Fungi common concept.
Human infectious diseases caused by fungi are commonly called mycoses. The etiology, pathogenesis and clinical picture of mycoses are extremely diverse, but in almost all cases of these diseases, the skin is involved in the pathological process.
Fungal diseases (mycoses) of the skin are characterized by lesions of the skin and its appendages (hair, nails), less often mycosis is localized on the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and genitals (in isolation or along with skin changes). Cases of deep mycoses caused by fungi endemic to some regions of the world, in which subcutaneous tissue and other deep tissues are affected, are casuistic in our country.
In recent years, the number of systemic disseminated mycoses has increased, in which, as a rule, skin lesions are also observed. In these cases, pathogens most often enter the skin due to hematogenic spread from internal organs. Skin rashes in these cases may be the first symptom of systemic mycosis and their early correct diagnosis makes it possible to prescribe treatment in a timely manner and in many cases save the patient's life.
The vast majority of pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic fungi cause disease only in the presence of factors that reduce the normal physiological protective function of the skin and violate the body's resistance against infection (especially in immunodeficiency conditions).
The number of these causes has recently increased dramatically (adverse environmental factors; an increase in the number of patients with malignant diseases, especially the immune system; HIV infection; widespread use of medications with immunosuppressive properties (cytostatics, hormones, antibiotics, etc.).
Types of Fungal lesions.
There are three main types of direct human fungi: toxic (mycetism, mycotoxicosis), sensitizing (mycogenic allergy) and infectious (development of mycoses of the skin and other organs).
Toxic effect of mushrooms.
Mycetism - poisoning with primarily poisonous mushrooms when they are accidentally used as food, as well as edible mushrooms when they are improperly stored or cooked. Mycetism is caused by the action of toxic peptides of fungi on the digestive, nervous systems or less specific damage to cells and tissues of the body.
Mycotoxicosis - poisoning with toxic substances of toxin-forming fungi that pollute plants (for example, cereals), from which food is prepared. The toxic substances produced by these fungi retain their toxic properties during the harvest storage period and during the processing of plants into food. The use of these products can cause poisoning of a person.
The infectious value of fungi.
There are about 50 species of fungi that can always cause infectious diseases in humans and animals: 20 species are the cause of systemic infections, 10 - affect the skin and subcutaneous tissue, and 20 - only the skin. A much larger number of species belong to pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic pathogens that cause mycoses only in the presence of certain conditions that reduce the body's resistance to infection (most often in immunodeficiency states).
Many fungi are the cause of specific sensitization of the human body, which is manifested by peculiar allergic forms of the disease and is detected by various allergic reactions. Mycogenic sensitization may be manifested by common symptoms (for example, hay fever type) or skin rashes (mycids).
The most pathogenic fungi are pathogens of particularly dangerous, highly contagious infections (coccidioidosis, histoplasmosis, North American blastomycosis, etc.).
These diseases are usually endemic in nature:
Coccidioidosis is most often registered in the countries of Central America, Mexico, Argentina;
Histoplasmosis caused by Histoplasma capsulatum in Caribbean, North, Central and South America;
Histoplasmosis caused by Histoplasma dubosii is endemic to West and Central Africa;
Rhinosporidosis - for India and Ceylon;
North American blastomycosis (Gilkraist's disease) and South American blastomycosis - for the countries indicated in the names of diseases.
Opportunistic fungi cause so-called opportunistic fungal infections. Their development requires serious violations of general resistance, especially the immune status of the body. In recent years, the importance of opportunistic fungi and opportunistic mycoses caused by them has increased dramatically due to HIV infection.
Conditionally pathogenic fungi are found among aspergilli and penicilli, mucor and yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida, as well as among pathogens of various mycetes (Araviysky R. A., Gorshkova G. I., 1995).
The most common fungi that cause diseases of the skin and its appendages (hair, nails) under certain conditions are Dermatophytes.
Biochemistry Of Fungi.
