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FUNGAL CENTER
FUNGAL CENTER

 
   What is Mold?
With more than 100,000 species in the world, it is no wonder molds can be found everywhere. Neither animal nor plant, molds are microscopic organisms that produce enzymes to digest organic matter and spores to reproduce. These organisms are part of the fungi kingdom, a realm shared with mushrooms, yeast, and mildews. In nature, mold plays a key role in the decomposition of leaves, wood, and other plant debris. Without mold, we would find ourselves wading neck-deep in dead plant matter. And we wouldn't have great foods and medicines, such as cheese and penicillin. However, problems arise when mold starts digesting organic materials we don't want them to, like our homes.

Mold (fungi), fuzzy, cobweblike growth produced on organic matter by several types of Fungi. Mold and mildew are commonly used interchangeably, although mold is often applied to black, blue, green, and red fungal growths, and mildew to whitish growths.

Black bread mold, Aspergillus niger, one of the most familiar molds, begins as a microscopic, airborne spore that germinates on contact with the moist surface of nonliving organic matter. It spreads rapidly, forming the mycelium (fungal body), which is made up of a fine network of filaments (hyphae). The mycelium produces other clusters of rootlike hyphae, called rhizoids, which penetrate the organic material, secreting enzymes and absorbing water and the digested sugars and starches. Other clusters of hyphae called sporangiophores then reach upward, forming sporangia (knoblike spore cases), which bear the particular color of the mold species. Upon ripening, the sporangia break open and the windborne spores land elsewhere to reproduce asexually.

Some molds also reproduce sexually through conjugation of gamete cells by the joining of two specialized hyphae. The resulting zygote matures into a zygospore that germinates after a dormant period.

Molds thrive on a great many organic substances and, provided with sufficient moisture, they rapidly disintegrate wood, paper, and leather. In fruit the enzymes penetrate well behind the area of the visible growths to damage the fruit. Besides being destructive, however, molds also have many industrial uses, such as in the fermentation of organic acids and cheeses. Camembert and Roquefort cheeses, for example, gain their particular flavors from the enzymes of Penicillium camemberti and P. roqueforti, respectively. Penicillin, a product of the green mold P. notatum, revolutionized antibiotic drugs after its discovery in 1929, and the red bread mold Neurospora is an important tool in genetic experiments.
   What does mold need to grow?
Mold needs four things to grow:

1. Water
2. Organic materials
3. Optimum temperature (between 40 to 90 F)
4. Oxygen
*The spores also need light to germinate.
   Health effects of indoor mold:
Exposure to mold can occur when airborne mold cells, mostly spores, are inhaled. We breathe in these cells every day, indoors and out. Usually these exposures do not present a health risk. But when exposure is great, some individuals, particularly those with allergies and asthma, can experience illness that could be mild to serious or anywhere in between. The following is a description of the health problems that can be caused by exposure to mold.

Allergic Illness

When mold cells are inhaled and land in the respiratory tract, the body's immune system's response to those invading cells can cause allergic illness. The immune system tries to destroy the mold as it would an agent, like a flu virus, that might cause infection. In a relatively small portion of the population (about 10 percent of people in the U.S.), the immune system overreacts and causes the allergic response that results in symptoms such as runny nose, scratchy throat and sneezing. Most of us know this allergic illness as "hay fever" or "allergic rhinitis."

Asthma

Asthma is a lung disease in which the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs can partially close, causing breathing difficulties ranging from mild (such as a dry cough) to life-threatening (inability to breathe). North Carolina is in the midst of what is being called a worldwide asthma epidemic. A recent survey of North Carolina middle school children revealed that 10 percent had been diagnosed with asthma and another 17 percent had asthma symptoms that had never been diagnosed. More than half of asthmatics have respiratory allergies, often to mold. Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive asthmatics.

Irritation

Fungi produce Volatile Organic Compounds during the process of degrading substances to obtain nutrition. The VOCs are the cause of the typical "moldy/musty" commonly associated with fungal contamination indoors. Exposure to high levels of VOCs may irritate the mucous membranes and the central nervous system leading to symptoms of headaches, decreased attention span, difficulty in concentration, and dizziness.

Infection

Some mold species can cause respiratory infection when the live mold invades the tissues of the lungs or respiratory tract. This is not a significant risk for healthy people, but can be dangerous for individuals with severely weakened immune systems. Invasive Diseases are an opportunistic infection caused by exposure to microorganisms that don’t normally produce disease in healthy individuals, but affects those persons with abnormally functioning immune systems. For example, those with HIV/AIDS or those receiving immunosuppressive drugs such as transplant or chemotherapy patients. Some common fungi that have been associated with invasive disease are Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Mucor, and Rhizopus.

Toxic Effects

Very large doses of certain molds, whether inhaled or ingested, can result in poisoning caused by toxins, called mycotoxins, in the mold cells. It is not clear whether an individual can receive a high enough exposure to mold growing indoors to experience these toxic effects.

One particular type of mold that has been recently highlighted in the media is Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra). Stachybotrys is a greenish-black mold that grows on materials with high cellulose content (drywall, wood, paper, ceiling tiles) that are chronically wet or moist. It is one of several molds that can produce mycotoxins under certain environmental conditions. The health effects of breathing mycotoxins are not well understood, but we do know that most molds can present some health risks, such as allergic reactions. Therefore, any mold growth in a building should be cleaned up, regardless of the type of mold. Symptoms of mycotoxin are:

  Nausea- Sore throat-Coughing
  Congestion- Skin rashes-Skin lesions
  Nose bleeding- Blood in urine- Blood in feces
  Fatigue- Depression- Diarrhea
  Abdominal pains- Altered immune system
  Headaches- Chills-Fever

Some of the characteristics of mycotoxins:

  Odorless
  Tasteless
  Resistant to degradation
  Production is variable
  Produced on the surfaces of spores.


   Who is affected by exposure to mold?

People who may be affected more severely and quickly than others include:

  Infants and children
   Elderly people
  Pregnant women
  Individual with respiratory conditions or allergies and asthma
  Immune-compromised people

   Mycotoxin Info
The following table lists Mycotoxins that are produced by certain types of Fungi:

Acremonium crotocinigenum

 Crotocin

 Aspergillus favus

 Alfatoxin B, cyclopiazonic acid
 Aspergillus fumigatus  Fumagilin, gliotoxin
 Aspergillus carneus  Critrinin

 Aspergillus clavatus

 Cytochalasin, patulin

 Aspergillus Parasiticus

 Alfatoxin B

 Aspergillus nomius

 Alfatoxin B

 Aspergillus niger

 Ochratoxin A, malformin,   oxalicacid

 Aspergillus nidulans

 Sterigmatocystin

 Aspergillus ochraceus

 Ochratoxin A, penicillic acid

 Aspergillus versicolor

 Sterigmatocystin, 5 ethoxysterigmatocystin

 Aspergillus ustus

 Ausdiol, austamide, austocystin,brevianamide

 Aspergillus terreus

 Citreoviridin
 Alternaria  Alternariol, altertoxin, altenuene, altenusin, tenuazonic acid

 Arthrinium

 Nitropropionic acid
 Bioploaris  Cytochalasin, sporidesmin, sterigmatocystin

 Chaetomium

 Chaetoglobosin A,B,C.  Sterigmatocystin

 Cladosporium

 Cladosporic acid 

 Clavipes purpurea

 Ergotism

 Cylindrocorpon

 Trichothecene

 Diplodia

 Diplodiatoxin

 Fusarium

 Trichothecene, zearalenone

 Fusarium moniliforme

 Fumonisins

 Emericella nidulans

 Sterigmatocystin

 Gliocladium

 Gliotoxin

 Memnoniella

 Griseofulvin , dechlorogriseofulvin, epi-decholorgriseofulvin, trichodermin, trichodermol            

 Myrothecium

 Trichothecene

 Paecilomyces

 Patulin, viriditoxin
 Penicillium aurantiocandidum

 Penicillic acid

 Penicillium aurantiogriseum

 Penicillic acid 

 Penicillium brasilanum

 Penicillic acid

 Penicillium brevicompactum

 Mycophenolic acid

 Penicillium camemberti

 Cyclopiazonic acid

 Penicillium carneum

 Mycophenolic acid,  Roquefortine C

 Penicillium crateriforme

 Rubratoxin 

 Penicillium citrinum  Citrinin
 Penicillium commune

 Cyclopiazonic acid

 Penicillium crustosum

 Roquefortine C

 Penicillium chrysogenum

 Roquefortine C
Penicillium discolor

 Chaetoglobosin C

 Penicillium expansum

 Citrinin, Roquefortine C

 Penicillium griseofulvum

 Roquefortine C, cyclopiazonic acid, griseofulvin
 Penicillium hirsutum

 Roquefortine C

 Penicillium hordei

 Roquefortine C

 Penicillium melanoconidium

 Penicillic acid, Roquefortine C

 Penicillium nordicum

 Ochratoxin A   

 Penicillium paneum

 Roquefortine C

 Penicillium palitans

 Cyclopiazonic acid

 Penicillium polonicum

 Penicillic acid

 Penicillum roqueforti  

 Roquefortine C, Mycophenolicacid

 Penicillium veridicatum

 Penicillic acid

 Penicillium verrucosum

 Citrinin, ochratoxin A

 Penicillium/ Aspergillus

 Patulin

 Penicillium/ Aspergillus/Alternaria

 Glitoxin

 Phomopsis

 Macrocyclic trichothecenes

 Phoma

 Brefeldin, cytochalasin, secalonic acid, tenuazonic acid

 Pithomyces

 Sporidesmin
 Rhizoctonia  Slaframine
 Rhizopus  Rhizonin

 Sclerotinia

 Furanocoumarins
 Stachybotrys chartarum  Iso-satratoxin F, roridin E, L-2, satratoxin G & H, trichodermin, trichodermol, trichothecene

