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Mould Identification: A Virtual Self Assessment

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Unknown 23 = Aspergillus terreus

Case History
A 29 year old male with a past history of pulmonary tuberculosis presented with general fatigue, tiredness, weight loss, a productive cough, especially at night, and numbness in his fingertips and toes. A chest X ray and a computed tomography(CT) scan showed the presence of a "fungal ball" in the right and left apical regions. A Grocott’s methenamine silver (GMS) stained tissue section of lung showed fungal balls of hyphae and the fungus shown below was isolated.
Direct Microscopy

A Grocott’s methenamine silver (GMS) stained tissue section of lung showed fungal balls of hyphae.

Colonies of A. terreus are typically suede-like and cinnamon-buff to sand brown in color with a yellow to deep dirty brown reverse.

Conidial heads are compact, columnar (up to 500 x 30-50 um in diameter) and biseriate. Conidiophores are hyaline and smooth-walled. Conidia are globose to ellipsoidal (1.5-2.5 um in diameter), hyaline to slightly yellow and smooth-walled.
Comment: Non-invasive aspergillosis or aspergilloma (fungus ball), is caused by the saprophytic colonisation of pre-formed cavities, usually secondary to tuberculosis or sarcoidosis. Features often include hemoptysis with blood stained sputum, positive immunodiffusion precipitin tests for antibody to Aspergillus, and elevated specific IgE against Aspergillus. However, many cases are asymptomatic and are usually found by routine chest roentenogram.

About Aspergillus Back to Virtual Assessment

What is your identification?

Aspergillus ochraceus
Aspergillus nidulans
Aspergillus terreus

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School of Biological Sciences



Dr David Ellis