• Definition

    Mucormycosis is a fungal infection of the sinuses, brain, or lungs that occurs mostly in people with weakened immune systems.

    Alternative Names


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Mucormycosis is caused by common fungi frequently found in the soil and in decaying vegetation. Most individuals are exposed to these fungi on a daily basis, but people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to infection.

    Conditions most commonly associated with mucormycosis include diabetes (usually poorly controlled diabetes), chronic steroid use, metabolic acidosis, organ transplantation, leukemia, lymphoma, treatment with deferoxamine, and AIDS.

    Syndromes associated with mucormycosis include:

    • Rhinocerebral infection (infection of sinuses and brain)
      • May start as a sinus infection
      • May progress to involve inflammation of cranial nerves
      • May cause blood clots that block vessels to the brain (thrombosis)
    • Pulmonary mucormycosis (lung involvement) -- pneumonia that gets worse quickly and may spread to the chest cavity, heart, and brain
    • Mucormycosis of the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and kidneys