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October 1986

Saprophytic Molds as Agents of Cutaneous and Subcutaneous Infection in the Immunocompromised Host

Author Affiliations

From the Bureau of Laboratories, Department of Health, The City of New York.

Arch Dermatol. 1986;122(10):1161-1168. doi:10.1001/archderm.1986.01660220079016

Significant advances made in recent years in the treatment of neoplastic disease and the prevention of organ graft rejection have been accompanied by an increase in opportunistic infections.1 Although bacteria still account for most of these infections, the incidence of fungal infections in such patients is rising.1-4 This assault on the immune system by immunosuppressive therapy, including systemic corticosteroids, cytotoxic and antineoplastic drugs, and irradiation with roentgen rays, renders the host susceptible to fungi that normally do not pose a threat to patients with intact immunologic defense mechanisms.1,3 Depletion of the number of neutrophils, defects in neutrophil function, and T-cell defects also predispose the host to fungal infections.3

Although species of Candida and Aspergillus as well as Cryptococcus neoformans and members of the Zygomycetes (Phycomycetes) remain the most common fungal pathogens in the compromised host,2 other more unusual fungal infections are being caused by fungi

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