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Medical mycoses can be divided into four categories: (1) cutaneous, (2) subcutaneous, (3) systemic, and (4) opportunistic. Some features of the important fungal diseases are described in Table 48–1. Cutaneous and subcutaneous mycoses are discussed in this chapter, and important features of the causative organisms are described in Table 48–2. The systemic and opportunistic mycoses are discussed in Chapters 49 and 50, respectively.

TABLE 48–1Features of Important Fungal Diseases
TABLE 48–2Important Features of Skin and Subcutaneous Fungal Diseases



Dermatophytoses are caused by fungi (dermatophytes) that infect only superficial keratinized structures (skin, hair, and nails), not deeper tissues. The most important dermatophytes are classified in three genera: Trichophyton, Epidermophyton, and Microsporum. They are spread from infected persons by direct contact. Microsporum is also spread from animals such as dogs and cats. This indicates that to prevent reinfection, the animal must be treated also.

Dermatophytoses (tinea, ringworm) are chronic infections often located in the warm, humid areas of the body (e.g., athlete’s foot and ...

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