Fungal Infections

March 5, 2012

Fungus, Fungus every where

Those with a love for mushrooms, about 30 people, got a hands-on lesson Friday on how to grow and sell their own Shiitake mushrooms.

Dr. Omon Isikhuemhen from North Carolina A&T University, has taught the class at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension office for the past eight years.

“Surry County is most lucky in that you have good trees and good people,” said Isikhuemhen. “We want you to be able to grow so many mushrooms that you can’t eat them all and will need to sell them.”

He said growing mushrooms is an inexpensive project, except for the mushroom spawn, which can be costly. But, through a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, the spawn is free to growers who will agree to inoculate 200 logs. That caused a big groan in the room and only a handful in the class said they were willing to do that many logs. He said it has to be 200 logs so that the USDA can count them as a grower.

“You cannot have three logs and then call me for advice,” said Iskihuemhen with a laugh.

Class participants were asked to bring in 4-foot oak logs that were 4- to 8-inches in diameter.

Carl Massey, who came to take the class again, attended the first class eight years ago. He has been growing them ever since. He also grows Portobella mushrooms and has 10 acres of grapes. Massey said because of an ice storm, he is down to only 40 logs now. He came back to class in order to get more spawn.

Massey said when he first started out eight years ago, the process hadn’t been streamlined, but now there are some new tools, such as an inoculator and a drill bit that is the perfect size to drill holes in the logs.

“They’ve learned and we’ve learned,” said Massey.

He said he takes what few mushrooms are growing now and dries them out before freezing them. He said when he takes them out of the freezer and rehydrates them, they taste just as good as fresh.

Dwight Seal, who was also at the class, has 400 to 500 logs that are producing mushrooms. He sells his mushrooms to local restaurants.

Seal actually started out growing mushrooms while attending Appalachian State University 25 years ago. He loves mushrooms so much, that he likes to go foraging for wild mushrooms.

Elkin’s Mayor Lestine Hutchens said she wanted to take the class because it sounded like a fun thing to learn how to do.

“I love mushrooms. When you stop learning, you stop living. When I was working, I never had time to do stuff like this. And, you meet such interesting people,” said Hutchens.

Extension Agent Joanna Radford said everyone that signed up for the class showed up.

“I’m pleasantly surprised with the turnout today. I’m very excited to see so many people interested in growing mushrooms,” said Radford.

Those who will become mushroom growers were encouraged to sell their mushrooms to Pilot Mountain Pride.

Read more: Mount Airy News – Fungus fungus every where 


Developments in novel breath tests for bacterial and fungal pulmonary infection.

Developments in novel breath tests for bacterial and fungal pulmonary infection.

Chambers STScott-Thomas AEpton M.


aDepartment of Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch bDepartment of Infectious Diseases cDepartment of Respiratory Medicine, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand.



Breath testing has developed over the last 20 years. New techniques that can identify fingerprints for specific diseases and specific markers of respiratory pathogens have been applied to breath analysis. This review discusses the recent advances in breath analysis for the diagnosis of bacterial and fungal lower respiratory tract infections.


The current techniques continue to develop rapidly, but preconcentration techniques are needed to analyse many target volatile organic compounds for most systems. Breath testing with an electronic nose is promising for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB), and specific volatiles identifiable by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry have been identified in breath for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Aspergillus fumigatus, but are found at very low concentrations in breath. Contamination from the environment is an ongoing confounding influence. Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) is disappointing as a diagnostic sample.


Careful attention needs to be paid to the sensitivity and specificity of a technique and confounding from the environment. The role of technologies such as selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry is emerging. The electronic nose requires further validation for TB. The identification of specific microbial biomarkers aids the quest for improved accuracy. EBC is currently of limited value.

Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

March 1, 2012

Definition of Fungus

Definition of Fungus

Fungus: A single-celled or multicellular organism. Fungi can be true pathogens (such as histoplasmosis and coccidioidomycosis) that cause infections in healthy persons or they can be opportunistic pathogens (such as aspergillosiscandidiasis, and cryptococcosis) that cause infections in immunocompromised persons (including cancer patients, transplant recipients, and persons with AIDS). An example of a common fungus is the yeast organism which causesthrush and diaper rash (diaper dermatitis). Fungi are also used for the development of antibiotics, antitoxins, and other drugs used to control various human diseases.


Five types of Skin Fungus

Five types of Skin Fungus

It’s not everyone’s favorite subject — and understandably so. For most people, developing an unsightly skin fungus may be pretty embarrassing. But such infections are actually very common. For instance, it’s estimated that at any one time in the United States, at least one in five people have athlete’s food, a particular type of skin fungus .

Still, for many, the sight of — or mere idea of — a fungus living in one’s skin is repulsive. But if you can distance yourself from the disgust, fungus is actually pretty fascinating. Once thought to be plants (mushrooms are still sorted among vegetables in the supermarket, after all), fungi’s distinct cell walls and lack of chlorophyll distinguish them today as their own kingdom consisting of at least 80,000 species.

Most of the types of fungus we’ll discuss are molds known as dermatophytes. These dermatophytes like to set up camp on skin because they feast on keratin, a strong, fibrous protein that makes up much of your skin (as well as nails and hair, where fungus can also thrive).

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that, besides keratin, fungus loves two things: warmth and moisture. This is why it so often holes up on sweaty feet. Skin fungus is contagious and can spread most commonly among people, but you can also get it from animals and clothes and fabrics (and even soil).

We’ll go through some of the common types of skin fungus and also look at signs of getting them and how to treat them.

1.) Tinea Pedis (Athlete’s Foot)

2.)  Candidiasis

3.)  Tinea Verisicolor

4.)  Tinea Corporis

5.) Tinean Cruris (Jock Itch)

Discovery Fit & Health

Blog at