Chapter 7. Sporotrichosis, the Fungal Disease Caused by Members of the Sporothrix Genus

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Ximena Esquivias-Varela, Juan Mauricio Ibarra-Chavira, Laura C. García-Carnero, Manuela Gómez-Gaviria,
Ana Paulina Vargas-Macías and Héctor Manuel Mora-Montes
Department of Biology, Universidad de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico

Part of the book: The Book of Fungal Pathogens

Abstract

Sporotrichosis is a worldwide distributed cutaneous or subcutaneous mycosis due to implantation. Once thought to be caused by a single species, Sporothrix schenckii, it is now well established that the etiological agents are cryptic thermodimorphic fungi, taxonomically classified within the Sporothrix pathogenic clade. Currently, infections caused by S. schenckii, Sporothrix brasiliensis, and Sporothrix globosa are the most frequently reported, each species with a different virulence degree. In addition, there are recent reports that establish the emergence of antifungal resistant strains of Sporothrix species. These organisms live in decomposition plant biomass and can infect not only humans but wild and domestic animals. Both ecological niches can be the source of the infective organisms, thus sporotrichosisis is considered a sapronosis and a zoonosis. Despite most of the cases being restricted to the subcutaneous cellular tissue, being some of them self-limited, atypical cases in immunosuppressed patients are reported, where deep-seated organs are affected, such as lungs and the central nervous system. Treatment options are variable, depending on the fungal species, the clinical presentation, and the patient’s immunological status, for which a well-timed diagnosis is important. In this chapter, we discuss the biological aspects of the members of the Sporothrix pathogenic clade, and clinical and epidemiological aspects of the disease, including new alternatives for diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: subcutaneous infection, virulence factors, antifungal drugs, immune sensing, zoonosis, sapronosis


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