Zygomycosis is a rare infection caused by a class of fungi called Zygomycetes. They are a relatively primitive class of fungi and live on decaying organic matter. It mainly affects people with weakened immune systems and can occur in nearly any part of the body. It most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air, or the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other type of skin trauma.
HOW IS ZYGOMYCOSIS DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis requires deep skin biopsy from the subcutaneous mass for histopathology and for microscopy and fungal culture.
• Culture reveals fast growing fungi characterised by primitive mostly aseptate hyphae.
• Culture at 30C confirms which organism is involved: Conidiobolus sp. will grow white to grey waxy colonies and Basidiobolus sp. will grow cream or yellow waxy colonies.
Care needs to be taken during the biopsy not to damage the fungi because non-viable organisms result in a negative culture result.
HOW IS ZYGOMYCOSIS TREATED?
Treatment is difficult and prolonged for both types of Zygomycosis and the results for Conidiobolus are particularly disappointing. Therapies may include:
• Amphotericin B
DID YOU KNOW?
Considering that this infection would continue to spread through the body at a fast pace, faster and stronger drugs are required. Else, it can lead to serious health problems and complications.