Master Blastomyces with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Blastomyces

Blast-mice
Picmonic
Blastomyces is a genus of dimorphic fungi known to be the causative agent of blastomycosis. Like the other dimorphic fungi, it exists as hyphae on the colder end of the temperature spectrum, like in soil, and as yeast on the warmer end of the temperature spectrum, like in the body. The most well-known species of this genus is Blastomyces dermatitidis. This organism exists as a round yeast form that is 5-15 micrometers (similar to the size of red blood cells) and is known for single broad-based buds during replication. The organism is also encapsulated with thick doubly-refractive walls that help with diagnosis when visualized in sputum or tissues. It is endemic to areas east of the Mississippi River and around the Great Lakes. The symptoms of blastomycosis vary considerably and can include an acute illness resembling bacterial pneumonia, skin lesions that appear as ulcerative lesions with small pustules or resembling squamous cell carcinoma, and lytic bone lesions that lead to bone or joint pain. Blastomyces can infect normal, immunocompetent hosts and cause granulomatous lesions in the affected organs. Blastomycosis can be treated with itraconazole or amphotericin B.
14 KEY FACTS
CHARACTERISTICS
Fungi
Fun-guy

Blastomyces is a genus of dimorphic fungi known to be the causative agent of blastomycosis.

Hyphae Form at 20°-25°C
Frozen Hyphae

Like other dimorphic fungi, Blastomyces exists as hyphae on the colder end of the temperature spectrum, such as in dirt or soil.

Yeast Form at 37°C
Yeast-map on Fire

Like the other dimorphic fungi, Blastomyces exists as yeast on the warmer end of the temperature spectrum, like in the body.

Round Yeast
Round-compass pointing East

Blastomyces exists as a round yeast form.

5-15 Micrometer (um or μm)
5-15 um-ruler

The yeast form of Blastomyces is 5-15 micrometers, which is similar in size to a red blood cell (RBC).

Single Broad-Based Buds
Broad-Based Buds

Blastomyces can be visualized as single broad-based buds on sputum or tissue prep.

Thick Doubly-Refractive Walls
Double Walls

Blastomyces is also encapsulated with thick doubly-refractive walls that help with diagnosis when visualized in sputum or tissues.

East of the Mississippi River and Around the Great Lakes
Map with East of the Mississippi River and Great Lakes highlighted

Blastomyces is endemic to areas east of the Mississippi River and around the Great Lakes.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Pneumonia
Nude-Mona

Blastomycosis can present as an acute illness resembling bacterial pneumonia, with symptoms of high fever, chills, productive cough and pleuritic chest pain. Lung disease caused by blastomycosis can easily spread to the skin and bones.

Skin Infection
Skin-suit

Blastomycosis can cause skin lesions with ulcerations and small pustules. Additionally, it can lead to verrucous skin lesions that often resemble squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Bone Infection
Skeleton

Blastomycosis can disseminate to the bone causing local pain, joint pain and lytic lesions.

Granulomatous Response
Granny-llama

Blastomycosis has been known to disseminate in normal, immunocompetent hosts, in which it leads to mixed suppurative granulomas in the lungs or causes granulomatous nodules on the skin. This happens because of a limited ability to phagocytize the organism alongside continued recruitment of neutrophils and alveolar macrophages.

TREATMENT
Itraconazole
Eye-in-the-A-hole

Itraconazole is usually used to treat blastomycosis, as it has been shown to be effective and well-tolerated with minimal side effects. However, many different medications from the "-azole" class have been used to treat blastomycosis in respective circumstances.

Amphotericin B
Amphibian-terminator (B) Bee

Amphotericin B is a medication reserved for systemic blastomycosis because of its side effect profile. It is also commonly used to treat blastomycosis with CNS involvement because of its penetration of the blood-brain-barrier.

Unlock all 14 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Blastomyces Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Medical (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 870,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medical (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medical (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medical (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.