Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 26, Issue 5, Pages 259-262
Original Article

Blastomycosis in Northwestern Ontario, 2004 to 2014

Daniel Dalcin1 and Syed Zaki Ahmed1,2

1Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
2Department of Internal Medicine, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Blastomycosis is an invasive fungal disease caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis and the recently discovered Blastomyces gilchristii. The medical charts of 64 patients with confirmed cases of blastomycosis in northwestern Ontario during a 10-year period (2004 to 2014) were retrospectively reviewed. The number of patients diagnosed with blastomycosis in Ontario was observed to have increased substantially compared with before 1990, when blastomycosis was removed from the list of reportable diseases. Aboriginals were observed to be disproportionately represented in the patient population. Of the patients whose smoking status was known, 71.4% had a history of smoking. 59.4% of patients had underlying comorbidities and a higher comorbidity rate was observed among Aboriginal patients. The case-fatality rate from direct complications of blastomycosis disease was calculated to be 20.3%; this case-fatality rate is the highest ever to be reported in Canada and more than double that of previously published Canadian studies. The clinical characteristics of 64 patients diagnosed with blastomycosis are summarized.