Blastomycosis is a rare disease caused by another dimorphic fungus, Blastomyces dermatitidis. Like Histoplasma and Coccidioides, Blastomyces uses the soil as a reservoir, and fungal spores can be inhaled from disturbed soil. The pulmonary form of blastomycosis generally causes mild flu-like symptoms and is self-limiting. It can, however, become disseminated in immunocompromised people, leading to chronic cutaneous disease with subcutaneous lesions on the face and hands. These skin lesions eventually become crusty and discolored and can result in deforming scars. Systemic blastomycosis is rare, but if left untreated, it is always fatal.
Preliminary diagnosis of pulmonary blastomycosis can be made by observing the characteristic budding yeast forms in sputum samples. Commercially available urine antigen tests are now also available. Additional confirmatory tests include serological assays such as immunodiffusion tests or EIA. Most cases of blastomycosis respond well to amphotericin B or ketoconazole treatments.
Parker, N., Schneegurt, M., Thi Tu, A.-H., Forster, B. M., & Lister, P. (n.d.). Microbiology. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at: https://openstax.org/details/books/microbiology