Toxic Mold Descriptions


Toxic Mold Varieties and descriptions Violet Frog

Toxic Mold Varieties and descriptions Violet Frog

  • Allergenic – organisms typically associated with an allergic type of response.
  • Pathogenic – organisms capable of causing adverse health effects, primarily in the young, elderly and immune compromised segments of the population.
  • Some species are Toxigenic – some organisms in this genus are capable of causing adverse health effects in all segments of the population.
  • Toxigenic – organisms capable of causing adverse health effects in all segments of the population.

It must be understood that these are only general guidelines for potential health effects of mold, as described in various studies. Two people can be in the same room, one person can have an allergic response and the other person will exhibit no symptoms. This does not suggest that the past, present or future occupants will exhibit this same symptomology. There are also factors of dose, duration, interval of exposure which must be factored into the equation. It is highly recommended that these laboratory results and general descriptions be shared and discussed with a physician who specializes in allergies or environmental medicine.

Acremonium

Characteristics: Allergen Type I and Type III also considered to be pathogenic and toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, dead organic debris, hay, and food stuffs with a white, pale pink, or salmon coloration with a thinly velvety texture.

It is disseminated as a wet spore by an insect or water droplet, and as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus requires very wet conditions. Most species of Acremonium do not grow at 37°C. As an allergen, it has been known to cause both Type I and Type III symptoms. As a pathogen it has been known to cause mycetoma, keratitis, onychomycosis as well as other rare infections reported in immunodeficient patients, and in persons with wound injuries. As a toxigenic agent, it produces cephalosporins, an important class of antibiotics. Acremonium was formerly referred to in the science world as Cephalosporium.

Alternaria

Characteristics: Allergen Type I and Type III also considered to be pathogenic and toxigenic.

Description: Alternaria in one of the most common fungi worldwide. Its colonies are generally found in soil, dead organic debris, on food stuffs, textiles, and weakened plants with a dark olive green to brown coloration with velvety texture. It is disseminated as a dry spore through the wind. Most species of Alternaria do not grow at 37° C. As an allergen, it has been known to cause both Type I and Type III symptoms. As a pathogen it has been known to cause nasal lesions, subcutaneous lesions, and nail infections. The majority of infections occur in people with underlying disease or in those taking immunosuppressive drugs. As a toxigenic agent, it produces alternariol (an antifungal), AME (metabolite), tenuazonic acid, and altertoxins. It can be used for biocontrol to kill weeds and plants.

Amerospores

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Amerospores represents a morphological category of spores that are produced by many unrelated fungi. Instead amerospores are identified by increasing magnification to detect subtle characteristics. When no characteristics are present that allow identification of any spore, we list it as “other dark” or “other colorless”. These terms make clear the fact that we have not identified these spores and, importantly, separates these into a small group of spores, enabling better interpretation of the data when comparisons are made between locations. Generally, very few spores fall into the “other” or unidentified category.

Amphobotrys

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Amphobotrys species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to Botrytis. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. Spores are not distinctive on spore trap samples and would be categorized as “other colorless.” Recorded sources of isolation are from plants (Euphorbia, Ricinus).

Annellophora/Taeniolella rudis

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Annellophora species are common, but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is related to Taeniolella. In particular, Taeniolella rudis has very similar morphology. The spores of both genera are dark brown and distinctive. Annellophora species have areas of successive proliferations, whereas Taeniolella rudis does not. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples and in air by spore trap samples. These genera do not grow on common laboratory media. Natural habitat includes leaves, and wood. They are sometimes associated with lumber, and can be found indoors on wood, and plants.

Anthrobotrys

Anthrobotrys species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal aerobiota. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely found but may be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in air by spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) Anthrobotrys is found primarily in the soil and is one of those fungi capable of capturing nematodes.

Aphanocladium

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Aphanocladium species are common, but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. Spores are dry and are designed for wind dissemination. This very delicate genus is somewhat related to Beauveria and Engyodontium. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Identified in air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. Spores are not distinctive on spore trap samples and would be categorized as “other colorless.” Recorded sources of isolation are from other fungi, spiders, dung, and litter.

Athrospore formers

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Arthrospores are a very primitive spore type, formed by the breaking up or disarticulation of fungal mycelia. Many yeast-like fungi such as the genera Geotricum and Trichosporon form arthrospores. These organisms require a series of biochemical tests for definitive identification. Many microfungi (such as the dermatophytes) form more than one kind of spore, including arthrospores, as well as spores that are morphologically distinct. Other microfungi form only arthrospores, but with mechanisms or other structural morphologies that are unique. Most of the basidiomycetes (mushrooms) form arthrospores as part of their mycelial phase; these arthrospores are not distinctive and are for the most part not an aid in identification. Colonies isolated on Andersen samples with aerial mycelia and many arthrospores are most probably the result of germinating basidiospores from mushrooms.

