Protozoal and Fungal Infections

Protozoa and fungi are simple organisms, capable of living in many different habitats. Some protozoa and fungi are parasites of humans. They acquire all their food from our bodies and often cause disease. One protozoal infection, malaria, affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide each year and is often fatal.

Protozoal infections are discussed first, starting with malaria, the most important health hazard for visitors to the tropics. Further articles deal with other protozoal infections, including diseases that are common causes of diarrhoea, such as amoebiasis and cryptosporidiosis. The protozoal infection trichomoniasis, which is transmitted sexually, is covered with other such sexually transmitted infections (see Trichomoniasis). Fungal infections are discussed next. Like most protozoal infections, fungal infections may be serious in people with reduced immunity, such as those who have AIDS. The types of fungi described in this section can spread around the body from the initial site of infection, sometimes causing long-term illness. Common fungal infections that affect particular areas of the body, such as the skin and vagina, are covered in the sections on specific body systems.

Key structures

For more information on the structure of protozoa and fungi.

Malaria

Amoebiasis

Giardiasis

Cryptosporidiosis

Toxoplasmosis

Pneumocystis Infection

Cryptococcosis

Aspergillosis

Sporotrichosis

Candidiasis

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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