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Penicilliosis In Southeast Asia

Aug 18, 2007
Even though Penicillin was developed back in the 1940's to help combat infections caused by bacteria and it was developed from penicillium mold, other species of penicillium molds can also cause diseases. One such disease, called penicilliosis, occurs predominantly in Southeast Asia.

The mold that causes the disease, Penicillium marneffei, is indigenous to the region and so the cases of the disease are generally confined to that area, although people traveling to the region can become infected if they are not careful.

People particularly at risk are those diagnosed with HIV and AIDS and it has been called the third most common opportunistic infection in these people.

This mold is a fungus at room temperature, but like with any other mold, when it enters the body and is warmed up to body temperature, it changes into a yeast.

The symptoms of a case of Penicilliosis are generally anemia, fever, lesions on the skin, generalized lymphadenopathy, abdominal pain, and weight loss.

The skin lesions generally are located on the genitalia, face, ears, toes, and fingers, but the symptom that happens the most often is a skin rash that can cause small bumps on the top skin layer and some of these bumps can have ulceration. This happens most often on the upper part of the body.

Fungus cultures can be grown from the swabbing of skin lesions and this is to identify the infection as being Penicilliosis, but this is not the only way to detect this infection.

A biopsy of bone marrow, skin lesions, or lymph nodes can also detect the presence of the fungi in the body. When the fungus is grown in a Petri dish, it has a flat green surface and a red color on the bottom.

It is advised that anyone with HIV or AIDS who is going to be traveling to the region of Southeast Asia should be very careful or to not travel there at all. This is a dangerous infection, especially in someone with a compromised immune system. Without treatment, this disease tends to have a high mortality rate and even when treatment is administered.

The mortality rate still lingers around the area of twenty percent. Treatment often comes in the form of an antifungal drug called amphotericin and is followed up with a maintenance-type drug named itraconazole.

If you have been to Southeast Asia recently and are experiencing any of the symptoms named here, you should seek medical treatment immediately
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of quality
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of quality
water damage restoration companies and
Dallas Residential Water Damage Restoration Contractors.
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