Arthrinium

Characteristics: Allergen (one species: Arthrinium sphaerospermum), Not considered a Pathogen or Toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found in soil or decomposing plant material with a white coloration and has a texture of wooly tufts or long soft hairs. Over time, brown to black spore clusters develop. It is disseminated as a dry spore by wind. The only species of Arthrinium known as an allergen is Arthrinium sphaerospermum. It is not known to be a pathogen or toxigenic agent.

Arthrobotrys

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Arthrobotrys species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal aerobiota. Rarely found but may be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in air by spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) Arthrobotrys is found primarily in the soil and is one of those fungi capable of capturing nematodes.

Ascospores

Characteristics: Allergenic, Pathogenic, and Toxigenic dependant on genus and species.

Description: It is often found in saprophytes (an organism that grows on and derives nourishment from dead or decaying matter) and other plant pathogens. It is found everywhere in nature. It is disseminated as a wet spore through forcible discharge during periods of high humidity or rain. For indoor growth this fungus requires damp conditions. While some ascomycetes sporulate in culture (Chaetomium, Pleospora), many are parasitic plant pathogens, and sporulate (grow) only on living host plants. As an allergen, it is poorly studied. As a pathogen, it is dependent on genus and species, but the vast majority do not cause disease. As a toxigenic agent, it is dependent on the genus and species, but is known to produce many toxins. Some of the common asexual fungi such as Penicillium and Aspergillus produce sexual forms under certain conditions; these are classified in the ascomycete group and given distinct names.

Ascotricha

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Ascotricha species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to Chaetomium. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in air by spore trap sampling. Spores are round, brown, and may be identified to genus if other structural elements (such as perithecial terminal hairs) are present. Otherwise, these spores may be placed in the spore category “smuts, Periconia, myxomycetes” or may be called “unknown brown.” Ascotricha is cellulolytic, and sources of isolation include damp sheet-rock paper, woody and straw materials.

Aspergillus

Characteristics: Allergen Type I and Type III also considered to be pathogenic and toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, decaying plant debris, compost piles, and stored grain. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus requires varying conditions dependant on the species. Most species of Aspergillus grow at 37°C (body temperature). As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I (hay fever, asthma), and Type III (hypersensitivity pneumonitis: Humidifier lung, Malt worker’s lung, Compost lung, Wood trimmer’s disease, Straw hypersensitivity, Farmer’s lung, Oat grain hypersensitivity, fumigatus: allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), and allergenic fungal sinusitis) symptoms. As a pathogen, it has been known to cause respiratory, invasive, cutaneous, ear, and corneal disease including fumigatus (fungus ball), flavus (nasal sinus lesions), and niger (“swimmer’s ear”). As a toxigenic agent, it produces flavus, fumigatus, niger, usutus, and versicolor causing agents as well as many others. Aspergillus is one of the most common fungal genera, worldwide, and Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common species found.

Aspergillus flavus

Characteristics: an occasional agent of pulmonary or disseminated infection in the immunocompromised patient. Cases of sinusitis and onychomycosis have also been reported. In animals, it may be the agent of respiratory infections of birds.

Description: It is often found in plants and soil. It is known especially for its aflatoxins produced in certain foodstuffs such as peanuts. It is characterized by its rapid growth, powdery texture, and yellow/green color. Aspergillus flavus is distinguished from other species of Aspergillus by its brilliant yellow green colonies and bias typical rough walled conidiophores.

Aspergillus fumigatus

Characteristics: The most frequently isolated agent of aspergillosis in humans. It may cause pulmonary, nasal, ocular, cerebral, bone, cardiovascular, and organ infections, particularly in the immunocompromised patient. Aspergillus fumigatus is also a cause of mycotic abortion in the cow and of respiratory infections in fowl.

Description: It is often found in compost, soil and plant material. It is characterized by rapid growth, with a powdery texture usually colored blue/green to gray/green on the surface. Aspergillus fumigatus is distinguished by its blue/green to gray/green colonies. Unlike most other medically important species of Aspergillus, it develops well at 48°C. In a typical form characterized by downy white colonies is occasionally isolated from cases of aspergilloma or chronic bronchopulmonary colonization. These isolates grow well at 48°C. Aspergillus is one of the most common fungal genera, worldwide, and Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common species found.