 Torula

 Cytotoxins

 Trichoderma

 Trichodermin, trichodermol, gliotoxin
 Trichothecium

 Trichothecene

 Wallemia

 Walleminol
 Zygosporium  Cytochalasin
   Fungal Glossary

Absidia sp. - A zygomycete fungus that is considered common to the indoor environment. Reported to be allergenic. May cause mucorosis in immune compromised individuals. The sites of infection are the lung, nasal sinus, brain, eye, and skin. Infection may have multiple sites. Absidia cormbifera has been an invasive infection agent in AIDS and neutropenic patients, as well as, agents of bovine mycotic abortions, and feline subcutaneous abscesses.

Acremonium sp. -(Cephalosporium sp.) - Reported to be allergenic. Can produce a trichothecene toxin, which is toxic if ingested. It was the primary fungus identified in at least two houses where the occupant complaints were nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Asexual state of Emericellopsis sp., Chaetomium sp., and Nectripsis SP. It can produce mycetomas, infections of the nails, onychomycosis, corneal ulcers, eumycotic mycetoma, endophthalmitis, meningitis, and endocarditis. Acremonium species may be confused with Fusarium species that primarily produce microconidia in culture. Fusarium genera are generally much more rapid growers and produce more aerial mycelium

Acrodontium salmoneum -- Reported to be a fairly common airborne fungus and is considered to be allergenic. Can produce a trichothecene toxin, which is toxic if ingested. It was the primary fungus identified in at least two houses where the occupant complaints were nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can produce mycetomas, infections of the nails, onychomycosis, corneal ulcers, eumycotic mycetoma, endophthalmitis, meningitis, and endocarditis. It is the asexual state of Emericellopsis sp., Chaetomium sp., and Nectripsis SP.

Alternaria sp. -- Extremely widespread and ubiquitous. Outdoors it may be isolated from samples of soil, seeds, and plants. It is commonly found in outdoor samples. It is often found in carpets, textiles, and on horizontal surfaces in building interiors. Often found on window frames. The species Alternaria alternata is capable of producing tenuazonic acid and other toxic metabolites, which may be associated with disease in humans or animals. Alternaria produces large spores having sizes between 20 - 200 microns in length and 7 - 18 microns in width, suggesting cases that the spores from these fungi are deposited in the nose, mouth, and upper respiratory tract. It may be related to baker’s asthma. It has been associated with hypersensitivity pneumoniti, sinusitis, deratomycosis, onychomycosis, subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis, and invasive infection. Common cause of extrinsic asthma (immediate-type hypersensitivity: type I). Acute symptoms include edema and bronchiospasms; chronic may develop pulmonary emphysema.
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Amblyosporium sp- is a saprobe commonly found on decaying animals and feces because it grows well on ammonium and amino acids. It is considered a mitosporic (it lacks a known sexual state and belongs the Fungi Imperfecti) and ectomycorrhizal fungi (lives on the surface of the roots and forms a Hartig net). Amblyosporium has been isolated from Sitophilus oryzae L., an important insect pest of stored grain and processed foods. It has even been isolated from fabric. One species, A. botrytis forms effused orange-red tufts on decaying fungi

Anixiella sp- is a synonym for the genus Gelasinospora, an ascomycete. Anixiella is a decomposer that thrives on feces or decaying plant material. It can be found even in artic regions. Culture - Potato dextrose agar or Malt extract agar, 20° - 25°C, 7 – 10 days.

Apiospora montagnei-a rapidly growing fungus . It is found worldwide and can be isolated from soil, dunes, plants, rotten wood, decaying plants, dung, and bird feathers. There have not been any reports of human infections.

Aphanoascus fulvescens - Extremely widespread in soil, animal skin scrapings, and dung. Is often associated with bird’s nests and feathers. Should be considered an allergen. This fungus has also been documented in skin infections. No toxic related diseases are of record to date.

Apophysomyces elegans - Extremely widespread in soil and decaying vegetation. Should be considered an allergen. This fungus has also been documented in various zygomycosis including necrotizing fascitis, osteomyelitis, and angioinvasion. Most cases are acquired through the tramatic implantation of the fungus. No toxic related diseases are of record to date.

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Arthrinium phaeospermum - Widespread saprophyte on dead plant material, particularly swampy grasses. Should be considered an allergen. This fungus has also been documented in various subcutaneous infections. No toxic related diseases are of record to date.

Arthrobotrys sp- comprises a very small proportion of the fungal aerobiota. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Arthrobotrys is found primarily in the soil and is one of those fungi capable of capturing nematodes.

Arthroderma SP -It is found worldwide and is frequently isolated. It is isolated from soil, animal hair, reptile scales, bat guano, and bird feathers. Rarely a human or animal pathogen causing dermatophytoses (ringworm).

Arthrographis sp. Extremely widespread in soil and decaying vegetation. Arthrographis cuboidea and A. kalrae should be considered to be allergens. A kalrae has been documented in onychomycosis and has been recovered from the skin, nails, and respiratory sites but has not been established as an etiological agent. No toxic related diseases are of record to date.

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Ascomycete. - One of the major classes of fungal organisms. This class contains the” sac fungi" and yeasts. Some ascomycete spores can be identified by spore morphology, however; some care should be exercised with regard to specific identification. Many ascomycete spores are reported to be allergenic.

Aspergillus sp. - A genus of fungi containing approximately 150 recognized species. Members of this genus have been recovered from a variety of habitats, but are especially common as saprophytes on decaying vegetation, soils, and stored food, feed products in tropical and subtropical regions. Some species are parasitic on insects, plants and animals, including man. Species within this genus have reported Aw's (water activities) between 0.75 - 0.82. All of the species contained in this genus should be considered allergenic. Various Aspergillus species are a common cause of extrinsic asthma (immediate-type hypersensitivity: type I). Acute symptoms include edema and bronchiospasms. Chronic cases may develop pulmonary emphysema. Members of this genus are reported to cause a variety of opportunistic infections of the ears and eyes. Sever pulmonary infections may also occur. Many species produce mycotoxins, which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals. Toxin production is dependent on the species or a strain within a species and on the food source for the fungus. Some of these toxins have been found to be carcinogenic in animal species. Several toxins are considered potential human carcinogens.
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Aspergillus alliaceus- this species is not commonly reported from nature and is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been isolated from soils in desert areas, grassland or cultivated soils, cacti, onion, and garlic bulbs. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus auricomus- this species was originally isolated from an aqueous solution of potassium iodide. It has also been isolated from cottonseed in Arizona. This species is not considered common to indoor environments. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus caespitosus - This species is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been predominantly isolated from soils but has also been isolated from sugarcane bagesse. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus caesiellus - This species is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been predominantly isolated from soils. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic diseases have been documented to date. This species has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen.

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Aspergillus candidus - This species considered common to indoor environments. It occurs predominantly in tropical and subtropical regions in stored foods and feedstuffs such as wheat, corn, barely, sorghum, rice, peanuts, dried macaroni and spaghetti, refrigerated dough products, and flour. It has also been isolated from soils. It has an Aw (water activity) of 0.75 and Conidia (spores) dimensions 2.5-4 microns. This fungus should be considered allergenic. This species has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen including onychomycosis, otomycosis, and invasive aspergillosis. It has also been reported to produce the toxin petulin, which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals.

Aspergillus carbonarius - This distinctive species has not been commonly reported. It has been isolated from mud and wood in mangrove swamps, soil, and polluted water. This species is not considered common to indoor environments. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.
Aspergillus carneus - This species is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been predominantly isolated from tropical and subtropical soils. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic diseases have been documented to date. This species has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen.

