Sporotrichosis also called Rose Handler’s Disease or Rose Gardener’s Disease is an infection caused by the Sporothrix Schenckii fungus. The fungus thrives in decaying vegetation, plants and soil. Most of the Sporotrichosis cases are sporadic. While handling sharp-stemmed or thorny plants, wood, bales of hay, sphagnum moss or rosebushes, minor scrapes and skin cuts may occur. Most of the Sporothrix infections involves the skin but could spread to other body parts including the central nervous system, joints and bones. Pneumonia and disseminated infections develop eventually in immune-depressed individuals, thus causing fever, cough and shortness of breath. Children playing on bales of hay, greenhouse workers and rose gardeners are at bigger risk of getting infected.
Symptoms of Sporotrichosis include small nodule bump on the hand, finger or arm which could occur about 1-12 weeks after exposure to the fungus. It becomes larger and gets the appearance of an ulcer or sore, eventually. The ulcer or sore is very slow to heal. Later on additional nodules or bumps may appear near the original lesion.
Diagnosis of Sporotrichosis is done by taking a swab or biopsy of infected skin for fungal culture.
Oral Itraconazole is the treatment given usually for about 3-6 months. Amphotericin B and potassium iodide are other treatments given for patients suffering from severe Sporotrichosis.
To prevent Sporotrichosis, there isn’t any vaccine however exposure to the infection can be reduced by using long sleeved shirts and gloves so as to prevent fungi from getting into abrasions or cuts on the skin.