Zygomycetes is not the name of particular fungus, but rather the name of a Class of fungi. This Class
includes three Orders (Mucorales, Mortierellales, and Entomophthorales). These Orders in turn contain a number
of specific fungi (see table below).

Zygomycosis refers to the angiotropic (blood vessel-invading) infection produced by the various Zygomycetes.
This disease is also sometimes referred to as mucormycosis, but the term zygomycosis is preferred. Click here to
find out why! The most common species causing disease are Absidia corymbifera, Rhizomucor pusillus, and
Rhizopus arrhizus.

Mycoses caused by members of the family Mucorales (and sometimes the family Entomophthorales) are generally
acute and rapidly developing in debilitated patients. The disease is associated with the acidotic diabetics,
malnourished children, and severely burned patients. It is also seen with leukemia, lymphoma, AIDS, and use of
immunosuppressive therapy such as corticosteroids. The infection typically involves the rhino-facial-cranial area,
lungs, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or less commonly other organ systems. The fungi show a predilection for vessel
(arterial) invasion resulting in embolization and necrosis of surrounding tissue. Suppurative pyogenic reactions
develop. Infections are typically acute and fulminant. Rhinocerebral disease in acidotic patients usually results in
death, often within a few days

Most cases of gastric and pelvic disease are diagnosed at autopsy. Many cases occur in patients with pulmonary
disease, leukemia, or with lymphomas. These are usually fatal. Control of the diabetes, aggressive surgical
debridement of involved tissue, and high doses of amphotericin B are recommended [1233, 1918]. Responses
have been obtained with lipid formulations of amphotericin B and colony-stimulating factors, however, the
experience with these agents is entirely anecdotal
Mucorales                                                 Mortierellales                                Entomophthorales