Entomophthoromycosis due to Conidiobolus coronatus is a granulomatous infection characterized by lesions that originate in the inferior turbinate, spread through ostia and foramina to involve the facial and subcutaneous tissues and paranasal sinuses. The majority of the cases have been described from areas of tropical rainforest in West Africa, agricultural and outdoor workers (aged 20-60 years) being the ones most frequently affected. The fungus is common in soil and decaying vegetation. Infection probably occurs by implantation of the spores of the fungus in nasal mucosa. C. incongruus is a rare agent of the disease, so far known only from two cases with lesions involving the pericardium, mediastinum, lungs, liver, oesophagus and jejunum. C. coronatus is known to cause a clinically similar disease in horses, mules, a dolphin and a chimpanzee. A characteristic histological feature is the presence of thin-walled, broad, often septate hyphae or hyphal fragments with a thick eosinophilic sheath, frequently phagocytosed within giant cells. The fungus is known to produce in vitro several enzymes, e.g., elastase, esterase, collagenase and lipase, which have a possible role in pathogenicity. A concentrated brain heart infusion culture filtrate antigen is useful for immunodiagnosis. Several drugs e.g., potassium iodide, cotrimoxazole, amphotericin B, ketoconazole and itraconazole have been tried with varying success. Investigations on the immunology of disease and the role of proteases and lipases in the pathogenesis of infection is an important area of further research.
European Journal of Epidemiology 06/1992; 8(3):391-6. DOI:10.1007/BF00158574