Occupation, lifestyle, diet, and invasive fungal infections.


Sipsas NV, Kontoyiannis DP.
Infection. 2008 Dec;36(6):515-25



Although the risk factors for invasive fungal infections (IFIs) in immunocompromised hosts are well described and associated with the net state of immunosuppression, much less is written on the effects of lifestyle on the risk of IFIs in the general population.


We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Current Contents databases for all reports on IFIs associated with occupation,lifestyle, and diet.


Many professions, especially those involving outdoor activities, are associated with increased environmental exposure to pathogenic fungi and, subsequently, increased risk of IFIs. Inhalation and direct inoculation through minor skin lesions are the most common mechanisms of fungal infection. In addition, different lifestyle practices, such as smoking tobacco or marijuana, body piercing, tattooing, use of illicit intravenous drugs, and pet ownership, various outdoor leisure activities, such as gardening, camping, spelunking, and hunting, and traveling to endemic areas are associated with an increased risk of IFIs. Finally, some modern diet habits dictate the consumption of food or herbal products harboring pathogenic fungi or fungal toxins, which may cause IFIs in susceptible individuals.