The organism responsible for sporotrichosis occurs worldwide and is found most commonly in soil, sphagnum moss, and decaying vegetable matter. Inoculation into the host most commonly occurs from a spine or barb on a plant puncturing the skin during handling. It is a common disease among florists, gardeners, and agricultural workers. Transmission from infected animals, especially cats, has been documented, and veterinarians and animal handlers are also at increased risk. The largest outbreak of sporotrichosis in the United States involved 15 states and 84 persons, all of whom handled conifer seedlings shipped in sphagnum moss contaminated with S. schenckii.11
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