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Mycetoma Inflammation / Infections

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Mycetomas are chronic inflammatory granulomatous diseases that result from infection of body tissue with fungi (molds) and/or Actinomycetes (bacteria which resemble fungi in many ways). 

Alexander Bonifaz et al. Mycetoma: Experience of 482 cases in a single center in Mexico. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2014;8:e3102.

Mycetoma organisms most commonly come from the soil, decaying plants, or poorly stored foodstuffs. Mycetoma infections are most common in poor and tropical areas of the world. Mycetoma often presents after traumatic injury to the skin, which is especially common in such occupations as agricultural and forestry workers. Myectomas often cause tumor like swelling which can ooze fluid. Mycetomas are usually not fatal but they can persist for many years, cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, sometimes cause foot amputations, and prevent people from working. Mycetomas can also invade bone and muscle and spread through the blood and lymphatic systems. Many mycetomas can resemble cancers such as sarcomas.

A single Mexican hospital reported 482 cases of mycetoma over a 33 year period. Sixty-two percent of cases involved the foot, often in workers who were barefoot or wore open toed shoes. In 8 cases the mycetoma infections spread from the infection site to other areas of the body via the lymphatic system. Micro-organisms isolated from the mycetomas included actinomycetes in 444 cases and fungi in 38 cases. The average length of mycetoma persistence was 2.2 years with a maximum length of 36 years.

Mycetomas can be preventing by wearing proper clothing and strong shoes without open toes. Regular washing and bathing can also prevent risk of mycetomas. For treatment, antifungal and/or antibacterial drugs are required. Sometimes surgery and amputations of infected tissues are also required.


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