Aspergillus cervinus - This species has not been commonly reported. It has been isolated from tropical rainforest soils in Malaya, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Wisconsin, and India. This species is not considered common to indoor environments. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus clavatus - This distinctive species is a common soil fungus with widespread distribution in soils in warmer climates. It also is quite widely distributed in some kinds of foods, especially cereals. This species is not considered common to indoor environments, however; it has been frequently associated with the brewing industry. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

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Aspergillus deflectus - This species is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been predominantly isolated from tropical and subtropical soils. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic diseases have been documented to date. This species has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen.

Aspergillus flavipes - This species may be recovered from indoor environments. It has been predominantly isolated from tropical and subtropical soils and decaying vegetation, however; it has also been isolated from deteriorated cotton fabric. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic diseases have been documented to date. This species has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen associated with cutaneous aspergillosis and osteomyelitis.

Aspergillus flavus - This species may be recovered from the indoor environment. It has worldwide distribution but is predominantly a tropical to subtropical fungus apparently more common in cultivated than uncultivated soil. It colonizes on decaying vegetation, crop seeds and many other substrates. It grows on moldy corn and peanuts and can also be found in other foods and dairy products. It has been reported in water-damaged carpets. It has also been reported as an insect and animal pathogen. This fungus has an Aw (water activity) of 0.78. And conidia (spores) dimensions 3-6 microns or 3-5 microns. This fungus should be considered allergenic. Its presence has been associated with reports of asthma. Approximately 50% of the strains are capable of producing a group of mycotoxins - in the aflatoxin group. Aflatoxins are known animal carcinogen. There is limited evidence to suggest that this toxin is also a human carcinogen. The production of the fungal toxin is dependent on the growth conditions and on the substrate used as a food source. The toxin is poisonous to humans by ingestion and may directly affect the liver. Experiments have indicated that it is teratogenic and mutagenic. This fungus may also result in disease via inhalation and is associated with aspergillosis of the lungs and/or disseminated aspergillosis. This fungus is occasionally identified as the cause of corneal, otomycotic, and nasoorbital infections.

Aspergillus foetidus - This species is not commonly reported from nature and is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been used in several industrial processes including koji for shochu and enzyme production. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus fumigatus - This species may be recovered from the indoor environment. It has worldwide distribution and grows over a wide range of temperatures. It has been recovered from soils, plants, seeds, sludge, wood chips, compost, cotton, and penguin excreta. It is commonly found outdoors in compost piles with temperatures higher than 40 degrees C, in mild to warm soils and on cereals. This fungus has an Aw (water activity) of 0.82 with an optimum > 0.97. Conidia (spores) have dimensions of 2-3.5 microns. This fungus should be considered allergenic, however; it should be considered as a principle cause for both invasive and allergic aspergillosis. These organisms will particularly affect individuals who are immune compromised. It is considered a true human pathogen. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

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Aspergillus japonicus - This species is not commonly reported from nature and is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been isolated from subtropical and tropical soils and also submerged organic debris. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus kanagawaensis - This species is not commonly reported from nature and is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been isolated from soils in hemlock and jack pine forest in Wisconsin. Has also been isolated from soils in Japan. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus glaucus - This species may be recovered from the indoor environment. It has widespread distribution in subtropical regions. It has been recovered in nature from soils and on plants. This fungus can grow at low moisture levels and has also been isolated from grains, sugary food products, meat, wool, dried foods, and leather. It has been reported as a common outdoor fungus in the winter. The conidia (spores) for this fungus have dimensions of 5-6.5 microns and are the imperfect stage of the ascomycetous fungus Eurotium sp. It is reported to be allergenic. This species is only occasionally pathogenic and has been associated with sinusitis, otitis, cerebral, orofacial, and pulmonary infections. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

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Aspergillus nidulans - This species is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been frequently isolated from tropical and subtropical soils but less frequently from other areas. This fungus has an Aw (water activity) of 0.78 with conidia (spores) having dimensions of 2-4 microns. It is reported to be allergenic. This species has been reported in a variety of animal and human infections including invasive and systemic disease including aspergillosis of the lungs and/or disseminated aspergillosis. It can produce the mycotoxin sterigmatocysti that has been shown to produce liver and kidney damage in lab animals.

Aspergillus niger - This species is considered common to indoor environments. It is widespread in the soil and on plants and is also considered a common contaminant of foods. It has a musty odor. It is commonly found in the environment on textiles, in soils, grains, fruits and vegetables isolated from tropical and subtropical soils but less frequently from other areas. This fungus has an Aw (water activity) of 0.77 with an optimum > 0.97 . Conidia (spores) have dimensions of 3.5 - 5 microns or 4 to 5 microns. It is reported to be allergenic. It is common in secondary organisms following bacterial otitis and is more commonly being implicated in pulmonary disease in immunocompromised hosts. It has also been reported to cause skin infections.

Aspergillus niveus - This species is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been predominantly isolated from soils and appears to be widely distributed. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

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Aspergillus ochraceus - This species is considered common to indoor environments. It is widespread in cultivated soils, but has also been documented in uncultivated soils, grains, and salted food products. It is not usually associated with decaying vegetation. This fungus has an Aw (water activity) of 0.77 with conidia (spores) having dimensions of 2.5 - 3 microns. It is reported to be allergenic. It has not been reported as causing any invasive disease to date. This fungus can also produce ochratoxin A, which may produce ochratoxicosis in humans. This is also known as Balkan nephropathy, a disorder that affects the kidneys. The toxin is produced at optimum growth conditions at 25 degrees C and high moisture conditions. Other Aspergillus sp. and Penicillium SP may also produce the ochratoxin. Other toxins, which can be produced by this fungus, include penicillic acid, xanthomegnin and viomellein. These are all reported to be kidney and liver toxins.

Aspergillus oryzae - This species may be considered common to some indoor environments. It has been predominantly isolated from soils, vegetative plant parts, seeds, and cotton fabrics. It is also used in food fermentations, in the production of saki, shoyu, miso, and soy sauce, and as a source of industrial enzymes. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus ostianus - This species is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been isolated from animal feed, chicory seed, and gram seed storage. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus paradoxus - This species is considered a very uncommon species that is not considered typical of indoor environments. It has been isolated from opossum dung and soil. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

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Aspergillus parasiticus - This species is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been isolated from cultivated soils. Lack of reported isolations may be due in part to the failure of investigators to differentiate A. parasiticus from A. flavus. It has been isolated more frequently from seeds, other plants, and insects. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No invasive diseases have been documented to date. Some strains are capable of producing a group of mycotoxins - in the aflatoxin group. Aflatoxins are known animal carcinogen. There is limited evidence to suggest that this toxin is a human carcinogen. The toxin is poisonous to humans by ingestion. Experiments have indicated that it is teratogenic and mutagenic. It is toxic to the liver. The production of the fungal toxin is dependent on the growth conditions and on the substrate used as a food source.

Aspergillus penicilloides - This species is not generally considered common to indoor environments, however; this may be related to its xerophyilic nature (can grow in areas with low water activity) and that it grows very poorly on usual laboratory media. Therefore, it may often be overlooked in typical investigations. Reports in the literature are quite rare, however, if suitable media are used, the species can be recovered in large numbers from a variety of dried foods, house dust, spices, and cereals. This fungus should be considered allergenic. It has also been reported as an opportunistic pathogen. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus puniceus - This species is not commonly reported from nature and is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been isolated from soils. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus restrictus - This species is not generally considered common to indoor environments, however; this may be related to its slow growing nature. Therefore, it may often be overlooked in typical investigations. It has been isolated from a variety of substrates including soil, cotton goods and fruit juices, and from air. This fungus should be considered allergenic. It has also been reported as an opportunistic pathogen and associated with endocarditis, onychomycosis, and pulmonary aspergillosis. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

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Aspergillus sclerotiorum - This species is not considered common to indoor environments. It has been isolated from tropical and subtropical soils. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus sojae - This species is not considered common to indoor environments. To date, it has only been isolated from koji fermentations. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus sparsis - This species is not considered common to both outdoor and indoor environments. It has been isolated from soil. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus sydowi - This species has worldwide distribution. Its primary habitat is the soil, but it has been recovered from a variety of other substrates. Found in warmer soil and in grains, straw, cotton, and decomposing vegetation. It appears to be less common in foods than A. versicolor. This fungus should be considered allergenic. This fungus is associated with aspergillosis of the lungs and/or disseminated aspergillosis otomycosis (ear infection) and onychomycosis (infection of finger or toe nails). This fungus can produce the toxins patulin and citrinin, which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals.

