The most important factor in the emergence of opportunistic fungi and the changing epidemiology of fungal disease largely relates to advances in medical and surgical therapy. These successes that on the one hand have offered treatment to patients with previously severe or fatal diseases have on the other hand produced a hospitalized patient population of severely ill, immunocompromised individuals. This patient pool has been increased by the AIDS epidemic. The intricate systems of immune and nonimmune mechanisms that protect us from invading organisms are compromised; previously innocuous fungal species become virulent pathogens.
Primary immunode.ciencies are inherited and are of variable severity. For example, chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) and myeloperoxidase de.ciency (MPD) are conditions in which neutrophil intracellular killing mechanisms are defective. Impaired T-lymphocyte function is associated with severe combined immunode.ciency syndrome in infants. AIDS and several hematologic malignancies are examples of acquired defects in T-cell function. However, many examples of impaired host defense are those acquired in hospital (Table 1).
Course Number: V035B.043001
This CME Expires on July 1, 2003; no tests will be accepted after this date.
This course is accredited by
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Continuing Education