of sporotrichosis, characterized by the appearance of single or multiple nodules that can form firm, red, round, and painless lesions that can reach up to 5 cm in diameter, and may ulcerate, drain and crust over. These lesions typically heal in 4-6 weeks.
  • Cutaneous sporotrichosis: In this form, localized skin lesions can vary from red macules or caseous nodules to boils and other abscesses.
  • Other forms: Other clinical forms may include arthritis, endocarditis, meningitis, osteomyelitis, mediastinitis, and disseminated forms.

Diagnosis of Sporotrichosis

Sporotrichosis is usually diagnosed through a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory tests. These tests include skin biopsies, direct microscopic examination of scrapings, or biopsies for tissue culture and sensitivity testing.

Treatment of Sporotrichosis

The first line of treatment for Sporotrichosis is oral antifungal medication, such as itraconazole or terbinafine. For severe cases, intravenous amphotericin B may also be used, as well as antibiotics such as doxycycline or minocycline, and corticosteroids. Surgery may also be used to remove lesions in some cases.

Prevention of Sporotrichosis

It is important to avoid contact with soil or plants that may harbor the fungus that causes Sporotrichosis. People who work with plants or soil should use protective gear such as gloves, boots, and masks. Washing hands and wearing protective clothing when gardening or working outdoors is also recommended.