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Aspergillus tamarii - This species is not considered common to both outdoor and indoor environments. It was originally isolated from tamari sauce. It is fairly common soil fungus and has been isolated from seeds of various crops and other substrates. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.
Aspergillus terreus - This fungus has worldwide distribution in soils, but is more abundant in tropical and subtropical regions rather than temperate regions. It is also common in cultivated soils and forests than grasslands. It is common in stored crops and has been isolated from other foodstuffs. It should be considered allergenic. Invasive bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, onychomycosis, cutaneous, ophthalmic, and disseminated mycosis have been documented. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.
Aspergillus unguis - This species is not considered common but have been isolated from a variety of substrates including man, shoe leather, and sesame seeds. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus ustus - This species is not considered common in habitats other than tropical or subtropical soils. This fungus should be considered allergenic. This species is only occasionally pathogenic and has been associated with otitis media, burns, and disseminated infections. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Aspergillus versicolor - This is a widely distributed fungus commonly found in soil, hay, cotton, dairy products, dried cereals, nuts, and especially spices. It is often considered to be one of the most widely distributed species of Aspergillus. This fungus should be considered allergenic. This species is pathogenic and has been associated with onychomycosis and invasive aspergillosis. It can produce a mycotoxin sterigmatocystin and cyclopiaxonic acid. These toxins can cause diarrhea and upset stomach. It is also reported to be a kidney and liver carcinogen.

Aspergillus wentii - This species is considered common with its main distribution in tropical or subtropical soils. It has also been isolated from plant litter and seeds. This fungus should be considered allergenic. This species is only occasionally pathogenic and has been associated with otitis media, burns, and disseminated infections. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

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Aureobasidium pullulans- A cosmopolitan fungus with the main habitat apparently on the aerial parts of plants. Frequently found in moist environments. This fungus should be considered allergenic. This species has been associated with deratitis, peritonitis, pulmonary infection, and invasive disease in AIDS patients. Probably acquired by traumatic implantation. May be recovered as a contaminant from human cutaneous sites. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Basidiomycetes - One of the major classes of fungal organisms. This class contains the mushrooms, shelf fungi, puffballs, and a variety of other macro fungi. It is extremely difficult to identify specific genera of mushrooms by using standard culture plate techniques. Some basidiomycete spores can be identified by spore morphology, however; some care should be exercised with regard to specific identification. Many basidiomycete spores are reported to be allergenic.

Basidiobolus - Has been isolated from decaying plants, soil, and from the fecal materials of frogs, reptiles, fish, and bats. The relationship of these organisms to human occupied spaces potentially suggests a common present of these genera of fungi in the indoor environments. Should be considered allergenic. Basidiobolus ranarum rarely causes disease, but has principally been involved with trunk and extremity infection of children in tropical countries. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Beauveria - Widespread in the soil with various species being parasites of insects, the most notable geing Beauveria bassiana that affects the silkworm. Not considered to be common to indoor environments. Should be considered allergenic. Reported to cause mycotic keratitis and occasional pulmonary infections. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

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Beltrania sp- is a mitosporic fungus that is very widespread and commonly found in dead leaves and plant debris in subtropical to tropical areas. It is known as an ascomycete, which is one of the major classes of fungal organisms. This class contains the "sac fungi" and the yeasts. Many are reported to be allergenic.

Bipolaris sp. - A widespread fungus that is most frequently associated with grasses, plant material, decaying food, and soil. It is common to both indoor and outdoor environments. Older obsolete names include Drechslera and Helminthosporium. This fungus produces large spores, which would be expected to be deposited in the upper respiratory tract. Various species of this fungus can produce the mycotoxin - sterigmatocystin that has been shown to produce liver and kidney damage when ingested by laboratory animals.

Bipolaris australiensis - A widespread fungus that is most frequently associated with grasses, plant material, and soil. Should be considered allergenic. Has also been reported as an infrequent agent of phaeohyphomycosis, particularly fungal sinusitis. It can occasionally cause a corneal infection of the eye.

Bipolaris cynodontis. - A widespread fungus that is most frequently associated with bermuda grass. Recoveries have been made from human sinus and eyes, however; its exact role as an etiological agent remains unclear.

Bipolaris hawaiiensis - A widespread fungus that is most frequently associated with grasses, plant material, and soil. Should be considered allergenic. Common etiologic agent in fungal sinusitis. Also reported cases of pulmonary and cerebral disease, menigoencephalitis, and endophthalmitis. This organism appears to be extremely aggressive in some settings, possibly neutrotropic.

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Bipolaris spicifera - A widespread fungus that is most frequently associated with grasses and plant material, and soil. Should be considered allergenic. Common etiologic agent in fungal sinusitis. Also been reported as an agent of phaeohyphomycosis, particularly fungal sinusitis. Disease also includes endocarditis, keratitis, osteomyelitis, peritonitis, and meningoencephalitis. This is the most common Bipolaris species implicated in human disease.

Bispora sp- is a widespread mitosporic fungus. It has been isolated from dead wood in temperate areas in the northern hemisphere.

Botryotrichum sp -it is found worldwide and is commonly isolated from soil, salt marshes, sand, rabbit and field mouse dung, deer and goat excrements, paper products, textiles, plants, and sewage. There have not been any reports of human infections.

Blastomyces sp. - Blastomyces dermatitidis- rare environmental isolates have been found in moist soil with high organic content. Important human pathogen. It is a thermally dimorphic fungus which has filamentous fungus when grown at 25 degrees C and a yeast form at 37 degrees C. Causes Blastomycosis in humans and animals involving pulmonary invasion, followed by cutaneous, osteoarticular and genitourinary disease. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

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Blastoschizomyces sp. - Blastoschizomyces capitatus found in the soil, beach sand, as a normal flora of the skin, respiratory and digestive tracts of humans. Invasive and disseminated infections have been reported in immunocompromised patients. Cases of encephalitis and osteomyelitis have also been reported. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.
Botrytis sp. - It is parasitic on plants, vegetables, and soft fruits but may also be found in soil. Reported to be allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Botryoderm sp- is a mitosporic hyphomycete fungus, which has been isolated from roots of fumigated and nonfumigated Douglas-fir stumps in Oregon.

Botrytis sp – contaminant, parasitic on plants and fruits. Rarely involved in human infection, but it is reported to be allergenic.

Brachysporium sp-It is found worldwide and is commonly isolated from rotten wood and bark of various trees. There have not been any reports of human infections.

Broomella sp - It is commonly isolated from soil and plants. There have not been any reports of human infections

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Candida sp. - This genus contains a variety of organisms that have been isolated from the environment, as well as human skin and mucous membranes.

Candida albicans - Found in animals and in man. Has been isolated from the skin and mucosa of man, but has also been recovered from leaves, flowers, water, and soil. Reported to be allergenic. A common cause of superficial infection, oral and vaginal infection, sepsis, and disseminated disease. Cells from the organism are usually not airborne and are considered to be a normal component of the flora of mouth and other mucous membranes in the body. Thrush and other diseases caused by Candida albicans usually occur after prolonged treatment with antibiotics or steroids. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Candida ciferrii - Found in soils. Considered to be allergenic. A common cause of superficial infection isolated from ears, skin, nails, and eyes. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Candida glabrata - Found associated with man, mammals, birds, fruit juices, and insects. Considered to be allergenic. Implicated in sepsis, persistent urinary tract infections, and refractory vaginitis. A major emerging pathogen in nosocomial disease. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Candida guilliermondii - Found associated with man and other mammals, brewery products, vegetation, and insects. Considered to be allergenic. Implicated in sepsis, urinary tract infections, respiratory speciments, brain abscesses, skin and nail cultures. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

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Candida kefyr - Found in grains, dairy products, man and other mammals. Considered to be allergenic. Rare cause of human mycoses. May cause blood sepsis, invasive disease, and vaginitis, and urinary tract infections. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Candida krusei - Found in air samples, dairy products, soil, man and other mammals. Considered to be allergenic. Involved in sepsis and disseminated, invasive disease, includingendocarditis, peritonitis, vaginitis, and urinary tract infections. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Candida lambica - Found in dairy products, fruit juice, water, birds, and man. Considered to be allergenic.

Candida lipolytica - Found in man and other mammals, corn, olives, and hydrocarbons. Considered to be allergenic. Implicated in sepsis, thrombophlebitis, and chronic sinusitis. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Candida lusitaniae - Found in man and other mammals, birds, citris fruits, and pears. Considered to be allergenic. Implicated in sepsis, especially in immunocompromised patients with underlying malignancy, and urinary tract infection. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Candida parapsilosis - Found in man and other mammals, tea, fruit juices, and water. Considered to be allergenic. Implicated in sepsis. Associated with burn infections and endocarditis. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

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Candida rugosa - Found in dairy products, feces, seawater, and insects. Considered to be allergenic. Implicated in sepsis. Implicated in fungemia, burn infection, and glandular infections in cattle. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Candida tropicalis - Found in humans and other mammals, fruit, and water. Considered to be allergenic. Considered a true pathogen of immunocompromised hosts. Implicated in sepsis, wound infections, neonatal infections, and disseminated deep tissue infections. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Candida zeylanoides - Found in humans, soil, meat, fish, and water. Considered to be allergenic. Implicated in sepsis, endocarditis, fungal arthritis, skins and nails infections. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Cephalosporium sp. - See Acremonium sp.

