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publicado em 06/09/2011 às 12h00:00
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Fungus found in soil can cause scarring in the eye and cause blindness

Most people with ocular histoplasmosis are children and the disease can remain asymptomatic until 50

 
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Foto: Indiana University
Ryan Prall, professor de oftamologia na Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute
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Ryan Prall, professor de oftamologia na Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute

Although most people with ocular histoplasmosis is children, the disease usually does not present a problem until people are 40 to 50 years. At Indiana University School of Medicine, the disease has been studied for a long time, especially one of the pioneers in the field, Professor Theodore Schlaegel Jr., the IU Department of Ophthalmology.

He collaborated with researchers from around the country and in England in epidemiological studies and was one of the first scientists to believe that the scars were the result of exposure to histoplasmosis fungus. He is also credited for establishing the link between histoplasmosis and a disease that causes inflammation and scarring of the retina, now known as ocular histoplasmosis syndrome.

More commonly associated with lung disease, the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum can also cause vision loss and blindness if the infection is not treated. It is more common in the southeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest United States. It grows in soil and is more concentrated in soil contaminated with bird or bat droppings.

Like other areas of the body can be infected, the eyes may remain asymptomatic for years. The fungus can be in the layer of the eye behind the retina causing "points of histoplasmosis" or scars. But these scars are usually not significant. Ocular Histoplasmosis is generally uncommon, but here in Indiana, there are a significant number of people with stains caused by scar tissue, said assistant professor of ophthalmology, Ryan Prall, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute and member of the Indiana University School of Medicine.

He said if the scars are in the macula (central retina), it can grow new blood vessels through and around those scars, causing swelling and loss of vision. This is known as choroidal neovascularization. With advances in treatment, less than 1% of patients have significant risk of losing vision. In the last decade, a drug that inhibits blood vessel growth (anti-VEGF) has been effective in the treatment of histoplasmosis in the macula. If diagnosed and treated early, there is usually a minimum loss of vision, Prall said.

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Fungus    Histoplasma capsulatum    Retina    Eye    Scars    Macula    Choroidal neovascularization    Soil contamination    Ohio    USA   
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fungus    Histoplasma capsulatum    retina    eye    scars    macula    choroidal neovascularization    soil contamination    Ohio    USA   
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