A 55-year-old male with diabetes mellitus is admitted with a severe infection of his face. The patient has a very high fever, is in septic shock, and the entire right face appears necrotic. What is the most likely organism?
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Mucormycosis is caused by Mucorales fungi, an opportunistic fungus. The fungi commonly infect persons with diabetes mellitus or individuals who are immunosuppressed.
Mucorales fungi have great potential to invade the local tissues and cause rapid fulminating of the surrounding tissue.
On microscopy, the fungus is broad-based and has a right-angle appearance. Most patients have a poor prognosis after acquiring mucormycosis.
Mucormycosis is characterized by hyphae growing around blood vessels and can be life-threatening in patients with diabetes mellitus or those who are severely immunocompromised. "Mucormycosis" and "zygomycosis" often are used interchangeably; however, Zygomycota has been identified as polyphyletic and is not included in fungal classification systems. While zygomycosis includes Entomophthorales, mucormycosis excludes this group.
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