Ceratocystis/Ophiostoma group- Not reported to infect humans or animals. Ophiostoma ulmi is the cause of Dutch Elm Disease.

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Cercospora sp.- One report of human infection in Indonesia, 1957. Common outdoors in agricultural areas, especially during harvest.

Cephaliophora sp- is a mitosporic fungus commonly found in subtropical and tropical regions on various substrates. It has also been isolated from a case of keratomycosis (corneal infection).

Cephalosporium sp- is the cause of ‘Stripe of Wheat’ and has been found in all Midwest and northwest states; these regions have a wet and cool fall. Freezing and thawing during the winter causing injury to the roots and also repeated cropping of small grains are favorable conditions for Stripe. Excessive soil and surface water from October through December also favors this disease. This disease occurs only on winter wheat and not on spring wheat. The disease is mostly found in fields with clay soils because they tend to have more acid and are low in organic matter. Several grasses may also be susceptible. Cephalosporium gramineum is the only vascular wilt pathogen of wheat; it invades the vascular system and interferes with the transport of water and nutrients between roots and leaves. This fungus can live in straw or on the soil for up to 2 years, and only produces spores for dispersal in water during cool, wet times in the fall and early spring.

Chaetomium sp. - Large ascomycetous fungus producing perithecia. It is found on a variety of substrates containing cellulose including paper and plant compost. It can be readily found on the damp or water damaged paper in sheetrock.

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Chaetomium atrobrunneum - This fungus is found in the soil, air, and on plant debris. Should be considered as allergenic. Has been implicated in fatal systemic mycoses. The thermophilic, neurotropic nature of these organisms suggests it is a potentially aggressive pathogen. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Chaetomium globosum - This fungus is found in the soil, air and on plant debris. Should be considered as allergenic. Is considered an agent of onychomycosis, peritonitis, and cutaneous lesions. Has been implicated in fatal systemic mycoses. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Chaetomium strumarium - This fungus is common in warm soil and on plant debris. Should be considered as allergenic. Has been implicated in fatal brain abscesses in drug abusers. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Choanephora sp- is a widespread fungus mainly found in temperate to tropical areas, especially in the southeastern United States. This fungus is naturally found in soils and plant debris as a saprobe. Choanephora is not a major plant pathogen, but when introduced to wet, humid conditions it is often seen on vegetable fruits, such as pumpkin, pepper, and more commonly on okra and summer squash, causing soft rots. The soft rots caused by Choanephora sp. are similar in appearance to Rhizopus Blight. Conidia are singe-celled, brown or purplish and ellipsoid. Insects, wind, disseminate the spores and splashing water.

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Chrysosporium sp. - Widespread, common in the soil and on plants. Rare agents of onychomycosis, skin lesions, endocarditis, and uncommon agents of the pulmonary mycosis adiaspiromycosis. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Chrysonilia sp – contaminant, brightly colored, fast growing mold, which spreads easily through contamination. Health effects are not yet known. It is found in soil, breads, and contaminated laboratory cultures.

Cladophialophora sp. - Widespread, common in the soil and on plant debris. C. bantiana has been reported as a neurotropic agent causing cerebral phaeohyphomycosis in the form of brain abscesses. Skin lesions have also been reported. The organisms have also been recovered from pulmonary sites. C. boppii has been associated with skin lesions and a possible cause of chromoblastomycosis. C. carrionii is almost exclusively associated with chromoblastomycosis, which is generally restricted to subtropical areas. Most patients have had long-term soil exposure with repeated trauma and tissue injuries to the feet and legs. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Cladosporium sp. (Hormodendrum sp.) - Aw (water activity) in the range of 0.84 to 0.88. Most commonly identified outdoor fungus. The outdoor numbers are reduced in the winter. The numbers are often high in the summer. Often found indoors in numbers less than outdoor numbers. It is a common allergen. Indoor Cladosporium sp. may be different than the species identified outdoors. It is commonly found on the surface of fiberglass duct liner in the interior of supply ducts. A wide variety of plants are food sources for this fungus. It is found on dead plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil, paint and textiles. It can cause mycosis. Produces greater than 10 antigens. Antigens in commercial extracts are of variable quality and may degrade within weeks of preparation. Common cause of extrinsic asthma (immediate-type hypersensitivity: type I). Acute symptoms include edema and bronchiospasms; chronic cases may develop pulmonary emphysema.

Cladosporium cladosporioides - Widespread distribution. Together with C. herbarum compose the most common species on dead organic matter and in the air. It is found on dead plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil, paint and textiles. Reported allergen. Has been implicated in pulmonary and cutaneous infections, possible sinus infection, mixed disseminated infections. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

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Cladosporium herbarum - Widespread distribution. Together with C. cladosporioides compose the most common species on dead organic matter and in the air. It is found on dead plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil, paint, and textiles. Reported allergen. Has been implicated in cutaneous infections and keatitis. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

Cladosporium macrocarpum - Common species on dead organic matter and in the air. It is found on dead plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil, paint, and textiles. Reported allergen. No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

Cladosporium sphaerospermum - Worldwide distribution. Considered a secondary invader of plants, textiles, food and is common to the soil, and air. Reported allergen. Implicated in skin lesions, corneal ulcer, and onychomycosis.

Cladosporium fulvum (Fulvia fulva) - Conidia (spores) dimensions 12-47 x 4-10 microns. It is found on the leaves of tomatoes.

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Coelomycetes sp - Cause Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).

Coccidioides sp- is a widespread soil or dust born mitosporic fungus. This is a thermally dimorphic saprobe commonly found in warm, dry arid regions such as the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. There is only one species, Coccidioides immitis. This fungus is the causal agent of coccidioidomycosis (Coccidioidal granuloma, Valley fever, San Joaquin fever), which is a respiratory infection that is often benign but may develop into a rare systemic disease and become fatal. This disease mainly affects healthy individuals due to its “true” pathogenic nature, but it may also develop in immunocompromised patients. Individuals most often become infected by inhalation of the spores. This disease affects humans, domesticated animals and livestock, wild desert rodents, and has also been found in warm-blooded aquatic mammals such as the bottlenose dolphin. It is not directly transmitted from animals to humans. The disseminated form of this disease is more common in men than women, and among people with dark pigmented skin. The clinical symptoms are very similar to those of histoplasmosis. .

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Cochliobolus sp -It is found worldwide and is very common. It can be isolated from the air, plants, and soil. Rarely, it can be an opportunistic human pathogen causing eye (corneal) infections, mycetoma, and infections in immunocompromised patients.

ryptococcus neoformans-A basidiomycetous encapsulated fungal organism found worldwide, mainly around pigeon roosts and soil contaminated with decaying pigeon or chicken droppings. It is generally accepted that the organism enters the host by the respiratory route in the form of dehydrated haploid yeast or as basidiospores. Hematogenously spreading to extrapulmonary tissues, its predilection for the brain means infected persons usually contract meningoencephalitis, which can be fatal.

Cryptostroma corticale - Conidia (spores) dimensions 4-6.5 x 3.5-4 microns. Found on the bark of maple and sycamore trees and on stored logs.

Conidobolus sp. - is a mould found in soil and decaying plant debris. Conidiobolus spp. is the causative agents of infections in humans, sheep, dogs, deer, and horses. Can cause a chronic inflammatory disease of the nasal mucosa (entomophthoromycosis).

Cunninghamella sp. - Can cause disseminated and pulmonary infections in immune compromised hosts.

Curvularia sp. - Reported to be allergenic. It may cause corneal infections, mycetoma and infections in immune compromised hosts.

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Cylindrocarpon sp -it May produce an earthy odor. It is found worldwide and is a common fungus isolated from soil and plants. Rarely, it can be an opportunistic human pathogen.

Debaryomyces sp -a rapidly growing yeast that reproduce by multilateral budding. It has worldwide distribution and can be isolated from air, soil, foodstuffs, and plants. They rarely cause acute, sub acute, or chronic yeast infections in susceptible individuals.

Dreschlera sp. - Conidia (spores) dimensions 40-120 x 17-28 microns. Found on grasses, grains and decaying food. It can occasionally cause a corneal infection of the eye.

Diplococcium sp -it is found worldwide and can be isolated from dead and rotting wood and from the bark of living trees. There have not been any reports of human infections-

Emericella nidulans - A ubiquitous soil fungus. Most often isolated from tropical and subtropical climates. Perfect stage of Aspergillus nidulans. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been reported to date.

Emericella quadrillineata- A ubiquitous soil fungus. Most often isolated from tropical and subtropical climates. Perfect stage of Aspergillus tetrazonus. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been reported to date.

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Emericella rugulosa- a relatively uncommon species most commonly isolated from soil. Perfect stage of Aspergillus rugulovalvus. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been reported to date.

