In India, after COVID second wave, there is a new disease named Mucormycosis also known as black fungus, has been making headline.
Well what is it? Today we will talk about it. It is a type of Opportunistic specifically nosocomial infection, affecting mainly doctors. It is fungal in nature.
Let’s get into it more.
Mucormycosis is an invasive disease caused by phycomycetes, mainly by Rhizopus, Mucor and Absidia. It used to be a rare terminal complication of uncontrolled diabetes and other chronic debilitating diseases. The incidence of the disease has increased considerably as a result of the widespread use of antibiotics, steroids and antimetabolites. The fungi are normally avirulent and are able to invade tissues only when general resistance is extremely low.
Spore of fungi causing mucormycosis are found ubiquitously in the environment. Transmission occurs via inhalation, inoculation or rarely ingestion of spores. Spores develop into mycelial from containing wide aseptate hyphae which are angioinvasive in nature resulting in spread of infection. The primary infection is usually in the upper respiratory tract or nose, where the spores germinate and mycelia invade the adjacent tissue – the orbit, sinuses and the brain. Primary infection may also occur in the lung, the fungi invading the arteries to cause thrombosis and infarction. The disease is fetal.
Predisposing factors : Agents of mucormycosis require iron as growth factor. Hence conditions with increased with increased iron load are at higher risk of developing invasive mucormycosis.
Agents of mucormycosis are angioinvasive (invasive in blood vessel) in nature. Mucormycosis has six types of clinical presentations.
Diagnosis is usually made during histological examination of autopsy material, by the presence of broad, non septate mycelia in tissues. The fungi can be grown easily on Sabouraud’s medium without cycloheximide. Mucor shows branched sporangiophores arising randomly along aerial mycelium. Rhizoids are absent. Rhizopus has rhizoids, and sporangiophores arise in groups directly above the rhizoids.