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zygomycosis, zygomycosis symptoms
Zygomycosis is the broadest term to refer to infections caused by bread mold fungi of the zygomycota phylum However, because zygomycota has been identified as polyphyletic, and is not included in modern fungal classification systems, the diseases that zygomycosis can refer to are better called by their specific names: mucormycosis after Mucorales, phycomycosis after Phycomycetes and basidiobolomycosis after Basidiobolus These rare yet serious and potentially life-threatening fungal infections usually affect the face or oropharyngeal nose and mouth cavity Zygomycosis type infections are most often caused by common fungi found in soil and decaying vegetation While most individuals are exposed to the fungi on a regular basis, those with immune disorders immunocompromised are more prone to fungal infection These types of infections are also common after natural disasters, such as tornadoes or earthquakes, where people have open wounds that have become filled with soil or vegetative matter

The condition may affect the gastrointestinal tract or the skin In non-trauma cases, it usually begins in the nose and paranasal sinuses and is one of the most rapidly spreading fungal infections in humans Common symptoms include thrombosis and tissue necrosis Treatment consists of prompt and intensive antifungal drug therapy and surgery to remove the infected tissue The prognosis varies vastly depending upon an individual patient's circumstances


  • 1 Causes
  • 2 Other animals
  • 3 Epidemiology
  • 4 References


Micrograph showing a zygomycetes infection

Pathogenic zygomycosis is caused by species in two orders: Mucorales or Entomophthorales, with the former causing far more disease than the latter These diseases are known as "mucormycosis" and "entomophthoramycosis", respectively

  • Order Mucorales mucormycosis
    • Family Mucoraceae
      • Absidia Absidia corymbifera
      • Apophysomyces Apophysomyces elegans and Apophysomyces trapeziformis
      • Mucor Mucor indicus
      • Rhizomucor Rhizomucor pusillus
      • Rhizopus Rhizopus oryzae
    • Family Cunninghamellaceae
      • Cunninghamella Cunninghamella bertholletiae
    • Family Thamnidiaceae
      • Cokeromyces Cokeromyces recurvatus
    • Family Saksenaeaceae
      • Saksenaea Saksenaea vasiformis
    • Family Syncephalastraceae
      • Syncephalastrum Syncephalastrum racemosum
  • Order Entomophthorales entomophthoramycosis
    • Family Basidiobolaceae
      • Basidiobolus Basidiobolus ranarum
    • Family Ancylistaceae
      • Conidiobolus Conidiobolus coronatus/Conidiobolus incongruus

Other animals

The term oomycosis is used to describe oomycete infections These are more common in animals, notably dogs and horses These are heterokonts, not true fungi Types include pythiosis caused by Pythium insidiosum and lagenidiosis

Zygomycosis has been described in a cat, where fungal infection of the tracheobronchus led to respiratory disease requiring euthanasia


Zygomycosis has been found in survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and in survivors of the 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado


  1. ^ Toro, Carlos; del Palacio, Amalia; Álvarez, Carmen; Rodríguez-Peralto, José Luis; Carabias, Esperanza; Cuétara, Soledad; Carpintero, Yolanda; Gómez, César 1998 "Zigomicosis cutánea por Rhizopus arrhizus en herida quirúrgica" Revista Iberoamericana de Micología in Spanish 15 2: 94–6 PMID 17655419 
  2. ^ a b c Auluck, Ajit 2007 "Maxillary necrosis by mucormycosis a case report and literature review" PDF Medicina Oral Patologia Oral y Cirugia Bucal 12 5: E360–4 PMID 17767099 
  3. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1999 "Gastrointestinal Basidiobolomycosis — Arizona, 1994–1999" Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 48 32: 710–3 PMID 21033182 
  4. ^ Nancy F Crum-Cianflone; MD MPH "Mucormycosis" eMedicine Retrieved 2008-05-19 
  5. ^ "MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Mucormycosis" Retrieved 2008-05-19 
  6. ^ Ettinger, Stephen J; Feldman, Edward C 1995 Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine 4th ed WB Saunders Company ISBN 0-7216-6795-3 
  7. ^ Draper, Bill; Suhr, Jim June 11, 2011 "Survivors of Joplin tornado develop rare infection" Seattle Post-Intelligencer Associated Press 
  8. ^ a b Spellberg, B; Edwards, J; Ibrahim, A 2005 "Novel Perspectives on Mucormycosis: Pathophysiology, Presentation, and Management" Clinical Microbiology Reviews 18 3: 556–69 doi:101128/CMR183556-5692005 PMC 1195964  PMID 16020690 
  9. ^ Spellberg, Brad; Walsh, Thomas J; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P; Edwards, Jr; Ibrahim, Ashraf S 2009 "Recent Advances in the Management of Mucormycosis: From Bench to Bedside" Clinical Infectious Diseases 48 12: 1743–51 doi:101086/599105 PMC 2809216  PMID 19435437 
  10. ^ Grooters, A 2003 "Pythiosis, lagenidiosis, and zygomycosis in small animals" Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice 33 4: 695 doi:101016/S0195-56160300034-2 PMID 12910739 
  11. ^ Ribes, J A; Vanover-Sams, C L; Baker, D J 2000 "Zygomycetes in Human Disease" Clinical Microbiology Reviews 13 2: 236–301 doi:101128/CMR132236-3012000 PMC 100153  PMID 10756000 
  12. ^ Prabhu, R M; Patel, R 2004 "Mucormycosis and entomophthoramycosis: A review of the clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment" Clinical Microbiology and Infection 10: 31–47 doi:101111/j1470-9465200400843x PMID 14748801 
  13. ^ "Merck Veterinary Manual" Retrieved 2009-04-04 
  14. ^ Snyder, Katherine D; Spaulding, Kathy; Edwards, John 2010 "Imaging diagnosis—tracheobronchial zygomycosis in a cat" Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 51 6: 617–20 doi:101111/j1740-8261201001720x PMID 21158233 
  15. ^ "Joplin toll rises to 151; some suffer from fungus" Associated Press 10 June 2011 – via Medical Xpress 

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