Emmonsia sp- is a cosmopolitan filamentous fungus isolated from soil. Emmonsia is an occasional cause of animal and human infections.

Epicoccum sp. - Conidia (spores) dimensions 15-25 microns. A common allergen and rarely it can cause an infection in the skin. It is found in plants, soil, grains, textiles, and paper products.

Exophiala sp – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen. Commonly found in soil, decaying wood, and various other wet materials because it thrives in water-laden environments. Indoors it can be found in air conditioning systems, humidifiers, and other surfaces in frequent contact with moisture. Some species linked to occasional skin infections and various other subcutaneous lesions. Allergenic effects and toxicity are not well studied.

Epidermophyton sp. - Can cause infections of skin and nails.
Eurotium amstelodami - This fungus is frequently encountered in tropical and subtropical regions. It is frequently reported from soils and dried or concentrated food products. It is the perfect stage of Aspergillus amstelodami. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been reported to date.

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Eurotium chevalieri - This fungus is frequently encountered in tropical and subtropical regions. It is frequently reported from soils and dried or concentrated food products, leather goods, cotton, seeds, and other dried products. The fungus is considered to be a xerophile. It is the perfect stage of Aspergillus chevalieri. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been reported to date.

Eurotium rubrum - This fungus is frequently encountered in tropical and subtropical regions. It is frequently reported from soils and dried or concentrated food products, leather goods, cotton, seeds, and other dried products. The fungus is considered to be a xerophile. It is the perfect stage of Aspergillus rubrobrunneus. This fungus should be considered allergenic. No toxic or invasive diseases have been reported to date.

Exserohilum sp- are common, and are most closely related to Drechslera and Bipolaris. r. The only morphological difference between Bipolaris and Drechslera is that Drechslera spores germinate from all cells (of the spore) and Bipolaris germinates only from polar cells. Exserohilum spores have an inner cup-like structure, which is visible in the basal cell.

Exosporium sp -a type of dematiaceous fungus. Mostly saprophytic in nature. . Not reported as aeroallergens

Fusarium solani - Aw (water activity) 0.90. Macroconidia (spores) dimensions 27-52 x 4.4-6.8; Microconidia dimensions 8-16 x 2-4 microns. Found in plants and soils. Can produce trichothecene toxins, which may be associated with disease in humans and animals.

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Fusarium sp. - Aw (water activity) 0.90. A common soil fungus. It is found on a wide range of plants. It is often found in humidifiers. Several species in this genus can produce potent trichothecene toxins (5, 27). The trichothecene (scirpene) toxin targets the following systems: circulatory, alimentary, skin, and nervous. Produces vomitoxin on grains during unusually damp growing conditions. Symptoms may occur either through ingestion of contaminated grains or possibly inhalation of spores. The genera can produce hemorrhagic syndrome in humans (alimentary toxic aleukia). Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis, and extensive internal bleeding characterize this. Reported to be allergenic. Frequently involved in eye, skin and nail infections.

Geomyces sp- is a mitosporic fungus commonly found as a saprobe in temperate areas on soil and dung. This fungus has been the cause of rare cases of onychomycosis. The colonies are yellowish to gray-yellowish, and brown on the reverse. The characteristics of Geomyces are closely related to the genus Chrysosporium. Geomyces species have short chains of conidia grouped together in small, tree-like clusters. (Aw – 0.92) .

Geotrichum sp. - Aw (water activity) 0.90. Conidia (spores) dimension 6-12 x 3-6 microns. Aw (water activity) 0.90. A common contaminant of grains, fruits, dairy products, paper, textiles, soil and water, and often present as part of the normal human flora. The species Geotrichum candidum can cause a secondary infection (geotrichosis) in association with tuberculosis. This rare disease can cause lesions of the skin, bronchi, mouth, lung, and intestine.

Gliomastix sp- this genus is most closely related to Acremonium and the monophialidic species of Paecilomyces. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been reported.

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Gonatobotrys sp- is common in temperate areas in the northern hemisphere. It has been found on soils and in plant debris. Gonatobotrys is a mycoparasite on other fungi such as Alternaria and Cladosporium. It has been associated with a white rot on bark, wood, and trunks of gymnosperms and angiosperms. There are no known toxins or allergens associated with it.

Glomerella sp -a rapidly growing fungus. It is found worldwide and is commonly isolated from plants, air, and rarely from soil. There have not been any reports of human infections

Gonatobotryum sp- they are parasitic on Ceratocystis, and so are found where Ceratocystis is found, most particularly lumber. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Gliocladium sp. - contaminant, found widespread in soil and decaying vegetation. Similar to Pencillium, but there are no reports of infections in humans or animal. There are some reports of allergies.

Graphium sp- is parasitic and commonly found as a plant pathogen causing vascular diseases (wilts). This fungus has been found in soil, plant materials, manure, seeds, and polluted water. Conidiophores are simple, colorless, produced in abundance, and bear oblong conidia that reproduce by budding. Mode of conidial development is variable in different species. Some species are the imperfect stage of Ceratocystis.

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Helminthosporium sp. - Reported to be allergenic.

Helicomyces sp- is a widespread mitosporic saprobe commonly found on decaying wood.

Histoplasma sp. - A fungus, which has filamentous growth at 25 degrees C and yeast growth at 37 degrees C. It is reported to be a human pathogen. It may be associated with birds.

Humicula sp. - Grow on products with a high cellulose content. These fungi are also found in soil and on plant debris.

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Idriella lunata - a slow-growing fungus. It is found worldwide and can be isolated from plants especially vegetables, and soil. It is the cause of strawberry root rot. There have not been any reports of human infections.

Leptographium sp- is an anamorphic (asexual or imperfect state) Ophiostomataceae found in temperate areas on wood, bark, and roots of conifers. Leptographium is associated with pine-infesting bark beetles. This fungus has also been considered a causal agent of root decline and root collar disease in the United States. The conidia are 1-celled, colorless, and are produced continuously from the tips of the annelids (a type of fertile cell) and collect in a large drop of fluid.

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Leptosphaerulina sp- is an ascomycete found on leaves and herbaceous stems in temperate to sub-arctic areas. In cooler climates, Leptosphaerulina may be a severe pathogen on turf that is water stressed and nitrogen deficient. This plant pathogen causes pepper spot symptoms and has been found as a turf pest in Arizona. The disease is most prevalent in shady areas or other poor growing conditions. This fungus may cause tip and leaf blights in prolonged wet weather and can usually be identified by the presence of small black dots in dead leaf tissue. Its asexual state is Pithomyces. These ascospores are colorless, vary in shape from oblong to ellipsoid or short and cylindric, sometimes with transverse and longitudinal septa, spores are covered with a thin gelatinous sheath, and occasionally become brownish with age.

Microascus sp- this genus is most closely related to other perithecial forming ascomycetes such as Melanospora. Some species of Microascus have been isolated from clinical sources such as cases of onychomycosis, cutaneous lesions, and mycetomas. Microascus manginii was reported to be the cause of a disseminated infection in a leukemic patient in 1987. No information is available regarding other inhalation health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Microsporum sp. - Causes ringworm in humans..

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Memnoniella sp – contaminant, found most often with Stachybotrys on wet cellulose. Forms in chains, but it are very similar to Stachybotrys and sometimes is considered to be in the Stachybotrys family. Certain species do produce toxins very similar to the ones produced by Stachybotrys chartarum and many consider the IAQ importance of Memnoniella to be on par with Stachybotrys. Allergenic and infectious properties are not well studied.

Monilia sp. - Reported to be allergenic. This fungus produces soft rot of tree fruits. Other members produce a red bread mold. It is infrequently involved in corneal eye infections.

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Monodictys sp -it is found worldwide and can be isolated from air, soil, dead or decaying plants, rotten wood, damp linoleum, damp paper, damp burlap, and feathers. There have not been any reports of human infections.

Mortierella sp -it is found worldwide and can be isolated from soil, salt marshes, dunes, caves, fresh water, decaying wood and plants. There have not been any reports of human infections.

Mucor sp. - Often found in soil, dead plant material, horse dung, fruits, and fruit juice. It is also found in leather, meat, dairy products, animal hair, and jute. A Zygomycetes fungus, which may be allergenic (skin and bronchial tests) (7, 17). This organism and other Zygomycetes will grow rapidly on most fungal media. May cause mucorosis in immune compromised individuals. The sites of infection are the lung, nasal sinus, brain, eye, and skin. Infection may have multiple sites.

Mycogone sp -it is found worldwide and is isolated from soil. There have not been any reports of human infections.

Myxomycete sp – Members of a group of fungi that are included in the category of "slime molds". They're occasionally found indoors, but mainly reside in forested regions on decaying logs, stumps, and dead leaves. Myxomycetes display characteristics of fungi and protozoans. In favorable (wet) conditions they exhibit motile, amoeba-like cells, usually bounded only by a plasma membrane, that are variable in size and form. During dry spells, they form a resting body (sclerotium) with dry, airborne spores. These fungi are not known to produce toxins, but can cause hay fever and asthma.

