Sources of Blastomycosis
Blastomyces dermatitidis lives in soil and in association with decaying organic matter such as leaves and wood. The microscopic fungal spores can become airborne when the soil is disturbed, and breathing in the spores can cause infection in the lungs. Blastomycosis cannot be spread from person to person or from animals to people.
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In the environment, Blastomyces dermatitidis exists as mold (1) with septate aerial hyphae. The hyphae produce conidial spores (2). These spores are either inhaled, or inoculated into the skin (3) of a susceptible host. The warmer temperature inside the host signals a transformation (4) into a broad-based budding yeast. The yeast may continue to colonize the lungs or disseminate in the bloodstream (5) to other parts of the body, such as the skin, bones and joints, organs, and central nervous system.