Fungal diseases may sound mysterious and dangerous, but they are often caused by fungi that are common in the environment. Fungi can be found in soil, on plants, trees, and other vegetation. In many areas, sampling of air particles has shown fungal spores dispersed in the air. When fungi are found on the body, however, it is found usually on the skin, mucous membranes, and intestinal tract.
In most cases, fungi are not hazardous. Some fungi can even be helpful. Examples of helpful fungi are found in penicillin, bread, wine, and beer. These examples use ingredients made from fungi. There are some types of fungi that are known to be harmful to health. Many of these forms of fungi are in found in the form of bacteria and viruses. These are some of the forms of fungi that can act as pathogens or toxins.
The symptoms of fungal diseases depend on the type of infection and the location within the body that they are found. Some types of fungal infections can be mild, such as a rash or a mild respiratory illness. However, other fungal infections can be severe, such as fungal pneumonia or bloodstream infections. These types of fungal infections can lead to serious complications such as meningitis or even worse, death.
The types of fungal infections that can be life-threatening may come from a community-acquired infection, a hospital acquired infection or an opportunistic infection. The fungal diseases that may impact human well-being and immune system function are explored.