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Mould Identification: A Virtual Self Assessment

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Unknown = Aspergillus flavus complex

Case History
A 61-year-old man suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia presented with chest pain and dyspnoea. Computer tomography revealed diffuse bilateral infiltrates which were considered to be suspicious for an invasive pulmonary aspergillosis of the left upper lobe. A biopsy was taken which showed the presence of fungal elements and the culture shown below was isolated.
Direct Microscopy (methenamine silver stain)

Methenamine silver stain section showing branching septate hyphae typical for Aspergillus.
Culture

Colonies of A. flavus complex are granular, flat, often with radial grooves, yellow at first but quickly becoming bright to dark yellow-green with age.
Microscopy

Conidial head of A. flavus complex. Note: conidial heads with both uniseriate and biseriate arrangement of phialides may be present.
Comment: Aspergillus flavus complex has a world-wide distribution and normally occurs as a saprophyte in soil and on many kinds of decaying organic matter. A. flavus complex is the second most common species (next to A. fumigatus complex) to be isolated from human infections, and it is often associated with invasive aspergillosis seen in immunosuppressed patients and in paranasal sinus infections.

About Aspergillus Back to Virtual Assessment

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Aspergillus flavus complex

Aspergillus fumigatus complex
Aspergillus nidulans complex

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School of Biological Sciences
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THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
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Dr David Ellis
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