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June 1980

Further Information on Mycetomas

Author Affiliations

Bristol, England

Arch Dermatol. 1980;116(6):619. doi:10.1001/archderm.1980.01640300007002

To the Editor.—  We read with interest the article entitled "Botryomycosis: A Bacterial Cause of Mycetoma," by Picou et al, in the Archives (115:609-610,1979), but wish to correct a number of inaccuracies in it.Mycetoma is defined as a chronic, progressive fungal tumor of subcutaneous tissues that will ultimately affect bone as well.1 The term is also used to denote pulmonary fungus balls commonly caused by Aspergillus fumigatus. The word "mycetoma" (from the Greek mykes, meaning fungus) was created by H. V. Carter, in Bombay, India, in 1861, to distinguish the complaint from other tumors. Mycetoma may be eumycotic, caused by fungi, or actinomycotic, caused by actinomycetes (for at the time the name was first used, actinomycetes were thought to be fungi), but, by definition, is not due to bacteria of the order Eubacteriales.Picou et al list points of differentiation between the grains of botryomycosis and mycetoma, stating