Aspergillus niger

Characteristics: An uncommon cause of aspergillosis, but does cause ear, nose, and lung infections especially in immunocompromised people. As a pathogen, it has been found to be isolated from human external ears, a cutaneous infection of a bone marrow transplant recipient, and pulmonary infections. As a toxigenic agent, it produces metabolites of low animal toxicity.

Description: It is often found in soil and plant debris, particularly notable as a contaminant of spices and other sun-dried plant products. It is one of the most commonly reported fungi from foods. For indoor growth this fungus is often seen in indoor environments, but not generally associated with contaminated building materials. Usually it is found in floor, carpet, mattress dust, acrylic paint, polyester polyurethane foam, polyurethane footwear, leather, cosmetics, widgets, HVAC filters and fans, bakeries, cotton mills, cotton yarn, hey, cereals, cottonseed, and potted plant soil. As a toxigenic agent, it produces metabolites of low animal toxicity. Aspergillus is one of the most common fungal genera, worldwide, and Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common species found.

Aspergillus versicolor

Characteristics: It is rarely a cause of deep infections in humans. Occasionally responsible for cases of onchychomycosis.

Description: It is often found in soil and plant material. It is characterized by moderately rapid growth, powdery texture, and white/yellow/beige to yellow/green or emerald green coloration. For indoor growth this fungus is often found in buildings with humidity and ventilation problems. As a toxigenic agent, it produces sterigmatocystin.

Aspergillus sydowii

Characteristics: It is considered a pathogen in immune system compromised humans. It is not considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil or contaminated food. Morphologically the colonies are turquoise in color. Aspergillus is one of the most common fungal genera, worldwide, and Aspergillus sydowii is not one of the most common species found.

Aureobasidium

Characteristics: Allergen Type I and Type III; rare pathogen and unknown toxigenic agent.

Description:

It is often found in soil, forest soil, fresh water, aerial portion of plants, fruit, marine estuary sediments, and wood with a cream to pink (young) or dark brown (old) coloration and a yeast-like texture. It is disseminated as a wet spore by water droplet and through air as a dry spore. For indoor growth this fungus requires moist conditions, commonly found in bathrooms or kitchens, on shower curtains, tile grout window sills, textiles, and liquid waste materials. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I (hay fever asthma) and Type III (hypersensitvity pneumonitis: Humidifier fever, Sauna taker’s lung) symptoms.

As a pathogen, it has been rarely linked to skin lesions, keratosis, spleen abscess in a lymphoma patient, and blood isolate from a leukemic patient. It is not known to be a toxigenic agent.

Background Debris

Background debris is an indication of the amount of non-biological particulate matter present on the slide (dust in the air) and is graded from 1+ to 4+ with 4+ indicating the largest amounts. To evaluate dust levels it is important to account for differences in sample volume. This background material is also an indication of visibility for the analyst and resultant difficulty reading the slide. For example, high background debris may obscure the small spores such as the Penicillium/Aspergillus group. Counts from the areas with 4+ background debris should be regarded as minimal counts and may actually be higher than reported.

Bactrodesmium

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Bactrodesmium species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely found but may be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in air by spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) Natural habitat includes wood and bark of various deciduous trees such as ash, oak and sycamore.

Basidiospores

Characteristics: Allergen Type I and Type III also considered to be rarely pathogenic and toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in saprophytes (an organism that grows on and derives nourishment from dead or decaying matter) and other plant pathogens. It is found everywhere in nature. It is commonly the cause of wood rot indoors. It is disseminated by the wind during period of high humidity or rain. For indoor growth this fungus requires wet conditions. Occasionally, a benign, non-wood rotting mushroom will fruit inside a building, growing in some unique ecological niche if enough moisture is present. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma) and Type III hypersensitivity pneumonitis (Lycoperdonosis, and Mushroom culture hypersensitivity symptoms. As a pathogen, it has been known to cause rare opportunistic infections. As a toxigenic agent, it produces mushroom toxins that are usually ingested including amanitins, monomethyl-hydrazine, muscarine, ibotenic acid, and psilocybin.

Beauveria

Characteristics: Allergen Type I, also considered a rare pathogen, and it is unknown whether it is a potential toxin.

Description: It is often found in soil, plant debris, and dung. It can also be found as a parasite on insects. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergies including hay fever and asthma. As a pathogen, it has rarely been known to cause isolations from corneal lesions and lungs from an immunocompromised patient. It is not known to be toxigenic agent. It is a pathogen of silk worms and other insects.

Beltrania

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Beltrania species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. May be identified in air by spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) Beltrania needs specialized media for sporulation in the laboratory. Natural habitat includes dead leaves and plant litter of semi-tropical and tropical plants.

