Blastomyces spp. is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • Thermally dimorphic fungus: mycelial in nature (room temperature) and yeast in tissue (37°C).
  • Yeast form is 8 x 30 micron with broad-based budding [Fig 1], differentiates from Histoplasma narrow-based budding.
  • Fungus especially found in moist, acid soils in forests, decomposing matter.
  • Blastomycosis:
    • Blastomyces dermatiditis: usually strikes immunocompetent people.
    • B.gilchristii
    • B. helicus (previously Emmonsia helicus): this organism does not appear to produce conidia. Described to date as a rare cause of often disseminated human infection in the Western U.S., Rocky Mountains, Western Canada, and in immunocompromised hosts--differentiating from B. dermatitidis[2].
      • Cutaneous findings not yet described with this species.
      • This species may be misdiagnosed as H. capsulatum or B. dermatitidis.

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Last updated: March 5, 2019