Fungi that are Medically Important

Fungi that are Medically Important


The kingdom fungi comprise of a variety of organisms that are neither animals nor plants (Kavanagh, 2017). Organisms such as yeast which are contributing to forming of the baking powder for bread and making of beer and Multicellular eukaryotes such as edible mushrooms are some examples of kingdom fungi. Kingdom fungi are absolutely essential as they act as decomposers to every ecosystem (Kavanagh, 2017). Therefore, this paper shall explain the characteristics of fungi and their importance. The Paper as well discusses the fungal diseases.

Characteristics of Fungi

Fungi are heterotrophic in nature meaning they are unable to make their food. Fungi usually acquire nutrition from other organisms. Therefore, Fungi typically grow on other bodies thus feeding on their nutrients. There is typically an enzyme released by the fungi to digest food on the organism it is attached to (Kavanagh, 2017).

Fungi members are eukaryotes. This means that kingdom fungi members have complex cells that have got organelles and a nucleus. Apart from yeast which is single-celled, all other members of fungi are multicellular. Commonly, fungi’s structure is made up of individual feathery filaments known as hyphae (Kavanagh, 2017).

Fungi disperse themselves via spores. The spores are spread through the wind as they are blown to different locations hence enhancing their reproduction.Since most fungi members are terrestrial,they spread through spores. Others produce through fission which involves cell division into double identical daughter cells. Fungi kingdom moves using flagella. The cell walls of fungi kingdom are covered by chitin to enable them to incline into organisms. Chitin usually strengthens their walls. Chitin is a polymer of N-acetylglucosamine (Kavanagh, 2017).

Medically Important Fungi and Fungi Disease

Most fungi which are medically beneficial are classified morphologically. Yeast is a perfect example of fungi which may not be elongated to form ahyphadespite being single-celled (Kavanagh, 2017). Examples of their beneficial type include Trichosporon and candida.Depending on the environmental conditions, both mould and yeast forms exist in dimorphic fungi. However, Penicillium marneffei, Histoplasma capsulatum, and coccidioides immitis are some of the most important examples of dimorphic fungi (Kavanagh, 2017).Molds are categorized in accordance with mycelium formation when in the vegetative stage. Aspergillus, Epidermophyton, Trichophyton, and Rhizopus are among the examples of molds that are clinically important.Another fungal disease which was previously known as p. cainii is currently known as pneumocystis jirovecii(Kavanagh, 2017).

Superficial Mycoses

Dermatomycoses is another name for a fungal disorder known as superficial mycoses. The disease is ubiquitous in nature. Superficial mycoses affect both skin appendage and keratinized epidermis. Yeast and dermatophytes are the two common groups of fungi that are most commonly encountered (Kavanagh, 2017).The fungal infection is known as the Ringworm or tinea.The fungal diseases are named according to the affected part of the body. Forexample, tinea manus,tinea capitis, tinea corporis, tinea pedis, tinis barbae, and tinea cruris (Kavanagh, 2017).



Clinical Features

There exists diverse manifestation of fungal infections. Fungi can affect various body organs. For instance, the site of infection is mostly used in the classification of mycoses. They disorder are grouped into subcutaneous, superficial and systematic mycoses (Kavanagh, 2017).


In the past few decades, fungal infections invasion has become continuously prevalent.This has been contributed by the increased immunocompromised number of hosts whether in a community setting or the hospital setting (Kavanagh,2017). Defects in host immune mechanisms and broad-spectrum therapy on antibiotics contribute immensely on systematic fungal infections.



Kavanagh, K. (Ed.). (2017). Fungi: biology and applications. John Wiley & Sons.

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