Bipolaris/Drechslera Group

Characteristics: Allergen Type I, occasional pathogen, not known to be toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, plant debris, and as a plant pathogen on grass with a dark grey to brown coloration. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus can grow on various surfaces. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I symptoms of hay fever and asthma. As a pathogen, it has been rarely known to cause phaeohyphomycosis (keratitis, sinusitis, and osteomyelitis) most often occurring in immunocompromised persons, although infections also occur in normal hosts. One case of brain abscess reported in an immunocompromised patient. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

Bispora

Colonies are punctiform or effuse, usually fuscous or black. Very common on wood especially felled wood of many deciduous trees including beech, elm, hazel, hornbeam, and oak.

Blastobotrys

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Blastobotrys species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely found but may be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in air by culturable (Andersen) samples. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Recorded isolations include seeds and compost.

Botryomyces

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Botryomyces species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is not treated by many reference books on fungi. Described by the mycologist de Hoog, the multicelled irregularly septate, thick-walled “spores” may be regarded by some to be vegetative structures. Botryomyces caespitosus is a very rare agent of chromoblastomycosis-like subcutaneous infections after trauma. No information is available regarding other health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts or tease mounts from bulk samples. This organism is most commonly found on wood.

Botrytis

Characteristics: Allergen Type I and Type III. Rare Pathogen. Not known to be a toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found in temperature and subtropical regions. It is commonly in soil or stored and transported fruit and vegetables. It is a plant pathogen and saprophyte on flowers, leaves, stems, and fruit. It causes leaf rot on grapes, strawberries, lettuce, cabbage, and onions. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind or liberated by a rain splash. For indoor growth this fungus is generally found in conjunction with indoor plants. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergies including hay fever and asthma symptoms. As a pathogen, it has been rarely known to cause keratomycosis. It is not known to be a toxigenic agent.

Calcarisporium

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Calcarisporium species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota and may be more common in northern forested or southeastern areas of the United States. This organism is most closely related to Sporothrix and Nodulisporium. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples and in air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Natural habitat includes other fungi (mushrooms in the families Agaricaceae and Boletaceae) and wood.

Cephaloascus

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Cephaloascus species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples and in air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Natural habitat includes wood, insects, and fruit.

Ceratoystis | Ophiostoma Group

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Persons most likely to be possibly infected are lumber-yard workers or carpenters. A connection between Ophiostoma and the human pathogen Sporothrix schenicki has been proposed but not confirmed.

Description: It is often found in commercial lumber or in a living tree as a pathogen. It is disseminated as a wet spore by insects. For indoor growth this fungus generally originates from wood framing inside walls. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Persons most likely to be possibly infected are lumber-yard workers or carpenters. A connection between Ophiostoma and the human pathogen Sporothrix schenicki has been proposed but not confirmed. Ophiostoma ulmi is the cause of Dutch Elm Disease.

Cercospora

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. There is one rare report of human infection in Indonesia in 1957.

Description: It is often found in plants as a parasite. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. It is common to find outdoors or in agricultural areas, especially during harvest. As an allergen, it has not been thoroughly studied. As a pathogen, it has been reported to have caused one infection in Indonesia in 1957. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

Chaetomium

Characteristics: Possible allergen Type I. Uncommon pathogen. Is a toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found in soil, seeds, cellulose substrates, dung, woody, and straw materials. Spores are formed inside of fruiting bodies and are forced out an opening and spread by wind, insects, water splash, or any other sort of major disturbance. Commonly found indoors on damp sheetrock paper. As an allergen, it is not well studies, but has been associated with causing Type I allergies including hay fever and asthma. As a pathogen, it has been reported to be an uncommon agent of onychomyocosis (nail infection). As a toxigenic agent, it produces chaetomin. Chaetomium globosum produces chaetoglobosins. Sterigmatocystin is produced by rare species. Other compounds produced (which may not be mycotoxins in the strict sense) include a variety of mutagens.

Choanephora

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Choanephora species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota and may be more common in the southeastern areas of the United States. Two species are placed by some taxonomists into Blakeslea. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely found but may be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in air by culturable (Andersen) and spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) Natural habitat includes soil and plants in tropical and semitropical regions.

Chromelosporium

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Chromelosporium species are common in soil but are not well known. This genus is most closely related to Amphobotrys, and Botrytis. It is extremely common in greenhouses growing on sterilized soil or vermiculite, in pots and flats. It is an asexual phase of Peziza (a cup fungus and Ascomycete), one of the macro fungi able to colonize indoor environmental surfaces. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in air by culturable (Andersen) and spore trap samples. (Spores have somewhat distinctive morphology.) Formerly called Ostracodermi.

