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Mould Identification: A Virtual Self Assessment

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Unknown 41 = Aspergillus fumigatus

Case History
A 35-year-old retired painter with chronic myeloid leukaemia with acute GVH developed a necrotising pneumonia with a bronchopleural fistula. Lobectomy showed the presence of filamentous hyphae and the culture below was isolated.
Direct Microscopy

Aspergillosis of the lung. Methenamine silver stained tissue section showing conidial heads of A. fumigatus in an alveolus air sac (top) and dichotomously branched, septate hyphae (bottom) in tissue.
Culture
culture

On Czapek dox agar, colonies show typical blue-green surface pigmentation with a suede-like surface consisting of a dense felt of conidiophores.
Microscopy
Microscopy

Microscopy

Conidial heads are typically columnar (up to 400 x 50 um but often much shorter and smaller) and uniseriate. Conidiophores are short, smooth-walled and have conical-shaped terminal vesicles which support a single row of phialides on the upper two thirds of the vesicle. Conidia are produced in basipetal succession forming long chains and are globose to subglobose (2.5-3.0 um in diameter), green and rough-walled. Note: this species is thermotolerant and grows at temperatures up to 55C. RG-2 organism.
Comment: Aspergillus fumigatus is truly a cosmopolitan mould and has been found almost everywhere on every conceivable type of substrate, especially soil and decaying organic debris. A. fumigatus is an important human pathogen and it is the most common cause of all forms of invasive and non-invasive aspergillosis.

About Aspergillus Back to Virtual Assessment

What is your identification?

Aspergillus carneus
Aspergillus fumigatus
Aspergillus flavus

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School of Biological Sciences
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THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
SA 5005 AUSTRALIA

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Dr David Ellis
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