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Clinical features and diagnosis of sporotrichosis

Carol A Kauffman, MD
Section Editor
Kieren A Marr, MD
Deputy Editor
Jennifer Mitty, MD, MPH


Sporotrichosis is a subacute to chronic infection caused by the dimorphic fungus Sporothrix schenckii. Infection usually involves cutaneous and subcutaneous tissues but can occasionally occur in other sites, primarily in immunocompromised patients. Activities associated with the development of sporotrichosis include landscaping, rose gardening, and other activities that involve inoculation of soil through the skin.

The typical and atypical clinical manifestations of sporotrichosis and the diagnosis and treatment of these infections will be reviewed here. Mycology and epidemiology of sporotrichosis are discussed separately. (See "Basic biology and epidemiology of sporotrichosis" and "Treatment of sporotrichosis".)


Sporotrichosis usually arises after soil, moss, or other organic material containing the fungus is inoculated into the skin or subcutaneous tissue [1]. Patients with pulmonary infection develop infection after inhalation of S. schenckii conidia; some cases of disseminated infection presumably also follow inhalation.

The typical host with lymphocutaneous sporotrichosis is a healthy individual with an outdoor occupation or avocation that provides exposure to the fungus. Infections involving osteoarticular structures, lungs, meninges, and other viscera are uncommon and occur most often in individuals with underlying illnesses including [2-6]:



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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Apr 26, 2016.
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