Fungal infections generally become severe only in patients who are immunocompromised in some way. As we age, and our immune systems become less effective, we become more susceptible to fungal infections.

In a body whose immune defenses are down, opportunistic fungal pathogens can wreak truly gruesome havoc.

(Photos courtesy of Dr. David Janos)

Dermatophytes causing "jock rash" (left) and toenail malformation (right).

Sugar cane cutters suffer micro-cuts to the feet while working,
and fungal spores enter. If the immune system is compromised, severe infection can result.

Aspergillis is ubiquitous, and healthy people are generally not affected.
However, persons suffering from AIDS cannot suppress opportunistic fungal pathogens.

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