Opportunistic Fungal Infections
Opportunistic fungi refers to those fungi that normally would not cause infections in otherwise healthy people but are able to cause infection under certain circumstances such as immune defficiency, cancer, organ transplant, neutropenic patients, diabetes, debilitated patients and patients on long term antibiotics.
Many fungi are opportunists and are usually not pathogenic except in an immunocompromised host. Causes of immunocompromise include AIDS, azotemia, diabetes mellitus, lymphoma, leukemia, other hematologic cancers, burns, and therapy with corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, or antimetabolites. Patients who spend more than several days in an ICU can become compromised because of medical procedures, underlying disorders, and/or undernutrition. Typical opportunistic systemic fungal infections (mycoses) include