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Mould Identification: A Virtual Self Assessment

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Unknown 58 = Aureobasidium pullulans

Case History
A 53-year-old immunocompetent woman presented with an extensive skin infection.  The culture below was isolated.
Culture

Colonies are fast growing, smooth, covered with slimy masses of conidia, cream or pink to brown or black.
Microscopy

A. pullulans showing chains of 1- to 2-celled, darkly pigmented arthroconidia and the presence of numerous hyaline, single-celled, ovoid-shaped conidia which are produced on short denticles.

Hyphae are hyaline and septate, frequently becoming dark-brown with age and undergoing holothallic transformation to form chains of 1- to 2-celled, thick-walled, darkly pigmented arthroconidia commonly called chlamydoconidia. These arthroconidia actually represent the Scytalidium anamorph of Aureobasidium and are only of secondary importance in recognizing members of this genus. Conidia are produced synchronously in dense groups from indistinct scars or from short denticles on undifferentiated, hyaline to sub-hyaline hyphae. Conidia are hyaline, smooth-walled, single-celled (ameroconidia), ellipsoidal but of variable shape and size (8-12 x 4-6 um), often with an indistinct hilum (a mark or scar at the point of attachment).

Temperature range for growth 2-35C; optimum 25C; maximum 35C (higher in some human pathogenic isolates).
Comment: Aureobasidium pullulans has a world-wide distribution and it is usually isolated as a saprophyte, occasionally from skin and nails. However, it has also been reported as a rare causative agent of phaeohyphomycosis, mycotic keratitis and peritonitis in patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD).

About Aureobasidium Back to Virtual Assessment

What is your identification?

Aureobasidium pullulans
Hortaea wernickii
Neoscytalidium dimidiatum

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Dr David Ellis
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