Medical mycology aims to detect fungal infections in clinical diagnoses. Indeed, although fungi play many important roles in human homeostasis, they can also be a significant health problem for some groups of patients. When the balance between host and fungal pathogen is disrupted, a fungal infection can have serious consequences. Appropriate detection of the development of fungal agents is therefore extremely important in clinical microbiology.
Medical mycology studies the microscopic fungi that can cause in humans the installation of a pathogenic state related to:
- a superficial localization: involvement of the skin and integuments as well as of all the mucous membranes, in particular the digestive and genital tracts
- a deep localization: organic, multiorganic, visceral, septicemic involvement.
The main types of fungi responsible for mycosis are:
- Yeasts (Candida, Cryptococcus ...)
- Molds (Aspergillus)
- Dimorphic fungi (Histoplasma)
- Various fungi (Pneumocystis)
There are currently various complementary techniques and methods for establishing a diagnosis in medical mycology:
- Direct diagnosis (isolation and identification)
- Immunological diagnosis (serological techniques)
- Molecular biology (Epidemiological typing)