Gilchrist disease

Gilchrist disease: Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Alternative Name: North American blastomycosis. Gilchrist diseaseGilchrist disease is a granulomatous, infectious disease caused by the fungus, Blastomyces dermatitidis (B. dermatitidis). It originates as a respiratory infection and disseminates, usually with pulmonary, osseous, and/or cutaneous involvement predominating. Gilchrist disease is a relatively rare disease, from 1992 to 2000 an average of 86 cases have been reported. The precise mode of infection is not yet fully known. The disease may develop when people breathe in a fungus called B. dermatitidis, which is found in wood and soil. Gilchrist disease develops when spores of the B. dermatitidis are breathed in and establish a primary infection in the lung. In nature, the fungus probably resides in the soil in decaying foliage and vegetation. Only under quite specific conditions of humidity, temperature and nutrition can the fungus grow and produce the infecting particles, the spores. The spores become airborne when the soil in which the fungus is growing is disturbed. This aerosol is then inhaled by humans or other mammals. Thus, activities that involve disrupting the soil are likely to put a person at increased risk for acquiring Gilchrist disease. Risk Factors: Age: The infection may appear in any age group.
  • Sex: The disease is definitely more common in men than in women.
  • Race: No race is immune.
  • Occupation: This disease mostly affectspoorer working class, who has more exposure to dust, soil, wood,and vegetation.
  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Use of drugs that suppress the immune system.
Symptoms: Subjective symptoms are relatively mild, or even absent, and the general health of the patient is unimpaired except in the presence of secondary bacterial infections. Symptoms usually appear three weeks to several months after infection in people. Some common symptoms include: Fever. When the skin is affected, lesions appear on the face, arms, hands, and feet and begin as small tumors which then enlarge, suppurate, ulcerate, and heal with a crusting at the center. Diagnosis: Differential diagnosis include: Histoplasmosis, coccidiomycosis, tuberculosis. Clinical diagnosis based on history andphysical findings is, at most, presumptive and made unequivocal only by positivedemonstration and identification of the causative organism in the laboratory.Even when the tissue phase of B. dermatitidis is recognizedin fresh or stained specimens, it is a wise policy to confirm this by isolationand identification of the organism in cultures. Treatment: The systemic treatment of Gilchrist disease is unsatisfactory, as evidenced by the multitude of therapeutic modalities used to control the disease. The disease can be treated with respective antifungal drugs. Iodide therapy has been most extensively used, with some success. Surgical procedures are also of some value in certain types of the disease. Complete excision with or without skin grafting can be done on the smaller, localized lesions. Cauterization, electrocoagulation, cryotherapy or curettage has been combined with iodide therapy and roentgenotherapy, but the greater risk of dissemination accompanying these procedures has been admitted. Without treatment the disease progress and leads to death. Disclaimer:The above information is just informative purpose especially causes, diagnosis, and treatment. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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