Mucormycosis, formerly known as zygomycosis, is a fungal disease caused by a variety of fungi in the Mucorales family. This family of fungi is commonly found in the environment – in soil, for example – and is often connected with decaying organic matter like fruit and vegetables. Mucormycosis is a very uncommon infection. Mucor mould, which is widely found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables, causes it. It’s everywhere, in soil and air, and even in healthy people’s noses and snot. It affects the sinuses, brain, and lungs, and it can be fatal in diabetics or persons who are extremely immune-compromised, such as cancer patients or HIV/AIDS patients.
Mucorales fungi are opportunistic, which means they frequently infect humans who have a compromised immune system or damaged tissue. Immune function can be harmed by medicines that suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids, as well as a variety of other immunocompromising illnesses, such as cancer or transplantation. Tissue damage can occur as a result of trauma or surgery.
Inhaling spores, eating spores in food or medicines, or having spores contaminate wounds are the three ways humans might get mucormycosis. The most common method is inhalation. Every day, we inhale the spores of a variety of fungi. However, if our immune systems and lungs are in good shape, they are unlikely to cause an infection.
Covid-19 infections are more severe in people with diabetes and obesity. They’re more likely to be given corticosteroids as a result of this. However, corticosteroids, in combination with diabetes, raise the risk of mucormycosis. Meanwhile, the virus that causes Covid-19 can harm airway tissue and blood vessels, putting them at risk of fungal infection. Mucormycosis can go to the eyes and cause blindness, or it can move to the brain and cause headaches or convulsions.
Controlling these fungal infections would necessitate improved awareness, better testing to detect them early, as well as an emphasis on diabetes management and the prudent use of corticosteroids. Patients will need access to surgery and antifungal treatment as soon as possible. However, more research into the prevention of these illnesses is required.