Fungi that cause serious lung infections are found all over the world

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Researchers say doctors need to keep an eye on the microorganisms

Three types of fungi that cause serious lung infections and which were previously only seen in certain areas of the United States are now widespread.

In 1955, mushrooms Histoplasma grew mainly in the soil of the Midwest and in some parts of the East and South, and it was there that histoplasmosis infections mostly occurred. But Medicare records from 2007 to 2016 show that in 47 states and Washington, D.C., there were cases of histoplasmosis which exceeded a certain threshold, the researchers reported on November 11 Clinical Infectious Diseases .

Cases of histoplasmosis then and now

PB MAZI AND OTHER/CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES 2022

In 1955, mushrooms Histoplasma caused pulmonary infections mainly in the eastern half of the United States.

PB MAZI AND OTHER/CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES 2022

Medicare records from 2007 to 2016 show the fungus has spread, causing infections to exceed a certain threshold in 47 states and Washington, D.C.

Now, these fungi are “much more common than we think,” says Andrei Spec, an infectious disease physician and mycologist at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Doctors using charts from the 1950s and 60s may misdiagnose infections in patients who live outside the historical boundaries of the fungus. Such missed or delayed diagnosis can have fatal consequences.

Spetz and his colleagues compiled updated maps for the cases Histoplasma and for two other fungi whose ranges have expanded, probably due to climate change.

According to Medicare, cases of coccidioidomycosis caused by fungi Coccidioides have spread since 1955 in the Southwest to 35 states. Coccidioides includes mushrooms that cause valley fever. In recent years, forest fires have been linked with increasing cases of valley fever.

Cases of coccidioidomycosis then and now

PB MAZI AND OTHER/CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES 2022

In 1955, cases of pulmonary infection of coccidioidomycosis caused by fungi Coccidioides occurred mainly in the southwest.

PB MAZI AND OTHER/CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES 2022

From 2007 to 2016, 35 states reported cases that exceeded a certain threshold, according to Medicare.

Which Histoplasma , Blastomyces was mainly discovered in the Midwest and East in 1955. But from 2007 to 2016, 40 states reported cases of blastomycosis above a certain threshold, the researchers found.

Cases of blastomycosis then and now

PB MAZI AND OTHER/CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES 2022

In 1955, cases of blastomycosis pulmonary infection caused by fungi Blastomyces occurred mainly in the Midwest and East.

PB MAZI AND OTHER/CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES 2022

A new analysis of Medicare records shows that from 2007 to 2016, 40 states reported cases of blastomycosis above a certain threshold.

When diagnosing infections, doctors are trained to look for horses, not zebras, meaning tests usually focus on common infectious organisms rather than rare ones, Spec says. “We talked about these [гриби] how about zebras… but they are not zebras. They are Clydesdales. Clydesdales aren’t the most common horses you’ll see, but they’re horses all the same.”

He hopes the updated charts will encourage doctors to test patients with lung infections more often for fungi.

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