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October 1987

Infections Caused by Black Fungi

Author Affiliations

Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Department of Medical Allied Health Professions University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(10):1300-1302. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660340062020

There has been much confusion regarding the terminology for infections caused by the black (dematiaceous) fungi. The clinical nomenclature for infections caused by these microorganisms should be clear and concise so that, even with the recognition of new agents of disease and new methods of diagnosis and therapy, the terms still apply. There are three kinds of diseases caused by black fungi: mycetoma, chromoblastomycosis, and phaeohyphomycosis. Mycetoma is a clinical entity recognized by tumefaction, draining sinuses, and granules. These are serious infections that always require treatment by surgical and medical means. Madurella mycetomatis is one of the most common worldwide agents of this disease. Granules should not be confused with fungus balls, which consist of a mass of hyphae, usually colonizing a small cavity, such as a sinus, or an old lung cavity. A granule differs from a fungus ball by being an organized, compact mass of hyphae with or

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