Chrysonilia

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. A single case of human infection was reported in 1961.

Description: Chrysonilia is common and may be more common in the eastern and southeastern areas of the United States. The genus is heterogeneous and is not a natural grouping. Chrysonilia sitophilia commonly grows on sterilized soil in the greenhouse as well as bread (called red bread mold). It has a very rapid growth rate and can be a formidable problem as a contaminant in the laboratory. A single case of human infection was reported in 1961, which was an endophthalmitis following cataract extraction. No information is available regarding other health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been well studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) and spore trap samples. (Spores are a form of arthrospore but are large, variable in size, and distinctive.) Natural habitat is said to be soil, according to some (but not all) references. Chrysonilia sitophilia was formerly called Monilia sitophilia.

Chrysosporium

Characteristics: It is not pathogenic. Not considered toxic. Allergenicity has not been widely studied.

Description: Chrysosporium species are common and comprise a heterogeneous group whose taxonomy has been widely debated. This genus is keratinophilic and/or cellulolytic and is closely related to the dermatophytes, those organisms infecting the skin. Geomyces is considered by some to be a Chrysosporium species. Health effects include rare reports of onychomycosis, skin lesions, and endocarditis. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been widely studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Natural habitat includes soil, dung, children’s sand boxes, seeds, birds’ nests, and plant remains such as leaf litter.

Circinella

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Circinella species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota and are most closely related to Mucor. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Recorded isolations are from soil, dung, and nuts (especially Brazil nuts).

Cladosporium

Characteristics: Common allergen Type I and III. Generally non-pathogenic, except for one species (Cladosporium Carrionii). Considered to have low toxicity.

Description: It is often found in soil, plant litter, as a plant pathogen, on leaf surfaces, or on old or decayed plants with an olive to brown coloration. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus requires cool conditions. Most species of Cladosporium grow at 0°C and are generally associated with refrigerated foods. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergy symptoms including hay fever, asthma. It has also been known to cause Type III allergy symptoms including hypersensitivity pneumonitis called Hot tub lung, and Moldy wall hypersensitivity. As a pathogen, one species called Cladosporium Carrionii, has been known to have pathogenic effects, but is generally found in subtropical and tropical regions. This specific pathogenic species grows at 35-37°C. As a toxigenic agent, it produces cladosporin and emodin, neither of which is considered highly toxic.

Coelomycete/Phoma

Characteristics: Allergen Type I. Pathogenic dependent on genus and species, but the vast majorities do not cause disease. Not considered a toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found as a saprophyte (an organism that grows on and derives nourishment from dead or decaying matter) or a parasite on higher plants, other fungi, lichens, and vertebrates. It is disseminated as a wet spore by insects or water disturbance and as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus is generally found on a variety of substrates including, but not limited to, ceiling tile and linoleum. Coelomycete may have little effect on indoor air quality because in many genera, the spores are not readily disseminated by air currents. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I symptoms including hay fever and asthma. It can be pathogenic dependent on genus and species, but the vast majorities do not cause disease. Not considered a toxigenic agent.

Cunninghamella

Characteristics: Cunninghamella bertholletiae is known as an occasional opportunistic pathogen, mostly after trauma with thorns or splinters. No information is available regarding other inhalation health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Cunninghamella species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to one spored mitosporangial zygomycetes such as Choanephora. Cunninghamella bertholletiae is known as an occasional opportunistic pathogen, mostly after trauma with thorns or splinters. No information is available regarding other inhalation health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely found but may be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Cunninghamella species are mainly soil fungi of the Mediterranean and subtropical zones; they are only rarely isolated in other less temperate regions.

Curvularia

Characteristics: Common Type I allergen. Occasional pathogen. Not known to be a toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found in plant debris, soil, facultative plant pathogens or tropical or subtropical plants with a gray or brown coloration. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergy symptoms including hay fever and asthma. Curvularia is a relatively common cause of allergic fungal sinusitis. As a pathogen, it has occasionally been known to cause onychomycosis, ocular keratitis, sinusitis, mycetoma, pneumonia, endocarditis, cerebral abscess, and disseminated infection. Most cases of pathogenic symptoms occur in immunocompromised patients. It is not known to be a toxigenic agent.

Dactylaria

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Dactylaria species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to Ochroconis and Scolecobasidium. Opinions differ regarding the taxonomy of these three genera and are considered by many to be synonyms. All three genera are listed in Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi as legitimate genera. There have been several reports of opportunistic infections caused by these genera but a true pathogenic role has not been firmly established. No information is available regarding upper respiratory health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. Certain species of Dactylaria have somewhat distinctive spores which could be counted on spore trap samples if the presence of this genus has already been demonstrated (for example, on tape lifts). Natural habitat includes soil and decaying leaves.

