SPOROTRICHOSIS – You and your pet can get it (with captions) (low audio)


Fungal diseases in general are not uncommon,
especially the dermatophytoses, commonly called ringworms. People occasionally get itchy spots or patches
on the skin or peeling lesions and fissures between toes. But some mycoses are really unusual, sometimes
because their occurrence is restricted to few areas or they are eliminated by the immunocompetent
host, and diagnosis can defy professionals, exposing affected individuals to unnecessary
treatments and prolonged discomfort. Sporotrichosis is one of such diseases. This disease is caused by fungi of the genus
Sporothrix that can be found in the soil, in plants, and many animals, including dogs
and cats, horses, insects, pigs, cattle, rats, squirrels, snakes, and birds. It can be acquired by professionals – such
as florists, gardeners, and farmers – especially if they suffer cuts or scratches that permit
the fungus to penetrate the skin. But people can also be infected in avocational
activities, just by contact with plant products, like hay and seedlings, or pets, for example. And the most emblematic pet is the cat. In the cat, just as in humans, lesions can
be identified and treated. Sporotrichosis was first described in the
United States, at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, in 1898. It was also common in France in the early
20th century. Nowadays it is most prevalent in tropical
and subtropical regions of the South America, but feline sporotrichosis and cases unrelated
to cats have been documented in other locations as well. Besides South American countries, Australia,
Mexico, China, Japan, and India concentrate most occurrences. In is considered hyperendemic – very common
– in some focal regions, and occasionally can happen in outbreaks. The most common clinical form of sporotrichosis
involves the skin. Cutaneous lesions can vary from crusted plaques
to ulcers, sometimes along lymphatic vessels, and disseminated disease. Lesions outside the skin are less frequent
and predominate in immunosuppressed persons. They can appear in the eyes, nasal cavity,
bones and joints, lungs, and the nervous system. Given the presentation is varied, sporotrichosis
can mimic other diseases, such as other mycoses, nonfungal infections, and even noninfectious
diseases, so laboratory tests are important in the diagnostic workup. To prevent this disease one could use gloves,
long sleeves, and boots while handling plants and plant products, and avoid contact with
infected animals until their lesions are completely healed.

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