Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/22/2002
Publication Date: 1/20/2003
Citation: JONG, S., DUGAN, F.M. Pathogenic Fungi in Humans and Animals. Marcel Dekker,Inc., New York, NY. Zygomycetes: The Order Entomophthorales. 2003. p. 127-139.
Interpretive Summary: Some groups of fungi are known for causing diseases in insects and other lower animals. A very small number of fungi in one such group (the Entomophthorales) can also cause disease in humans or other mammals. One disease, conidiobolomycosis, can be especially severe and frequently fatal in immunocompromized individuals. The disease basidiobolomycosis occurs primarily in children. A variety of anti-fungal drugs are available for therapy, but are not always effective. The taxonomy of these fungi has become increasingly complex with advances in mycological science. One treatment recognizes six families, some with several genera and species. Distinctive morphological features of the species pathogenic to humans are illustrated with the classic photographs by Douglas S. King, the acknowledged authority in identification of these agents.
Technical Abstract: Numerous species of Entomophthorales cause disease in animals, including insects and other lower animals, and several cause disease in humans. Basidiobolus ranarum and other species of Basidiobolus, and Conidiobolus coronatus are recorded as agents of disease in humans. Consensus on nomenclature and identity of these fungi is not universal. This chapter reviews opinions of various authorities on issues of identification and nomenclature, and summarizes information on morphology, biology, and cytology. Diagnosis and treatment are summarized for pathogenic genera and species. Photographic illustrations are provided for critical morphological characters of species infecting humans.