Three fungi that cause severe lung infections and were once thought to be limited to certain parts of the United States are now ubiquitous.
in 1955, Histoplasma The fungus grows primarily in soils in the Midwest and parts of the East and South, where histoplasmosis infections are predominant. But Medicare records from 2007 to 2016 show that in 47 states and Washington, D.C., Cases of histoplasmosis Beyond a certain threshold, the researchers reported on Nov. 11 clinical infectious disease.
These fungi are now “much more common than we thought,” says Andrej Spec, an infectious disease physician and mycologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Doctors using maps from the 1950s and 60s may not be able to diagnose infections in patients living outside the boundaries of fungal history. This missed or delayed diagnosis can have fatal consequences.
An updated map by Spec and colleagues Histoplasma case and two other fungi, whose ranges have expanded, likely due to climate change.
Coccidioidomycosis cases, by Coccidioides Medicare records show the fungus spread to 35 states beginning in 1955 in the Southwest. Coccidioides including fungi cause valley fever (Number: 11/29/21). wildfire is linked Valley fever cases have risen in recent years (Serial Number: 4/13/21).
picture Histoplasma, Blastomyces The researchers found that 1955 was found primarily in the Midwest and East. But from 2007 to 2016, 40 states reported blastomycosis cases above a certain threshold.
When diagnosing infections, doctors are taught to look for horses, not zebras, Spec said, meaning tests often focus on common infectious organisms rather than rare ones. “We talked about these [fungi] Like zebras…but they’re not zebras. They are the Clydesdales. Clydesdales aren’t the most common horses you’ll see, but they’re horses nonetheless. “
He hopes the updated map will encourage doctors to test for the fungus more frequently in patients with lung infections.