Fungi and Disease

Some Topics

Blastomycosis

Blastomyces dermatitidis is a dimorphic fungus found in Canada, the United States and many other countries.

Infection by blastomyces is difficult to recognize even in areas where physicians are aware of this problem. Infection usually begins in the respiratory tract. The illness resembles influenza or pneumonia. Acute blastomycosis is often misdiagnosed as bacterial pneumonia and is treated with antibiotics with no benefit. Lung lesions that resemble tuberculosis or cancer may appear and lead to further misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment. Lesions in the trachea and larynx are nodular and may be diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma unless a biopsy is performed and interpreted correctly.

Blastomycosis can spread to any tissue of the body.

In an area, where blastomycosis was known, only 18% of 123 patients at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson, MS) were correctly diagnosed at the initial patient evaluation. Pneumonia (40%), malignant tumors (16%) and tuberculosis (14%) were the most common misdiagnoses. The false first impression frequently resulted in unnecessary surgeries or treatment delays, with patients receiving inefficient antibiotic therapy sometimes for months. Sometimes the diagnosis was made in the autopsy room.

Adapted from The US CDC Description of Blastomycosis

Clinical Features Infection presents as a flu-like illness with fever, chest pain, cough, aching, fatigue, weight loss. Some patients fail to recover and develop chronic pulmonary infection or widespread disseminated infection (affecting the skin, bones, and genitourinary tract). Occasionally, the brain becomes infected.

Infection can lead to permanent lung damage with chronic disease. Mortality rate is about 5%.

Transmission Inhalation of airborne spores after disturbance of contaminated soil.

Risk Groups Persons in areas with with exposures to wooded, lakes, rivers, beaver dams and construction sites (e.g., farmers, construction and forestry workers, hunters, hikers and campers).

A standard recommendation for quick diagnosis is sputum microscopy -- a simple and inexpensive test that in experienced hands can permit quick diagnosis patients with a pneumonic presentation. The technique is to place a sample of freshly expectorated sputum on a slide and digest it with drops of potassium hydroxide. Cover it with a cover slip and examine it under a microscope. A standard textbook describes yeasts, 8-20 micrometers in size, with single, broad-based buds, double refractile walls, and multiple nuclei. I discovered that sputum containing this organisms had white clumps and strings that contained yeast cells. The size variation was much greater than the textbooks describe and that yeast cells transform within hours of cooling and disappear in 24 - 48 hours. Specimens transported to a lab were never properly handled and the diagnosis was never made by inexperienced microscopes.

I diagnosed my own infection by sputum microscopy and developed a novel 2-slide culture method, described in this report.


Fungi Everywhere

A profusion of fungi exists in the environment. Some fungi are able to cause an invasive infection in otherwise healthy individuals. Other fungi are opportunistic fungi that become invasive when immune defenses are compromised. Diagnosis of fungal infection is difficult. There are many problems when you try to connect a test result to a disease. Fungi are so abundant and there are so many varieties in every environment that it is seldom easy to pick just one cause among many. Fungi are inhaled and ingested. Foods always contain fungal spores and actively growing molds. Attempts to culture fungi often fail; only a small number grow in the culture media commonly used. Some new methods of detecting fungal DNA may be useful but development of reliable tests is slow and expensive.

'You are at Alpha Online, a service of Environmed Research Inc. Sechelt, British Columbia Canada. Orders for printed books, eBooks for download and nutrient formulas are placed at Alpha Online.

 Secure Order Site    Secured by GeoTrust QuickSSL


Order Alpha Education Books

Alpha Education Books: There are 20 books in this series that address important health issues and their solution. Everyone, who is interested in Nutritional Therapy, will need a copy of the Alpha Nutrition Program. All books can be downloaded as PDF files.

Click the add to cart buttons to begin your order for printed books for mail delivery to the USA and Canada. Click the Download buttons to order eBooks for download.

Print Books Read Topics Download
Alpha Nutrition Program
Aching and Fatigue
Air and Breathing
Alpha Nutrition Cooking
Alcohol Problems 
Gluten Problems 
Diabetes 2
Eating & Weight 
Skin Disease
Feeding Children
Human Brain
Food Allergy
Food & Digestion
Food Choices
Heart & Arterial
Immunology Notes
Inflammatory Arthritis
Nutrition Notes

alpha online

We ship through the Post Office to all destinations in Canada and the USA. All correspondence about your order is done by email- send to Alpha Support. All orders are completed with encrypted security. Payments are made through Pay Pal by account or credit cards.

Nutrient Formulas for Meal Replacement Alpha ENF the complete nutrient set for meal replacement, nutrient supplementation and food holidays. Alpha PMX performance mix, the complete nutrient set except for fat with increased amino acids. Alpha DMX the complete nutrient set except for lipids ( fat) and carbohydrate... all vitamins, amino acids and minerals except sodium.

Special Nutrient Formulas, Medical Foods
Alpha AAX is the complete amino acid module.

Persona Digital publishes a series of books on current topics in psychology, sociology, neuroscience and philosophy. eBooks and can be downloaded to any destination on the planet. Printed books and eBooks are ordered from Alpha Online. Printed books are shipped only to Canada and the USA by postal services.

Nutritional Rescue Starter Packs Starter packs bundle books and formulas to help you get started solving your health problems. The starter packs are sold at discounts to make is easier and more affordable for you to learn more and try out a formula. A copy of the Alpha Nutrition Program is included in every starter pack. Starter Pack Details

Alpha Nutrition is a trademark and a division of Environmed Research Inc., founded in 1984 at Vancouver, BC, Canada. Online Since 1995. Experts in Self-Managed Care. Experts in Elemental Nutrient Formulas. We are located on the Sunshine Coast in Sechelt, a ferry ride from West Vancouver. Alpha Online can be reached using one of 2 URLS - www.nutramed.com or www.alphanutrition.com

PayPal is a secure payment gateway that authorizes credit card payment, usually within seconds of submitting your information. PayPal acts as a secure payment gateway for Visa, MasterCard, Discovery or AMEX credit cards. When your payment information is complete, you will receive an order confirmation email from PayPal and from Alpha Nutrition Online. We ship your order on the same or next business day.