North American blastomycosis; Gilchrist's disease
Blastomycosis is a rare infection that may develop when people breathe in (inhale) a fungus called Blastomyces dermatitidis, which is found in wood and soil.
See also: Skin lesion of blastomycosis
You can get blastomyocosis by inhaling Blastomyces dermatitidis particles, a fungus that is found in moist soil, particularly where there is rotting vegetation. The fungus enters the body through the lungs, infecting them. The fungus then spreads (disseminates) to other areas of the body. The infection may affect the skin, bones and joints, and other areas.
Blastomycosis is rare. It is most common in the central and southeastern United States, and in Canada, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Africa.
Being around infected soil is the key risk factor. The disease usually affects people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV or who have had an organ transplant. Men are more likely to be affected than women.
Kauffman CA. Blastomycosis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 355.
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