Dendryphiopsis

Commonly found on wood. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Dicyma

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Dicyma species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is the asexual phase of Ascotricha which is closely related to Chaetomium. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Identified on surfaces by tape lifts, and tease mounts from bulk samples. Does not grow on general laboratory media. Dicyma spores could be counted on spore trap samples if the presence of this genus has already been demonstrated (for example, on tape lifts). (Spores are somewhat distinctive but may be confused with other genera.) Sources of growth include dead stems and leaves, paper, cardboard, cotton wool, woody materials and wallboard.

Doratomyces

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Doratomyces species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. The sporulating structures of Doratomyces form synnema (coremia), which are a gathering of conidiophores into a sort of flower bouquet. This genus is very closely related to Scopulariopsis, with identical sporulating mechanisms but without the formation of synnema. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Natural habitat includes soil, compost, wood, herbaceous stems, oat seeds, decaying plant material and dung.

Drechslera | Bipolaris | Exserohilum Group

Characteristics: Common allergen Type I, occasional pathogen, not known to be toxigenic.

Description: Group includes Drechslera, Bipolaris, Exserohilum and the rare Helminthosporium. It is often found in soil, plant debris, and as a plant pathogen on grass with a dark gray to brown coloration. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus can grow on various surfaces. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I symptoms of hay fever and asthma. As a pathogen, it has rarely been known to cause phaeohyphomycosis (keratitis, sinusitis, and osteomyelitis) most often occurring in immunocompromised persons, although infections also occur in normal hosts. One case of brain abscess reported in an immunocompromised patient. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

 

Emericella
Characteristics: Allergenicity, health effects, and toxicity are similar to that of Aspergillus. Allergen Type I and Type III also considered to be pathogenic and toxigenic.

Description: Emericella species are the sexual states of Aspergillus species, notably the Aspergillus nidulans group among others. Emericella is common and is most closely related to Eurotium, another genus with Aspergillus anamorphs. Emericella is likely to be present along with related Aspergilli if growth has been long term and the nutrients of the substrate are conducive for the conversion to sexual phase. Health effects, allergenicity, and toxicity of Emericella are closely related to the Aspergillus anamorph and, for the most part, have not been studied apart from that primary phase. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air on spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) If Emericella spores are isolated on culturable (Andersen) sampling, the Aspergillus anamorph is likely to be the identifiable result, at least with primary growth within one week. Natural habitat includes soil, seeds, and vegetable matter.

Emericellopsis

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Emericellopsis species are the sexual states of Acremonium species. Emericellopsis is most closely related to Eurotium and Emericella, other genera forming cleistothecia (closed, round sexual fruiting bodies). No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air on spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) If Emericellopsis spores are isolated on culturable (Andersen) sampling, the Acremonium anamorph is likely to be the identifiable result, at least with primary growth within one week. Natural habitat is soil.

Engydontium

Characteristics: Allergenicity has not been studied. No information is available regarding toxicity. Health effects have been known to include keratitis, brain abscess, eczema vesiculosum, and native valve endocarditis.

Description: Engyodontium species are common, but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This very delicate genus is related to Beauveria and Tritirachium. Health effects of Engyodontium album include reports of keratitis, brain abscess, eczema vesiculosum, and native valve endocarditis. No information is available regarding toxicity, and allergenicity has not been studied. Identified in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. Spores are not distinctive on spore trap samples and are categorized as “other colorless.” Fresh growth is possibly identifiable on tape lifts, but optical resolution through tape is sometimes inadequate for the very small structures of Engyodontium. Commonly isolated from paper, jute, textiles, and painted walls.

Epicoccum

Characteristics: Common type I allergen, no reported cases of pathogenic characteristics, and produces toxigenic antibiotic substances including flavipin, epicorazine A & B, and indole-3-acetonitrile.

Description: It is often found in plant debris and soil typically with an orange reverse pigment. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind or released by hygroscopic movement. For indoor growth this fungus is usually found on many different substrates including, but not limited to, paper, textiles, and insects. As an allergen, it has been known to cause type I allergen symptoms including asthma and hay fever. It is not known to be a pathogen. As a toxigenic agent, it produces antibiotic substances including flavipin, epicorazine A & B, and indole-3-acetonitrile.

Erysiphe

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Erysiphe species are plant pathogens, one of the genera causing powdery mildews. Erysiphe is very common and is an obligate parasite on leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits of living higher plants. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. The asexual phase Oidium may be identified in air on spore trap samples, (spores have distinctive morphology), although because obligate parasites cannot grow on non-living environmental surfaces, our laboratory does not include Erysiphe on our spore trap report form. The asexual spores are also seen in the dust as part of the normal influx of outdoor microbial particles.

