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The Fungi Within

Diverse fungal species live in and on the human body.

Feb 1, 2016
Mahmoud Ghannoum

Preliminary surveys have revealed several pathogenic species that may increase one’s risk of disease when the healthy microbiome is disrupted. For example, Candida species are among the most common members of the human mycobiome. When the balance of a microbial community is disrupted, Candida species can flourish and cause disease (candidiasis, or “thrush,” when it develops in the mouth or throat).

BODY LOCATION GENERA IDENTIFIED DETAILS

ORAL CAVITY
 

• Alternaria
• Aspergillus
• Aureobasidium
• Candida
• Cladosporium
• Cryptococcus
• Fusarium
• Gibberella
• Glomus • Pichia
• Saccharomyces
• Teratosphaeria

Pathogenic fungi such as
Aspergillus, Fusarium, and
Cryptococcus species are
common residents, and
may increase the risk of
invasive fungal infections,
especially in immunocompromised
patients.

LUNGS

• Aspergillus
• Candida

• Cladosporium
• Penicillium
• Cryptococcus
Pathogenic species such
as Candida albicans are
found in patients with
cystic fibrosis, pulmonary
fibrosis, and other lung
diseases, as well as in
lung transplant patients
and those suffering from
cardiovascular disease.
GASTRO-INTESTINAL • Aspergillus
• Candida

• Cladosporium
• Cryptococcus
• Fusarium

• Penicillium
• Pneumocystis
• Mucor
• Saccharomyces
Alterations in the composition
of the commensal
mycobiome in the gut have
been implicated in the
exacerbation of inflammatory
bowel disorders such
as Crohn’s disease.

SKIN
• Candida
• Cryptococcus

• Debaryomyces
• Epidermophyton
Malassezia
• Microsporum

• Rhodotorula
• Trichophyton
• Aspergillus

• Chrysosporium
• Epicoccum
• Leptosphaerulina
• Penicillium
• Phoma
• Saccharomyces
• Ustilago
Malassezia species, which
can lead to superficial
skin disease, have been
found in the external
auditory canal and on the
skin, particularly on the
torso and arms.

*Potentially pathogenic lineages

Read the full story.

June 2019

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Can pathogens be converted to commensals?

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