Skin inflammatory (nontumor)
Infectious disorders
Fungi - Zygomycosis

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 18 October 2018, last major update July 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Fungi - Zygomycosis [title]

Cite this page: Pernick, N. Fungi - Zygomycosis. website. Accessed October 19th, 2018.
Clinical features
  • Infections caused by fungi in class Zygomycetes, including Absidia, Mucor, Rhizomucor, Rhizopus, Apophysomyces elegans (rare human pathogen)
  • Most zygomycosis occur in immunocompromised patients (due to leukemia, lymphoma, diabetes, transplantation), with rhinocerebral or pulmonary infection, then dissemination
  • Other causes include iron overload, major trauma, chronic corticosteroids, intravenous drug use / injection abscess (Indian J Med Res 2010;131:765), neonatal prematurity, malnourishment
  • A. elegans causes progressive necrosis of wound in previously healthy patients after trauma or invasive procedures (Arch Pathol Lab Med 1999;123:386)
  • PCR or culture
  • A. elegans - grows as a rapidly growing mold with sporangiophores having dark brown, funnel shaped apophyses and pyriform sporangia
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Rhizomucor culture has
"cotton candy"-like texture,
grows rapidly, maturation
within 4 days

Rhizomucor culture demonstrates sparsely septate broad hyphae, irregularly branched sporangiophores, brown round sporangia, rhizoids located on stolons between sporangiophores

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Extensive coagulative necrosis due to fungi with broad, sparsely septate, thin-walled hyphae
  • Angioinvasion with thrombosis
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Aseptate hyphae

Additional references