Eurotium

Characteristics: Health effects, allergenicity, and toxicity of Eurotium are closely related to the Aspergillus anamorph and, for the most part, have not been studied apart from that primary phase.

Description: Eurotium species are the sexual states of Aspergillus species, notably the Aspergillus glaucus group among others. Eurotium is common and is most closely related to Emericella, another genus with Aspergillus anamorphs. Eurotium is likely to be present along with related Aspergilli if growth has been long term and the nutrients of the substrate are conducive for the conversion to sexual phase. Health effects, allergenicity, and toxicity of Eurotium are closely related to the Aspergillus anamorph and, for the most part, have not been studied apart from that primary phase. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air on spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) If Eurotium spores are isolated on culturable (Andersen) sampling, the Aspergillus anamorph is likely to be the identifiable result, at least with primary growth within one week. Occurs on substrates low in moisture (xerophilic); very common in stored seeds, also grows on textiles, leather, and materials coated with resins and lacquers, such as furniture.

Exophiala

Characteristics: Health effects include occasional mycetomas, chromoblastomycosis, and other subcutaneous lesions. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Exophiala species are common, and are closely related to Wangiella and Phialophora. On primary isolation, this genus may exhibit a black yeast phase, making identification a little more complex. Health effects include occasional mycetomas, chromoblastomycosis, and other subcutaneous lesions. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Widespread distribution in decaying wood, soil, and water (especially surfaces in contact with cool, fresh water).

Exserohilum

Characteristics: Common allergen Type I, occasional pathogen, not known to be toxigenic.

Description: Exserohilum species are common, and are most closely related to Drechslera and Bipolaris. Our laboratory does not separate Bipolaris, Drechslera, and Exserohilum species. The only morphological difference between Bipolaris and Drechslera is that Drechslera spores germinate from all cells (of the spore) and Bipolaris germinates only from polar cells. Exserohilum spores have an inner cup-like structure which is visible in the basal cell. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I symptoms of hay fever and asthma. As a pathogen, it has rarely been known to cause phaeohyphomycosis (keratitis, sinusitis, and osteomyelitis) most often occurring in immunocompromised persons, although infections also occur in normal hosts. One case of brain abscess reported in an immunocompromised patient. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

Fusariella

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Fusariella species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely found but may be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. May be identified on spore trap samples if the presence of this genus has already been demonstrated (for example, on tape lifts). (Spores have somewhat distinctive morphology but may be confused with other genera.) Natural habitat includes leaves, dead stems, and litter (many plants).

Fusarium

Characteristics: Type I allergen, considered pathogenic, and considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil or as a plant pathogen as a saprophyte or parasite with a pink, orange, or purple coloration. It is disseminated as a wet spore by insects and water or as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus requires very wet conditions. As an allergen, it has been known to cause type I symptoms including hay fever and asthma. As a pathogen, it has been known to cause keratitis, endophthalmitis, onychomycosis, mycetoma, and disseminated infection in immunocompromised patients, infections in burn victims, and systemic opportunistic infections in severely disabled hosts. As a toxigenic agent, it produces trichothecenes (type B), T-2 toxin, zearalenone (F-2 toxin), vomitoxin, deoxynivalenol, and fumonisin. Zearalenone is not acutely toxic, and may actually have positive effects with controlled ingestion. Zearalenone has been patented as a growth stimulant in animals and has application as an oral contraceptive, and as an anabolic steroid.

Ganoderma

Characteristics: Considered to be an allergen. Not known to be pathogenic or toxigenic.

Description: It is often found growing on conifers and hardwoods causing white rot, root rot, and stem rot. Used in traditional Chinese medicine as an herbal supplement. It is also known as a “shelf fungus” because the fruiting body forms a stalk-less shelf on the sides of trees and logs. It is sometimes called “artists conk” because when you scratch the white pores of the fruiting body, the white rubs away and exposes the brown hyphae underneath. Thus, pictures can be produced by the fruiting body.

Geomyces

Characteristics: Health effects include rare cases of onychomycosis. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Geomyces species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota and are most closely related to Chrysosporium species. Health effects include rare cases of onychomycosis. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Widespread in the soil.

Geotrichum

Characteristics: Health effects include reports of endocarditis, encephalitis, and osteomyelitis in immunosuppressed hosts. Pulmonary infections have also been described. Many of these reports lack proper documentation and may be based on unreliable identifications. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been well studied.

