Fungal infections are on the rise in the last few decades. Aspergillus fungus is a common mold species, which is found on decaying vegetation and scedosporium infection can occur due to this. It is important to know the causes, symptoms and treatment of scedosporium infection.
Scedosporium infection enters the human body through cuts and wounds. The severity depends on whether the infection has spread throughout the body or is in any particular region. The treatment also depends upon the severity of scedosporium infection. When a person is in the initial stage, the infection can be treated and the body can respond well to the treatment.
The signs and symptoms of the scedosporium infection depend upon the severity and nature of the infection. If the infection spreads, it can cause severe trouble to the brain and lungs. When the infection is localized, it can be treated easily and the effect is also excellent. Hence it is essential for the guardians and patients to immediately consult doctor for timely treatment.
Causes of Scedosporium Infection
Scedosporium infection is caused by a fungal infection. Scedosporium apiospermum and scedosporium prolificans are the two species that infects humans. Bird drops, cattle manure, soil and contaminated water contain the fungus. It can infect humans through a skin cut or through food and water which they consume.
Scedosporium infection can affect anyone and it does not depend upon the age, sex and race. Some of the common risk factors for scedosporium infection include
- HIV and aids infected people.
- People who are suffering from cancer or undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
- For people who have undergone bone marrow transplant.
- People who have undergone organ transplantation
- People who have weak immunity system.
Symptoms of Scedosporium Infection
Scedosporium infection can infect any part of the body, but most commonly, it affects the feet of a human. It can be limited only to a certain portion of the skin or it can even spread to the different parts of the body. Local scedosporium infection can affect nose, ears, soft tissues and bones. The common symptoms of scedosporium infection include skin infection, mainly in the lower limbs.
Initially a small lump is seen on the infected region. If the lump is not in the initial stages, it breaks and the pus starts to pour out from the infected area. Later it turns into ulcers. When scedosporium infection affects the ears, the symptoms include pain, inflammation and discharge, which can be purulent. Scedosporium infection can also lead to sinus and some bone infections. When scedosporium infection is spread in various parts it can lead to meningitis in brain and pneumonia in lungs. These symptoms of scedosporium infection can serious and need immediate medical attention.
People with a weaker immune system may experience severe symptoms of scedosporium infection.
Diagnosis of Scedosporium Infection
Some of the ways to detect scedosporium infection include
- A complete medical history and diagnosis with a thorough physical exam.
- Fungal cultures to isolate the causative organism.
- Blood cultures and blood tests
- The region which is affected by scedosporium fungi can be studied through imaging.
Certain other tests can be conducted based on the severity of the scedosporium infection may be ordered. Tissue biopsy, a pathological examination can be done to confirm scedosporium infection.
Treatment of Scedosporium Infection
The treatment of scedosporium infection mainly depends upon the severity, nature and type of scedosporium infection. The most common treatment of scedosporium infection include
- Antifungal medications
- Oral corticosteroids
- Treatment for poor immune system
- Complete bed rest
- Proper nutritious food to improve the overall health status
Prevention of Scedosporium Infection
The best way to prevent scedosporium infection is to maintain proper hygiene, consume nutritious food and maintain good immunity. Some of the measures useful for prevention of scedosporium infection include the following.
- People who are in contact with animal manure and soil must cover their legs and body properly.
- Cleaning of cattle waste and bird excreta must be done with proper protection like wearing gloves and high rubber boots. This prevents the entry of infection through cuts and wounds.
- To prevent scedosporium infection, people must avoid regions where there is fungus growth such as contaminated water area.
- Wounds and cuts must be cleaned and treated regularly till they heal.
- Food which is contaminated must not be consumed.
- People must be educated about this infection especially farmers and shepherds and about the ways to prevent scedosporium infection.
The infection can be life threatening for people suffering from HIV, aids, cancer and other immune system disorders. Other treatments for the underlying causes of scedosporium infection can also help. Apart from the medicinal treatment, food which one consumes can also help in treating scedosporium infection. Healthy food and lifestyle with necessary precautions can help in treatment and prevention of scedosporium infection. It is important to clean wounds or exposed areas with soap and water after coming in contact with manure and soil.
- American Society for Microbiology – Scedosporium Infections: https://cmr.asm.org/content/26/3/527