The types of disease caused by fungi in humans can be divided into three categories: (1) respiratory allergies following sensitization due to inhalation of fungal antigens; (2) fungal intoxication due to ingestion of toxic substances such as amatatoxin and phallotoxin produced by certain poisonous mushrooms aflotoxins produced Aspergillus species which have been implicated in liver damage; (3) disease relating to specific infecting fungi.
More than 50 species of fungi cause disease in animals and man, forming two subsections: dermatophytoses, superficial infections of the skin, hair and nails; and mycoses, infections of the deeper tissues and organs. Dermatophytoses include ringworm and actinomycosis. Dermatophytoses are caused by fungi present on the surface of the skin; mycoses on the other hand live and grow independently of the host and infection is caused by inhaling or ingesting spores, or by the implantation of fungus under the skin through small punctures, cuts or bruises. Mycosis infections include Coccidioidomycosis, Histoplasmosis, Cryptococcosis, and Adiaspiromycosis. Most of the fungi causing these diseases have been found in soil.