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Neurospora sp -it is found worldwide in soil, on plants, and in bakeries causing red bread mold. There have not been any reports of human infections.

Nigrospora sp. - Reported to be allergenic.

Oidiodendron sp- common but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. As to health effects, one isolation from a case of neurodermitis nuchae in 1969 exists for Oidiodendron cerealis/Stephanosporium cereale, with no reports for other Oidiodendron species. No information is available regarding toxicity. It may cause an allergic reaction to hypersensitive individuals at low airborne concentrations.

Oidium sp-The asexual phase of Erysiphe sp. It is a plant pathogen causing powdery mildews. It is very common on the leaves stems, and flowers of plants. The health effects and allergenicity have not been studied. It does not grow on non-living surfaces such as wood or drywall.

Oospora sp -it is found worldwide and is common. It can be isolated from soil and plants. There have not been any reports of human infections.
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Paecilomyces sp. - Commonly found in soil and dust, less frequently in air. P. variotii can cause paecilomycosis. Linked to wood-trimmers disease and humidifier associated illnesses. They are reported to allergenic. Some members of this genus are reported to cause pneumonia. It may produce arsine gas if growing on arsenic substrate. This can occur on wallpapers covered with paris green.

Papularia sp- it belongs to class deuteromyceles of fungi. Allergenic effect is not known

Papulospora sp. - this fungus is found in soil, textiles, decaying plants, manure, and paper.

Peziza sp- are macrofungi commonly called cup fungi. One species in particular Peziza domiciliana is noted for growth on a wide range of domestic materials, including plaster, cement, sand, coal dust, wet rugs and carpets, fireplace ashes, and walls. It has been found in a wide range of locations, including carpets in living rooms, shower stalls, damp closets, behind refrigerators, around leaky waterbeds, in cellars, greenhouses, under porches, walls in schoolrooms, and in cars. No specific information is available regarding toxicity of Peziza domiciliana but it is believed to be non-toxic, and there are no reports of adverse health effects. Allergenicity has not been studied.

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Penicillium sp. - Aw (water activity) 0.78 - 0.88. A wide number of organisms have placed in these genera. Identification to species is difficult. Often found in aerosol samples. Commonly found in soil, food, cellulose, and grains (17, 5). It is also found in paint and compost piles. It may cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis and allergic alveolitis in susceptible individuals. It is reported to be allergenic (skin) (7, 17). It is commonly found in carpet, wallpaper, and in interior fiberglass duct insulation (NC). Some species can produce mycotoxins. Common cause of extrinsic asthma (immediate-type hypersensitivity: type I). Acute symptoms include edema and bronchiospasms; chronic cases may develop pulmonary emphysema.

Penicillium brevicompactum -it is a common fungus isolated worldwide, it is infrequently isolated from soil, plants, swamps, marshes, bird feathers, rabbit dung, fruits, and fruit juices. Rarely, it can be an opportunistic human pathogen.

Penicillium chrysogenum -it produces a fruity (apples or pineapples) odor. It is a common fungus isolated worldwide from soil, plants, intestinal tract of insects and reptiles, flour-based foodstuffs, and fruit juices. Rarely, it can be an opportunistic human pathogen causing systemic fungal infections.

Penicillium citrinum -it is a common fungus isolated worldwide from soil, plants, bird feathers, gerbils, flour-based foodstuffs, and fruit juices. Rarely, it can be an opportunistic human pathogen causing eye (corneal ulcers) infections.

Penicillium expansum -it produces an aromatic fruity odor (apples). It is a common fungus isolated worldwide from air, soil, sewage, salt marshes, plants, bees, bird feathers, meat, fruits, and fruit juices. Rarely, it can be an opportunistic human pathogen causing eye (corneal ulcers) infections.

Penicillium frequentans -it is a common fungus isolated worldwide from soil, plants, bird feathers, gerbils, frogs, caterpillars, wood pulp, paper, flour-based foodstuffs, bee hives, fruits, and fruit juices. It is involved in suberosis, a respiratory disease in workers in the cork industry.

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Penicillium islandicum -it had been isolated worldwide from soil, plants, bird feathers, and flour-type foodstuffs. It is one of the most toxic fungi found in food and is the cause of yellow rice@. It is responsible for acute and chronic liver diseases including cirrhosis and carcinoma.

Periconia sp- Found in soil, blackened and dead herbaceous stems, leaf spots, grasses, rushes, and sedges. Almost always associated with other fungi. Rarely found growing indoors. Reportedly associated with a rare case of mycotic keratitis.

Peronospora sp- These species are plant pathogens and the genus is one that causes downy mildews. Peronospora is very common and is an obligate parasite (obligate parasites cannot grow on non living environmental surfaces) found on leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits of living higher plants. Peronospora sp. may be identified in air on spore trap samples since spores have a distinctive morphology. The spores may also be seen in dust as part of the normal influx of outdoor microbial particles. As of this writing, allergenicity has not been studied and no information is available regarding health effects or toxicity

Phialophora sp -it has worldwide distribution and has been isolated from soil, decaying wood, wood pulp, and plants. It is a plant pathogen but has been found to the cause of chromoblastomycosis, corneal ulcers, and subcutaneous granulomas in man.

Phoma sp. - A common indoor air allergen. It is similar to the early stages of growth of Chaetomium SP. The species are isolated from soil and associated plants (particularly potatoes). Produces pink and purple spots on painted walls (3, 17). It may have antigens, which cross-react with those of Alternaria SP. It will grow on butter, paint, cement, and rubber. It may cause phaeohyphomycosis, a systematic or subcutaneous disease.

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Pithomyces sp. – Contaminant, found on decaying plants, especially leaves and grasses. Rarely found indoors, but it can grow on paper. No reports of allergies or infections, but some species produce a toxin that causes facial eczema in sheep.

Polythrincium sp-This genus is somewhat related to Ramularia. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Natural habitat is on leaves.

Pleospora herbarum -it has worldwide distribution and is very common in temperate and subtropical regions. It has been isolated from plants and soil. There have not been any reports of human infections.

Rhinocladiella sp- cases of subcutaneous infection have been reported. One species is called the cellar fungus, most commonly found on brickwork.

Rhizomucor sp. - The Zygomycetous fungus is reported to be allergenic. It may cause mucorosis in immune compromised individuals. It occupies a biological niche similar to Mucor SP. It is often linked to occupational allergy. The sites of infection are the lung, nasal sinus, brain, eye, and skin. Infection may have multiple sites.

Rhizopus sp. - The Zygomycetous fungus is reported to be allergenic. It may cause mucorosis in immune compromised individuals. It occupies a biological niche similar to Mucor SP. It is often linked to occupational allergy. The sites of infection are the lung, nasal sinus, brain, eye, and skin. Infection may have multiple sites.

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Rhodotorula sp. - reddish yeast typically found in moist environments such as carpeting, cooling coils, and drains pans. In some countries it is the most common yeast genus identified in indoor air. This yeast has been reported to be allergenic. Positive skin tests have been reported. It has colonized in terminally ill patients.

Rusts sp- these fungi are associated with plant diseases. In the classification scheme of the fungi, the smuts have much in common with the rusts, and they are frequently discussed together. Both groups produce wind-borne, resistant teliospores that serve as the basis for their classification and their means of spread. Rusts usually attack vegetative regions (i.e., leaves and stems) of plants.

Saccharomyces sp. - Reported to be allergenic. Baker's Yeast.

Scopulariopsis sp. - It may produce arsine gas if growing on arsenic substrate. This can occur on wallpapers covered with paris green. It has been found growing on a wide variety of materials including house dust. It is associated with type III allergy.

Sepedonium sp- Most easily recognized by the spores, which are colorless to yellow, spiny, round, 1-celled, those of Sepedonium. Isolated from soil, but most commonly parasitized mushrooms and produced singly at the ends of short filaments. Sometimes phialides of the Acremonium or Gabarnaudia type may also occur. A few species of Mortierella, as well as the human pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum, produce spores resembling

Serpula lacrymans - Common cause of extrinsic asthma (immediate-type hypersensitivity: type I). Acute symptoms include edema and bronchiospasms; chronic cases may develop pulmonary emphysema.

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Smuts sp - Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma). No reports of human infection by the plant parasitic forms. Smuts do not usually grow indoors. They are parasitic plant pathogens that require a living host for the completion of their life cycle.

Sporobolomyces sp. - Reported to be allergenic.

Sporothrix sp. - Can cause sporotrichosis. Usually only in populations which are immune compromised.

Sporotrichum sp. - Reported to be allergenic. See also Sporothrix sp., as there is some taxonomic confusion between these two genera. This genus does not cause sporotrichosis.

