The incidence of fungal infections is increasing, based on some recent evidence. It has been calculated that infections with fungi occur in approximately a billion people each year.
Although fungi play many essential roles in human homeostasis, they may also constitute health burden for certain group of patients. When the host–fungal pathogen balance is disturbed, a fungal infection may lead to serious consequences. Proper detection of the growth of the fungal agents is therefore of high importance in clinical microbiology. Common fungal infections include:
- Candida albicans is part of the human microflora. Spread of Candida in body tissues causes a systemic candidiasis. Excessive and unimpeded growth is generated by a disruption of the sensitive balance and manifests itself in form of oral and/or vaginal soar.
- Pneumocystis jirovecii does not cause any harm in healthy people and is widely spread among the normal population. However, immunocompromised people infected with Pneumocystis jirovecii, develop pneumonia with symptoms including dry cough, shortness of breath, tachypnoe and fever. Pneumocystis jirovecii causes respiratory infections and is the most common opportunistic illness in HIV-infected people.
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