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Volume 20, Number 11—November 2014

Etymologia: Blastomycosis

Ronnie HenryComments to Author 

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Blastomycosis [blasʺto-mi-koʹsis]

From the Greek blastós (“germ, sprout”) and mykēs (“fungus, mushroom”), this invasive fungal infection was first reported in 1894 by T. C. Gilchrist. Gilchrist initially believed the disease was caused by a protozoan, but in collaboration with W.R. Stokes, he subsequently isolated the organism, which he named Blastomyces dermatitidis. The infection became known as Chicago disease because most early cases were identified in the Chicago area, but it was subsequently shown to be endemic to much of eastern North America. Sporadic cases have also been reported in Africa, the Middle East, and India.



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  2. Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders; 2012.
  3. Saccente  M, Woods  GL. Clinical and laboratory update on blastomycosis. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2010;23:36781 . DOIPubMedGoogle Scholar


Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2011.et2011

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Ronnie Henry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop E03, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA

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Page created: October 17, 2014
Page updated: October 17, 2014
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