This Petri dish culture plate contained an unknown growth medium, upon which a colony of Blastomyces dermatitidis had been cultured. The specimen from which, this culture had been derived had originated from Africa, and was given the name, Congo Isolate #646.
B. dermatitidis is a fungus that lives in moist soil and in association with decomposing organic matter such as wood and leaves. Lung infection can occur after a person inhales airborne, microscopic fungal spores from the environment; however, many people who inhale the spores do not get sick. The symptoms of blastomycosis are similar to flu symptoms, and the infection can sometimes become serious if it is not treated.
Only with about half of the people who are infected with blastomycosis will show symptoms. If symptoms occur, they usually appear between 3 and 15 weeks after being exposed to the fungus. The symptoms of blastomycosis are similar to flu symptoms, and include fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, joint pain, and chest pain. In very serious cases of blastomycosis, the fungus can disseminate (spread) to other parts of the body, such as the skin and bones.