Blastomycosis is a potentially fatal fungal infection in humans, dogs, cats, and other animals. Blastomyces dermatitidis, exists as a mold in nature and is generally acquired through the inhalation of spores that transform to the yeast forms in the lungs. The ecology of this fungus is incompletely defined due to lack of reliable skin testing, infrequent environmental isolations, significant rates of asymptomatic disease, and uncertain incubation periods of the disease. Thus, case clusters provide valuable opportunities to further understand the environmental niche of B.dermatitidis.
Clinicians must take care to include B. dermatititis in the diagnosis of any humans or animal with suggestive symptoms that have a history of travel to an endemic area, even if that individual is primarily homebound or in an urban area.
Baumgardner, D.J. (In press). Environmental Determinants of Dimorphic Systemic Mycoses: The Macro and The Micro. Commentary, International Journal of Epidemiology.
Baumgardner, D.J. (In press). Microecology of Blastomyces dermatitidis: The Ammonia Hypothesis. Medical Mycology.
Meece JK, Anderson JL, Klein BS, Sullivan TD, Foley SL, Baumgardner DJ, Brummitt CF, Reed KD. (In press) Genetic diversity in Blastomyces dermatitidis: implications for PCR detection in clinical and environmental samples. Med Mycology.
Varani N, Baumgardner DJ, Czuprynski CJ, Paretsky DP. (In press) Attempted isolation of Blastomyces dermatitidis from the nares of dogs: Northern Wisconsin, USA. Med Mycology.
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Baumgardner , D.J., Steber, D., Glazier, R., et al. (2005). Geographic information system analysis of blastomycosis in northern Wisconsin, USA: waterways and soil. Medical Mycology, 43:117-125.
Lemke, M., Baumgardner, D.J., Brummitt, C.F., Swain, G.R., Buggy, B.P., Meidl, J.J., et al. (2009). Blastomycosis in Urban Southeastern Wisconsin. Poster presented at NAPCRG's 2009 Annual Meeting, Montreal, OC (November).
Lemke, M., Baumgardner, D.J., Brummitt, C.F., Swain, G.R., Buggy, B.P., Meidl, J.J., et al. (2009). Blastomycosis in Urban Southeastern Wisconsin. Poster presented at the Population Health Sciences 50th Anniversary Symposium, Madison WI (August).
Baumgardner, D.J., Baesman, Z.J., Schreiber, A., Paretsky, D.P., Vilas County Health Department. (2009). Blastomycosis: Sand and water, seasons and reasons. Rieselbach Distinguished Paper Presentation, Aurora Scientific Day, Milwaukee, WI (May).
Lemke, M.A., Baumgardner, D.J., Brummitt, C., Swain, G.R., Buggy, B., Meidl, J., Baesman, Z., Schreiber, A. (2009). Urban Blastomycosis Case Series. Oral presentation at URISA’s GIS in Public Health Conference, Providence, RI (June).
Aurora UW Medical Group
Dennis Baumgardner, MD
Charles F. Brummitt, MD
Brian P. Buggy, MD
John Meidl, MD
Milwaukee Health Department
Geoffrey R. Swain, MD, MPH
Vilas County Health Department
Gina Egan, RN, BSN
Eagle River Animal Hospital
Daniel P. Paretsky, DVM
Center for Urban Population Health
Melissa Lemke, BA
Zack Baeseman, BS