What are some diseases caused by fungi?

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ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many diseases caused by fungi. Many times fungi are inhaled and can impact the lungs or get into the blood stream. Below is a list of some of them.

  • Coccidioidomycosis-is caused by Coccidioides immitis, this spore is typically found in desert areas of the US southwest. This is also known as California disease and Desert rheumatism. The illness present with mild flu-like symptoms and rashes.
  • Histoplasmosis-is caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum, it is found in soil fertilized by bat droppings. It is most prevalent in the Ohio River and Mississippi Valley. This illness is also known as Cave disease and Darling's disease. The illness presents with flu-like symptoms and can resemble tuberculosis.
  • Blastomycosis-is caused by the fungus Blastomycoses dermatitidis, It grows in soil as a mold producing conidia. This illness is also known as North American blastomycosis, Blastomycetic dermatitis, and Gilchrist's disease. It presents with flu-like symptoms resembling bacterial pneumonia.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fungal diseases are called mycoses. The mycoses that affect humans are divided into 4 categories, relating to penetration of the body.

  1. Superficial mycoses are caused by fungi that only affect the surface of the skin or hair.
  2. Cutaneous mycoses (dermatomycoses) are caused by fungi that affect only the superficial layers of the skin, nails, or hair. Some example of are ringworm and athletes foot.
  3. Subcutaneous mycoses are caused by fungi that penetrate below the skin and involve subcutaneous, connective, and bone tissues. An example is sporotrichosis.
  4. Systemic mycoses (deep mycoses) are very dangerous and attack internal organs. It can often be deadly. An example is Coccidioidomycosis, commonly known as Valley Fever.


dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fungi exist as molds and yeasts. A fungal infection is called a mycosis, these can manifest as a local infection or a systemic infection.

 A very common fungal infection is caused by a "yeast like fungus" called Candida Albicans. Candida is seen frequently in infants who are undergoing antibiotic therapy or who have just finished a course of antibiotic treatment. The fungus localizes in the oral cavity on the tongue. The tongue becomes white/gray, is inflammed and painful. This is commonly referred to as "thrush".

Another common fungal infection is "tinea capitis", this is ringworm of the scalp. It is a localized, self limiting fungus. Tinea pedis is athlete's foot or ringworm of the feet.

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Diseases caused by fungi tend to be in areas that are easily reached by things in the environment; they are found on the skin, in the lungs, in the ears. Fungal diseases that affect internal organs are quite serious, and can be fatal.

Fungal diseases are called mycoses. The one most commonly found throughout the world is sporotrichosis; it is found in the soil, and infects farmers and gardeners. Other fungi can cause ringworm, athlete's foot, valley fever, and histoplasmosis. I've attached a link that details the types of fungi that cause disease, and the diseases and treatments available.

ik9744 | Student

Aspergillosis, Blastomycosis, Candidiasis, Valley Fever, Fungal Eye infections, histoplasmosis, mucormycosis, ringworm, sporotrichosis are caused by fungi. 

ahmedrehan | Student

Aspergillosis collapsed

Blastomycosis collapsed

Candidiasis collapsed

Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) collapsed

C. neoformans infection collapsed

C. gattii infection collapsed

Fungal eye infections collapsed

Histoplasmosis collapsed

Mucormycosis collapsed

Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) collapsed

Ringworm collapsed

Sporotrichosis collapsed

Other pathogenic fungi

sid-sarfraz | Student

Fungi can cause a number of diseases, some are mild in nature while other can be harmful and some can even cause death. The main sources where they come from can be plants, soil and even our own skin. 

Some of the diseases caused by fungi are as follows:-

  • Candida infection is the infection caused by yeast. It is mild but sometimes not easy to treat. It affects people when the balance of microorganisms in the body is effected due to any reasons like decreased immunity or antibiotics etc.
  • Fungal Meningitis is caused by cryptococcus, leading to inflammation of thin membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord. It is caused by inhalation of fungal cells in the air, when a persons immunity power decreases.
  • Ringworm is the fungal disease caused when we touch someone who already has it or indirectly from contaminated clothes etc. 
  • Athlete's foot is caused by humidity. Feet when are kept wet due to any reason, this disease occurs causing itching etc. 
  • Jock itch is the fungal disease are caused in the area of buttocks, inner thighs and genitals, when these areas are not dried properly.
parama9000 | Student

There are many fungal diseases which exist based on the list on CDC's site, which is a reliable source of information. The link is below.

jess1999 | Student

The kingdom of fungi includes mushrooms, rusts, puffballs, mold, and yeasts.

Some diseases are

Aspergillosis- occurs in people with lung disease/ weak immune system

Candidiasis- caused by yeast

Histoplasmosis- caused by fungus histoplasma capsulatum (lives in environment that has large amount of bird/bat droppings)

Sporotrichosis- caused by Sporothrix schencki (lives in soil and plants)

zumba96 | Student

Fungal diseases are called mycoses and those affecting humans can be divided into four groups based on the level of penetration into the body tissues. Cutaneous mycoses or dermatomycoses include such infections as athlete's foot and ringworm, where growth occurs only in the superficial layers of skin, nails, or hair.

Yojana_Thapa | Student

Fungus is neither a plant or an animal. They get their food by absorbing nutrients from their surroundings. Human feet have 100's of fungi.

Some diseases caused by fungi would be :

  • Asperfillosis
  • Candiasis
  • Blastomycosis
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Cryptoccosis
  • Sportotrichosis
  • Paracoccidiomycosis
  • Zygomycosis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Meningitis
krishna-agrawala | Student

Fungi cause many kinds of diseases in plants and animals. Diseases in humans caused by fungus infection range from skin disorders to serious illness

Fungal diseases like blastomycosis, coccidioidomycosis, and candidiasis in humans often attack the lungs.  Thrush, a fungal disease of the throat, is found mainly in infants. Fungi also can cause brain inflammations and a lung disease called histoplasmosis.  Tinea (ringworm) affects parts of the skin.

sillylillie | Student

Fungi is a form of infecting parasite. They can be hostile to plants, animals and humans and can produce disease in many ways. Skin irritants are most common and something that every person has experienced, dandruff, is caused by a fungal infection.

Invasive infections caused by fungai are more extreme and can even be life-threatening. A person who inhales dust particles contaminated with mold spores from fungi can have an autoimmune response of lung inflammation. This inflammation can lead to chronic disease if the fungi continues to reproduce in the lungs and move to other organs. These types of infections are very difficult to diagnose.

The substance ergot is produced from toxigenic molds. Ingestion of contaminated rye, grains and other grasses causes ergotism. There are two types of ergotism derived from fungi. The first, known as gangrenous, affects the gastrointestinal track as well as the outer extremities. The second, convulsive ergotism, affects the brain and nervous system leading to spinal lesions, mental disabilities and even death.

sparrow13 | Student




Ringworm is not a worm, but a common fungus infection of the skin. The fungus (often one called


Microsporum) does not invade living.

Epidermophyton floccosum



causes athlete’s foot in humans – usually in the web area between toes – and is common in shoewearing people because it’s favoured by warm, humid conditions. It can also affect the hand and other areas of the body, and here is attacking toe-nails.

skin ulcers blastomycosis (caused by


Blastomyces dermatidis). The disease starts in the lungs when spores are inhaled, and then spreads to other organs.

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