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Glossary of Terms

Antibody: Protein synthesized by lymphocytes to help eliminate a foreign material (antigen) from the body.

Antigen: Foreign material, including an organism or its extract, which will produce an immunologic response when inoculated (or inhaled) into a suitable host.

Asexual reproduction: Nuclear or cytoplasmic division to produce two or more identical cells (mitosis).

Dermatomycosis: Fungal disease affecting hair, nails or skin.

Dermatophytosis: Fungal disease of the hair, skins or nail.

Eukaryotic: Containing a true nucleus surrounded by a nuclear membrane or cell wall.

Fungus: Kingdom of organisms that contain true nuclei, are devoid of chlorophyll and absorb all nutrients from the environment, especially decaying organic matter.

Fungus ball: A walled-off fungal abscess in the lungs which can erode into blood vessels and disseminate. Aspergillus is one genus that can cause fungus balls.

Hypha: Long strand of cells, with or without crosswalls.

Keratomicosis: Infection of the cornea of the eye. Occurs in patients with trauma to the eye, use of corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory medications used in conjunction with antibiotics) and glaucoma.

Mycotoxin: A secondary metabolite that in small concentrations are toxic when introduced. A method of introduction is through eating contaminated food or inhaling air that contains the toxins from a contaminated room or building.

Necrosis: dead and decaying tissue.

Otomicosis: A fungal infection of the external ear. Symptoms vary from inflammation, itching, scaling and partial deafness. Infection often occurs due to trauma to the ear, such as cleaning the ear with matches or other sharp objects. It can also be secondary to a bacterial ear infection or to previous use of antibiotics.

Opportunistic pathogen: Not normally disease producing. If host is debilitated, as with chronic disease (AIDS), anticancer therapy, antibiotics, steroids, diabetes etc.. The opportunist spreads and than causes an infection.

Pathogenic: Producing disease.

Septate: Contain cross-walls in hyphae, conidia or spores.

Sexual reproduction: reproduction by fusion.

Sinusitis: Infection of the nasal sinuses with sinus pain, nasal discharge, nasal obstruction, and inflammation. Usually occurs in immunocompetent patients with a history of allergy and nasal polyps. If not treated other infections such as parinasal sinuses, and the central nervous system can also be involved.

Sporangia: Asexual sac-like structures that contain sporangiospores (spores).

Spore: a general term for a reproductive structure in fungi, bacteria and cryptigams.

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