The chemical composition and metabolism of fungi differ little from other microorganisms. It is determined by heredity (taxonomic component) and the environment (rective component). The biochemical processes occurring in fungi are divided into primary metabolism and secondary metabolism (Muller E., Leffler V., 1995).
Primary metabolism is associated with the vegetative development of the fungus (trophophase) and consists in the synthesis of macromolecules and lipids (increase in biomass), obtaining energy and building material for metabolism. During this period, the mycelium is in contact with the substrate for a long time, and each vegetative unit feeds independently.
The absorption and expenditure of nutrients are mutually balanced.
The mushroom mass increases regularly. Later, with the accumulation of metabolites, depletion of the environment and other changes in conditions, the regulation of metabolism is disrupted and there is a transition to "secondary metabolism" (idiophase). Fungi form an aerial mycelium, the existence of which depends on the transport of substances inside the thallus.
Physiologically, this is manifested by the appearance of many secondary metabolites that are located in cells, released into the environment or used by fungi in new conditions that continue to change.
The main components of a fungal cell active in metabolism are macromolecules (nucleic acids, proteins, polysaccharides), phospholipids and elementary membranes.
Classification Of Fungal Diseases.
There is no single and generally accepted classification of fungal diseases. Numerous variants of the division of these diseases have been proposed, which to a greater or lesser extent take into account the etiology, pathogenesis, clinical picture and features of the epidemiology of these infections.
Numerous botanical classifications of fungi have proved to be of little use for clinical practice. A great contribution to the solution of this issue was made by the works of R. Sabou rough and A. Castellani, in which attempts were made to systematize not only pathogenic dermatophytes, but also the clinical forms of diseases caused by them.
From a practical point of view, the classification of A.M. Arievich (1963) turned out to be convenient, according to which dermatomycoses are divided into four groups: keratomycoses, epidermomycoses, trichomycoses and deep mycoses.
There are 2 main groups of diseases:
Fungi of the genus Candida are the most common representatives of conditionally pathogenic microflora, which are the cause of various fungal diseases of the skin and mucous membranes of a person in conditions of impaired resistance of the body, especially with various immunodeficiency.
A feature of yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida is the presence of only one form of reproduction - budding. When budding, one or more protrusions are formed at the end of the cell, into which the contents of the mother cell enter.
Microscopic examination in the affected tissues reveals the fungus in the form of round or oval budding cells and elongated pseudomycelia elements.
The pathogenesis of mycoses caused by fungi of the genus Candida is basically the same as in diseases caused by dermatophytes. The fundamental difference lies in the fact that the state of the macroorganism plays a decisive role in the development of all clinical forms of candidiasis.
It is believed that even the lightest, superficial forms of candidiasis indicate a decrease in the resistance of the patient's body.
The clinical form of group 1 is diseases such as:
The clinical form of the 2nd group is a disease such as Candidiasis:
Candidiasis of skin;
Candidiasis of nails;
Candidiasis of the oral mucosa;
Candidiasis of the mucous membrane (Thrush), etc.
Chronic candidiasis of the skin and mucous membranes (chronic generalized granulomatous candidiasis, endocrine-candidiasis syndrome, candida-granuloma) is a syndrome characterized by the appearance of persistent, poorly treatable and often recurrent candidiasis lesions of the skin and mucous membranes, sometimes acquiring a granulomatous character; occasionally patients develop systemic candidiasis.
Folk Medicine for treatment of Fungal Diseases.
Alternative medicine should be used only if all drugs bring only temporary relief. It is impossible to rely entirely on the healing power of natural ingredients.
Folk methods of treatment should be used after serious tests for fungus and certification in the absence of pathogens of other diseases. Also, it is advisable to apply folk remedies as an addition to the main treatment, along with it and after the completion of the prescribed antifungal treatment courses to consolidate the result.
We must not forget that herbal therapy is also a treatment, and it has a number of side effects and contraindications, so be careful and vigilant to the components of the recipes.
Even if you decide to be treated with folk remedies, visit a doctor and undergo an examination.
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