Also called Gilchrist’s disease, blastomycosis is caused by the yeastlike fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis, which usually infects the lungs and produces bronchopneumonia. Less commonly, this fungus may disseminate through the blood and cause osteomyelitis and central nervous system (CNS), skin, and genital disorders.

Untreated blastomycosis is slowly progressive and usually fatal; however, spontaneous remissions occasionally occur. With antifungal therapy and supportive treatment, the prognosis for patients with blastomycosis is good.


Blastomycosis is generally found in North America (where B. dermatitidis normally inhabits the soil) and is endemic to the southeastern United States. Sporadic cases have also been reported in Africa. Blastomycosis usually infects men between ages 30 and 50, but no occupational link has been found. B. dermatitidis is probably inhaled by people who are in close contact with the soil. The incubation period may range from weeks to months.

Signs and symptoms

Initial signs and symptoms of pulmonary blastomycosis mimic those of a viral upper respiratory tract infection. These findings typically include pleuritic chest pain, fever, shaking, chills, night sweats, malaise, anorexia, weight loss, and a dry, hacking, or productive cough (occasionally hemoptysis).

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Jun 16, 2016 | Posted by in GENERAL & FAMILY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Blastomycosis

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