Fungal Infections

Let IU Health experts find the right antibiotics for your fungal infection

Fungal infections can cause minor problems, such as a rash, or life-threatening conditions like meningitis. While many of us breathe in fungi spores without getting sick, if you have a weakened immune system, fungal infections can harm you. Specialized training and education allow IU Health physicians to treat and prevent your fungal infections

Fungi live in the air, water and soil. Most fungi do not harm you, but some can pose danger and make it difficult for physicians to treat. You can reduce your risk by handling soil and animal droppings carefully when gardening or farming.

Types

Some fungi live naturally in our bodies, but if they grow too quickly they can become yeast infections. Because fungi outside your body reproduce by creating airborne spores, most fungal infections affect the skin or lungs.
Common fungi include athlete’s foot and Aspergillosis, a lung infection.

Diagnosis

Physicians at IU Health diagnose infections by taking cultures. They may perform further tests to develop an effective treatment plan. Our Infectious Diseases physicians offer expert diagnosis and care of fungal infections, including the following services:

  • Blood culture. For a blood culture, specialists draw a small amount of blood, then examine it under a microscope for the presence of fungi.
  • Sputum cultures. If you have an infection in your lungs or airways, a mucus sample provides a clearer picture of the infection. Specialists swab your mouth or throat then examine the sample in the lab. If we find fungi, we may order additional tests to ensure you receive the best treatment for your specific infection.
  • Wound culture. If you have an infected injury or wound, we take a sample directly from the infection site. We study infected tissue under microscopes to identify the cause of the infection, whether bacterial or fungal. Cultures ensure you do not receive unnecessary treatment or antibiotics.

Overview

Fungi live in the air, water and soil. Most fungi do not harm you, but some can pose danger and make it difficult for physicians to treat. You can reduce your risk by handling soil and animal droppings carefully when gardening or farming.

Types

Some fungi live naturally in our bodies, but if they grow too quickly they can become yeast infections. Because fungi outside your body reproduce by creating airborne spores, most fungal infections affect the skin or lungs.
Common fungi include athlete’s foot and Aspergillosis, a lung infection.

Diagnosis

Physicians at IU Health diagnose infections by taking cultures. They may perform further tests to develop an effective treatment plan. Our Infectious Diseases physicians offer expert diagnosis and care of fungal infections, including the following services:

  • Blood culture. For a blood culture, specialists draw a small amount of blood, then examine it under a microscope for the presence of fungi.
  • Sputum cultures. If you have an infection in your lungs or airways, a mucus sample provides a clearer picture of the infection. Specialists swab your mouth or throat then examine the sample in the lab. If we find fungi, we may order additional tests to ensure you receive the best treatment for your specific infection.
  • Wound culture. If you have an infected injury or wound, we take a sample directly from the infection site. We study infected tissue under microscopes to identify the cause of the infection, whether bacterial or fungal. Cultures ensure you do not receive unnecessary treatment or antibiotics.

We treat most fungal infections with short-term oral medications or medications applied directly to the skin. However, if the fungal infection enters the bloodstream it becomes a more serious condition that requires long-term oral medications. Depending on the severity of your condition and overall health, you may or may not remain hospitalized during your treatment.

Physicians at IU Health provide comprehensive, personalized care to fit your individual needs. Our extensive knowledge and years of experience have made us experts in helping patients.

  • Susceptibility testing. After taking a sample of the infected tissue, we isolate it from your cells to better study it. Our physicians test the effects of different antifungal medications on the fungi to see which one works best at killing the cells. Based on the results of this testing, we create a treatment plan.
  • Antifungal medications. We use antifungal medications to target fungi. These medications come in creams, pills or suppositories depending on the location of your infection. Antifungal medications effectively treat a wide variety of fungal infections and pose few risks to your overall health.

Treatment

We treat most fungal infections with short-term oral medications or medications applied directly to the skin. However, if the fungal infection enters the bloodstream it becomes a more serious condition that requires long-term oral medications. Depending on the severity of your condition and overall health, you may or may not remain hospitalized during your treatment.

Physicians at IU Health provide comprehensive, personalized care to fit your individual needs. Our extensive knowledge and years of experience have made us experts in helping patients.

  • Susceptibility testing. After taking a sample of the infected tissue, we isolate it from your cells to better study it. Our physicians test the effects of different antifungal medications on the fungi to see which one works best at killing the cells. Based on the results of this testing, we create a treatment plan.
  • Antifungal medications. We use antifungal medications to target fungi. These medications come in creams, pills or suppositories depending on the location of your infection. Antifungal medications effectively treat a wide variety of fungal infections and pose few risks to your overall health.

Patient Stories for Fungal Infections

MedlinePlus

This online service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health provides health information about the causes and treatments for fungal infections.

Resources

MedlinePlus

This online service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health provides health information about the causes and treatments for fungal infections.