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Mould Identification: A Virtual Self Assessment

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Unknown 42 = Lichtheimia corymbifera

Case History
A 22-year-old male with relapsed acute myeloid leukaemia developed pyrexia, pleuritic chest pain and haemoptysis during re-induction chemotherapy. A chest CT scan showed widespread consolidation. A lung biopsy showed the presence of fungal elements and the fungus shown below was isolated.
Histopathology
Direct Microscopy (GMS)

GMS stained tissue section from a lung showing typical zygomycete hyphae and by chance a sporangium of Lichtheimia corymbifera.
Culture
white fluffy culture

Colonies are fast growing, floccose, white at first becoming pale grey with age, and up to 1.5 cm high.
Microscopy
Microscopy

MicroscopyMicroscopy

Sporangiophores are hyaline to faintly pigmented, simple or sometimes branched arising solitary from the stolons, in groups of three, or in whorls of up to seven. Sporangia are small (10-40 um in diameter) and are typically pyriform in shape with a characteristic conical-shaped columella and pronounced apophysis, often with a short projection at the top. Sporangiospores vary from subglobose to oblong-ellipsoidal (3.0-7.0 x 2.5-4.5 um), are hyaline to light grey and are smooth-walled. Temperature: optimum 35-37C; maximum 45C. RG-2 organism.
Comment: Lichtheimia corymbifera is a common human pathogen, causing pulmonary, rhinocerebral, disseminated, CNS or cutaneous types of infection. It is also often associated with animal disease, especially mycotic abortion. L. corymbifera has a world-wide distribution mostly in association with soil and decaying plant debris.

About Lichtheimia Back to Virtual Assessment

What is your identification?

Apophysomyces elegans
Lichtheimia corymbifera
Mucor amphibiorum

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Dr David Ellis
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