Stachybotrys sp. - Aw (water activity) - 0.94, optimum Aw (water activity) - >0.98. Several strains of this fungus (S. atra, S. chartarum and S. alternans are synonymous) may produce a trichothecene mycotoxin- Satratoxin H - which is poisonous by inhalation. The toxins are present on the fungal spores. This is a slow growing fungus on media. It does not compete well with other rapidly growing fungi. The dark colored fungi grows on building material with high cellulose content and low nitrogen content. Areas with relative humidity above 55% and are subject to temperature fluctuations are ideal for toxin production. Individuals with chronic exposure to the toxin produced by this fungus reported cold and flu symptoms, sore throats, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, dermatitis, intermittent local hair loss, and generalized malaise. The toxins produced by this fungus will suppress the immune system affecting the lymphoid tissue and the bone marrow. Animals injected with the toxin from this fungus exhibited the following symptoms: necrosis and hemorrhage within the brain, thymus, spleen, intestine, lung, heart, lymph node, liver, and kidney. The mycotoxin is also reported to be a liver and kidney carcinogen. Affects by absorption of the toxin in the human lung are known as pneumomycosis. This organism is rarely found in outdoor samples. It is usually difficult to find in indoor air samples unless it is physically disturbed. The spores are in a gelatinous mass. Appropriate media for the growth of this organism will have high cellulose content and low nitrogen content. The spores will die readily after release. The dead spores are still allergenic and toxigenic. Percutaneous absorption has caused mild symptoms.

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Sordaria sp- this genus is most closely related to other perithecial forming ascomycetes such as Gelasinospora and Melanospora. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Natural habitat is mainly on dung, but found also on seeds and in soil.

Spegazzinia sp- this genus is somewhat related to other lobed or ornamented genera such as Candelabrum. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Natural habitat includes soil and many kinds of trees and plants.

Stemphylium sp. - Reported to be allergenic. Isolated from dead plants and cellulose materials.

Syncephalastrum sp. - Can cause a respiratory infection characterized by a solid fungal ball.

Taeniolella sp - contaminant primarily grows on wood. It was isolated from human cutaneous and subcutaneous lesions.

Tetraploa sp- this genus is somewhat related to Triposporium and Diplocladiella. The only reported human infections are two cases of keratitis and one case of subcutaneous infection of the knee. No information is available regarding other health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.. Natural habitat includes leaf bases and stems just above the soil on many kinds of plants and trees.

Trichoderma sp. - It is commonly found in soil, dead trees, pine needles, paper, and unglazed ceramics. It often will grow on other fungi. It produces antibiotics, which are toxic to humans. It has been reported to be allergenic (7, 17). It readily degrades cellulose.

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Trichophyton sp. - Can cause ringworm, athlete's foot, skin, nail, beard, and scalp (5, 6). Reported to be allergenic. Found on soil and skin.

Trichothecium sp. - Aw (water activity) 0.90. Conidia (spores) dimension 12-23 x 8-10 microns. Found in decomposing vegetation, soil, corn seeds, and in flour. The species Trichothecium roseum can produce a trichothecene toxin, which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals. Reported to be allergenic.

Tritirachium sp. - Reported to be allergenic.

Torula sp – primarily a contaminant, but it is reported to be allergenic. Can be found indoors on cellulose containing material.

Ulocladium sp. - Has an Aw (water activity) of 0.89. Isolated from dead plants and cellulose materials. Found on textiles.

Ustilago sp -a slow growing basidiomycete that resembles a yeast. It produces a white to cream yeast-like colony, often mucoid, that reproduces by budding. These are Asmut fungi@ and have a worldwide distribution and can be isolated from plants, air and soil. It has been isolated in the clinical laboratory from sputum specimens and from the nasopharynx in patients without any evidence of infection. Rarely, it can cause meningitis and eye (corneal) infections.

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Verticillium sp. - Conidia (spores) dimensions 2.3-10 x 1-2.6 microns. Found in decaying vegetation, on straw, soil, and arthropods. A rare cause of corneal infections.

Wallemia sp. - Has an Aw (water activity) of 0.75. Conidia (spores) dimension 2.5-3.5 microns. Found in sugary foods, salted meats, dairy products, textiles, soil, hay, and fruits.

Yeast - Various yeasts are commonly identified on air samples. Some yeast is reported to be allergenic. They may cause problems if a person has had previous exposure and developed hypersensitivity. Yeasts may be allergenic to susceptible individuals when present in sufficient concentrations.

Zygosporium sp- is a widespread mitosporic (lacks a sexual state) fungus commonly found in subtropical to tropical areas on dead leaves and wood, and occasionally from soil. This saprobe (weak parasite) has been found growing indoors on damp walls, and also on cheese. The species Z. mansonii can produce Cytochalasin D, which is used mainly in fermentation processes.



   Definitions

AFLATOXIN - a highly carcinogenic toxin produced by some molds (e.g. Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus).

ASPERGILLOMA - a 'fungal ball' composed principally of hyphae of Aspergillus often found in an upper lobe of the lung.

ASPERGILLOSIS - any disease in man or animals caused by Aspergillus.

COLONY - a discrete mycelium of a fungus, often derived from a single spore.

CFU- colony forming unit

CONTAMINANT - something that is present without injuring or benefiting the host; they do not cause infection.

CRYOPHILES - adapts to low temperatures

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FUNGI (singular - FUNGUS) - non-photosynthesizing organism that produce exoenzymes and absorb their food; usually producing and living inside a network of extending, branched tubes called hyphae.

FUMONISINS - carcinogenic neurotoxic mycotoxin produced by Fusarium species)

HETEROTROPHS - must have external food source and cannot make their own carbohydrates from water and carbon dioxide.

HYDROPHILIC FUNGI - colonizes continuously wet materials with minimum aw >0.90 (See Xerophilic, Xerotolerant).

HYPHAE (singular - HYPHA) - a tubular filament produced by fungi. Branching structure with cell walls.

MYCOLOGY - the study of fungi

MYCOSES (singular - MYCOSIS) - diseases of humans or animals caused by fungi.

MYCOTOXINS - fungal metabolites that are poisonous to animals and humans.

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MYXOMYCETE - associated with plants (rust/smut)

NON-SPORULATING - colonies that do not produce spores.

OPPORTUNISTIC PATHOGEN - fungi which occasionally act as pathogens when conditions unusually favorable for infection arise. Rarely infects patients who are otherwise healthy.

PATHOGEN - an organism that causes disease.

PARASITIC - requires living source in which to grow and reproduce. (See saprobic, symbiotic))

SAPROBIC - use non-living organic materials to grow and reproduce. (See parasitic, symbiotic)

SATRATOXIN - one of the mycotoxins produced by Stachybotrys chartarum.

SPORE - for fungi, it is a microscopic agent of dispersal that is capable of developing into an adult without fusion with another cell.

SYMBIOTIC - grows in close association with another living organism, often to the benefit of both. (See saprobic, parasitic)

T-2 TOXIN - a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium species.

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THERMOPHILES - adapts to high temperatures.

THERMOTOLERANT - adapts to wide range of temperatures.

VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOC's) - compounds produced by mold as products of primary and secondary metabolism.

WATER ACTIVITY (aw)- a measure of water within a substrate that an organism can use to support growth.

XEROPHILLIC FUNGI - colonize very dry materials with minimum aw <0.8. (See Xerotolerant, Hydrophilic.)

XEROTOLERANT FUNGI - colonizes relatively dry materials with minimum aw <0.8 and optimum aw >0.8 Can colonize damp materials also. (See Xerophillic, Hydrophilic.)

Conidium (plural, conidia) An asexual spore of mold (Hyphomycetes), produced on the external surface of mycelium, not in a sporangium.

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Conidiophore A simple or branched hyphal structure bearing or consisting of cells that produce conidia/spores.

Fruiting structure A general name for a spore-bearing organ both in macro-fungi (e.g. mushroom) or microfungi (e.g. a mold).

Hypha (plural, hyphae) An individual fungal thread or filament of connected cells; the thread that represents the individual parts of the fungal body.

Mycelium A mass of hyphae; not in the form of large spore producing parts such as mushroom

Perithecium A fruiting body of a fungus in which some types of spores (including ascospores) are produced. (plural form: perithecia) Back to the top

Arthroconidia - Spores arising from pre-existing cells in the mycelium where adjacent cells collapse to release the mature form (Geotrichum is an example of molds which produce arthroconidia).

Debris ? Non- biological particulate such as dirt or soot.

Hyphal-like fragments - filamentous, branched structures with cell walls. Hyphae are somewhat analogous to roots or stems in plants whereas the spores would be analogous to the seeds. (A conidiophore would be somewhat analogous to the flower.)

Non-sporulating colonies - colonies that do not produce spores

Skin - skin cells are a source of food for dust mites (allergen)

 
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