Eumycetoma (Fungal Mycetoma)

Updated: Aug 17, 2015
  • Author: George Turiansky, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Overview

Background

Eumycetoma is a chronic cutaneous and subcutaneous infection caused by various genera of fungi. Approximately 40% of mycetomas worldwide are eumycotic as opposed to actinomycotic (ie, caused by bacterial actinomycetes). The disease is marked by progressive destruction of soft tissue and nearby anatomic structures.

Gill, who worked at a dispensary in the southern Indian province of Madura, first recognized mycetomas as a disease entity in 1842. Godfrey first documented a case of mycetoma in Madras, India. Native peoples of the province of Madura commonly called the disease Madura foot. In 1860, Carter, who established the fungal etiology of this disorder, first proposed the term mycetoma. [1] In 1872, Carter further proposed the terms melanoid and ochroid in an attempt to classify the disease into 2 varieties on the basis of the black or pale-colored granules (ie, grains, sclerotia) produced by the etiologic agents. [2]

Note: Opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the author and are not to be considered as official or as reflecting the views of the US Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.

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Pathophysiology

The foot is the most common site of infection, and 70% of all mycetomas affect the foot. Other reported sites of involvement include the upper extremities, trunk, buttocks, eyelids, lacrimal glands, paranasal sinuses, mandible, scalp, neck, perineum, and testes. The disease is initially limited to the skin and subcutaneous tissue but may eventually spread through the fascial planes to contiguous structures such as muscle, bone, blood and lymphatic vessels, and nerves. Rarely, the disease may spread to the regional lymph nodes or viscera.

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Epidemiology

Frequency

United States

Sporadic cases have been reported in North America. In the United States, epidemiologic data from 1896-1964 include only 30 cases of eumycetoma, with the highest incidence in the Southwest. [3] Mycetoma is common in Mexico; in the United States, physicians in Texas and other border states are most likely to encounter patients with mycetoma.

International

Eumycetoma is mainly a disease of the tropical and subtropical zones especially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, that is, between the latitudes 15° S and 30° N. Eumycetoma is endemic in India, parts of Africa (eg, Sudan, [4] Senegal, Somalia, Nigeria, Zaire, Chad), Pakistan, Yemen, Mexico, Central America, South America (eg, Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil), and Indonesia.

Sex

The disease incidence is higher in males than females, with a ratio of 4-5:1.

Age

The disease incidence is highest in persons aged 10-40 years.

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Prognosis

Eumycetoma can be associated with significant morbidity in terms of gradual enlargement and deformity of the infected site. Severe involvement of the lower extremity may impair ambulation.

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