Aspergillus sp.  

Recognized by its distinct conidiophores terminated by a swollen vesicle bearing flask-shaped phialides. The phialides may be borne directly on the vesicle or on intervening metulae. Some species may form masses of thick-walled cells called "hülle cells". The spores come in several colors, depending upon the species, and are produced in long chains from the ends of the phialides. Commonly isolated from soil, plant debris, and house dust; sometimes pathogenic to man. 

Where Found Indoor building materials, soil, dead organic debris, compost piles.
Allergen Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma)
Type III Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
Aspergillosis, fungus ball, farmer's lung disease
Pathogen Respiratory, invasive, cutaneous, ear and cornial disease.

 

Aspergillus flavus  

Aspergillus flavus. Grows on moldy corn and peanuts; warm soil, foods and dairy products are other sources of growth. This fungus can also be found in water damaged carpets and in building materials. It has been reported to be allergenic and its presence is associated with asthma. This fungus is also associated with aspergillosis of the lungs and/or disseminated aspergillosis and ear and eye infections. Infections of lung, heart, and bladder have been reported rarely. Some strains are capable of producing a group of mycotoxins in the aflatoxin group, which are carcinogenic and have been linked to a wide variety of human health problems. These toxins are poisonous to humans by ingestion and may also result in occupational disease via inhalation. Experiments with the aflatoxin have shown that it is mutagenic and toxic to the liver. The production of the toxin is dependent on the substrate and growth conditions. The risks associated with airborne exposure to aflatoxin in contaminated buildings, as with other mycotoxins, have not been adequately studied. Morphological characteristics of this fungus include conidiophores upright, simple, terminating in a globose or clavate swelling, bearing phialides at the apex; conidia (3 - 6 microns), 1-celled, globose, in dry basipatal chains. 

Aspergillus fumigatus.  

Aspergillus fumigatus. This fungus is a saprophyte with worldwide distribution and commonly found in house dust. A. fumigatus occurs in outdoor and indoor air, different types of soil and on decaying plant material, compost, wood chips, feathers and bird droppings, self heated hay and crops. This fungus is an important causal agent of systemic mycosis in domestic animals and in humans (immune compromised patients). Infections are seldom acute, but the cardiovascular and urinary system as well as the brain may be attacked. Occasionally can also be found in human ear and eye. A. fumigatus has also been reported causing asthma and rhinitis (allergies). Farmer's lung may develop after inhalation (eg. handling moldy hay). This fungus produces a large number of specific mycotoxic and tremorgenic metabolites including fumigaclavine, fetuclavine, chanoclavin, sphingofungins, fumitoxins and others. These compounds cause death of chickens, tremors in various animals, neprotoxicity, and/or have hemolytic activity. Morphological characteristics - Dense appearance with a blue-grayish color intermixed with colorless aerial hyphae; conidiophores are short and green bearing typical columnar conidial heads. Conidia are globose to subglobose, 2.5 to 3 microns in diameter, dark green, and rough wall. 

 
Aspergillus niger.  

Aspergillus niger. This fungus is the third most common aspergilii associated with disease and is the most common environmental isolate of the Aspergillus species. It is found in and upon the greatest variety of substrates including textiles, grains, fruits and vegetables, and soil. It is commonly associated with "fungus ball", a condition wherein fungus actively grows in the human lung, forming a ball, without invading lung tissue. Because invasive aspergillosis occurs most frequently among highly immune compromised patients, the presence of Aspergillus spores in hospital air has important implications. Aspergillus niger and A. fumigatus have been reported to cause skin diseases and are a common cause of fungal related ear infections - otomycosis. A. niger generates many types of secondary metabolites. Included in these, malformin C and some of the naptho-y-quinones, which have been proven to show toxic effects, but they still do not fall within the strict definition of mycotoxins.

Aspergillus versicolor.  

Aspergillus versicolor. This fungus can be found in template climates air and house dust. This fungus can indicate signs of moisture problems in buildings and can be found in water damaged buildings materials. This species produces the mycotoxin, sterigmatocystin, which is toxic and carcinogenic. The fungus has a characteristic musty, earthy odor, often connected with moldy houses and is the cause of eye, nose, and throat irritation. 

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