A fungus infection
that may gain entry to the body through inhalation, ingestion, or inoculation from a contaminated environment. The fungus, Sporothrix schenckii
, exists in soil, peat moss, and decaying vegetation, and the disease
is contracted mainly by laborers, farmers, and florists. Outbreaks commonly occur in Mexico
Pustules on the exposed skin enlarge and lead to involvement of the lymph nodes, which themselves may ulcerate. Internal absorption of the organism produces the same lymph-node response, and the disease, if untreated, may be fatal. Diagnosis is made by blood tests and culture of the organism from the gland or pustule. Treatment is usually effective with antifungal medication, which may need to be continued for several weeks.