FUNGI
Hypha
Mitochondrion
Nucleus
Air
space ,
FILAMENTOUS
FUNGUS
Cytoplasm .
Cell
wall
Hypha
Septum
Nucleus
Cytoplasm
Mitochondrion
HYPHAE
YEAST CELL
hyphae, which form a network called a
mycelium. Mushrooms and toadstools
are the reproductive structures (known
as fruiting bodies) of a filamentous fun-
gus that has spread in dead matter or
soil. Yeasts are single-celled organisms.
Most fungi are either harmless or
beneficial to human health, but some
can cause illness and disease. The fruit-
ing bodies of some fungi contain toxins
that can cause poisoning if eaten (see
mushroom poisoning).
Certain fungi in-
fect food crops and produce toxins that
can cause food poisoning. The best
known of these is a fungus that infects
cereals and produces
ergot,
a toxin that
constricts blood vessels; and another
that grows on peanuts and produces
aflatoxin,
a poison and
carcinogen.
The
inhaled spores of some fungi can cause
allergic
alveolitis,
a persistent allergic
reaction in the lungs. Fungal spores are
sometimes responsible for other allergic
disorders such as allergic
rhinitis
and
asthma.
Some fungi are able to invade
and form colonies in the lungs, in the
skin, or sometimes in various different
tissues throughout the body, leading to
conditions that range from mild irrita-
tion to severe, even fatal, widespread
infection (see
fungal infections
) and ill-
ness. (See also
candidiasis.)
fungicidal
A term describing the ability
to kill fungi (see
antifungal drugs
).
funny-bone
A popular term for the small
area at the back of the
elbow
where the
ulnar nerve passes over a prominence
of the humerus (upper-arm bone). A
blow to the nerve causes acute pain,
numbness, and a tingling sensation in
the forearm and hand.
furosemide
A
diuretic drug
used to
treat
oedema
and
heart failure
. When
given by injection, it has a rapid effect.
furuncle
Another name for a
boil.
fusidic acid
A type of
antibiotic drug.
used to treat bacterial infections that
are resistant to
penicillin drugs.
Fusidic
acid is commonly used in preparations
applied to the skin, eye, and ear.
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