Fungal Infections

Of the estimated 2 million species of fungi on earth about 600 have caused disease. Most infections are caused by the genera Trichophyton, Candida, Aspergillus and Cryptococcus. Other relatively common genera causing infection include Microsporum, Malassezia, Histoplasma, Coccidioides and Pneumocystis. Common genera causing allergic fungal disease include Aspergillus, Alternaria, Cladosporium, Malassezia and Penicillium.

Fungal infections are best sub-divided into 5 groups, although there are some overlaps. Most serious fungal infections are ‘hidden’, occurring as a consequence of other health problems such as asthma, AIDS, cancer, transplantation and corticosteroid therapies. Infections are grouped as follows in order of broadly decreasing severity:

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