Description: Geotrichum species are common yeast-like fungi whose primary mode of reproduction is the formation of arthrospores. The genus Geotrichum should not be identified by microscopic morphology alone because many related and unrelated fungi form arthrospores. Biochemical analysis is necessary for identification. Geotrichum candidum is considered part of the normal microbiota of humans. Health effects include reports of endocarditis, encephalitis, and osteomyelitis in immunosuppressed hosts. Pulmonary infections have also been described. Many of these reports lack proper documentation and may be based on unreliable identifications. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been well studied. Tape lifts and tease mounts from bulk samples may reveal the presence of an arthrospore-forming yeast; isolation on culturable (Andersen) air samples is possible but infrequent. This genus is cosmopolitan, isolated from soil, plants, and many food products, most especially from milk and milk products.

Gliocladium

Characteristics: No cases of infection have been reported in humans or animals. Information regarding toxicity is sparse. Allergenicity has not been well studied.

Description: Gliocladium species are common and are most closely related to Penicillium and Paecilomyces. No cases of infection have been reported in humans or animals. Information regarding toxicity is sparse. Gliotoxin is produced primarily by Trichoderma virens, Aspergillus fumigatus, and a few less common Penicillium species, rather than Gliocladium. Allergenicity has not been well studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and might be categorized as “other colorless,” Penicillium/Aspergillus, or Trichoderma on spore trap samples, depending on the age and condition of the spores.) Gliocladium is found very infrequently in air samples because the spores are formed in sticky masses and are not easily disseminated by air currents. Widespread in decaying vegetation and in the soil.

Gliomastix

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Mitosporic fungus. Hyphomycetes.Gliomastix species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to Acremonium and the monophialidic species of Paecilomyces. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. May be identified on spore trap samples if the presence of this genus has already been demonstrated (for example, on tape lifts). (Spores have somewhat distinctive morphology but may be confused with other genera. The grey-black pigment of the spores is very close to the pigment of Stachybotrys.) Natural habitat includes plant litter, wood, soil and cellulosic materials.

Gonatobotrys

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Gonatobotrys species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. Morphologically this genus is very close to Gonatobotryum but without dark pigment. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely found but may be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, and tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Reported to be parasitic on Alternaria and Cladosporium. Natural habitat is plant litter.

Gonatobotryum

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Gonatobotryum species are common in certain ecological niches. They are parasitic on Ceratocystis, and so are found where Ceratocystis is found, most particularly lumber. Most homes built with lumber have areas of growth of both Ceratocystis and Gonatobotryum on wood framing inside walls. (Virtually all lumberyards have some percentage of boards with areas of this black mold growth.) No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) Other natural habitats include soil, and rotten wood. Also parasitic on certain other plants.

Graphium

Characteristics: Health effects can be serious, even fatal. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Graphium species are common, and are closely related to several ascomycetes. The sporulating structures of Graphium form synnema (coremia), which are a gathering of conidiophores into a sort of flower bouquet. The taxonomy of Graphium species needs work since the actual sporulating process differs among the many species. Health effects are dependent upon the related ascomycete. There are no reports of illness due to the Graphium stage of Ophiostoma. However, the genus Pseudallescheria (asexual phase is Scedosporium) has a Graphium phase, and these genera are noted for many health effects, some of which have serious consequences. In the form of Scedosporium, There have been many reports of opportunistic infections, including white grain mycetoma which occurs worldwide. Other systemic infections may involve the central nervous system, usually after severe local trauma or after aspiration of polluted water. In addition, this organism may cause an invasive sinusitis, pneumonia, or allergic reactions in the lungs. Ophthalmic cases have been reported. What makes these infections very serious is the fact that this organism is very resistant to most of the antifungal medications available. Scedosporium prolificans has been associated with subcutaneous lesions after trauma with thorns or splinters. In immunocompromised patients or transplantation patients fatal dissemination may occur. No information is available regarding toxicity or allergy. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Sources of isolation are many, including woody substrata, plant debris, soil, manure, and polluted water.

Helminthosporium

Characteristics: No cases of infection caused by a true Helminthosporium have been reported in humans or animals. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied, although cross-reactivity may exist.

Description: Helminthosporium spores superficially resemble Drechslera, Bipolaris, and Exserohilum spores but the mechanism of sporulation is quite different. The taxonomy of this entire group has been widely debated. Helminthosporium is rare, and has never been isolated by our laboratory. The culture examined by us as a study culture came from the southern U.S. from Dr. Luttrell, one of the key players in the taxonomic saga. The antigen labeled “Helminthosporium” in use by allergists for skin testing has been found to be either Drechslera, or Bipolaris. No cases of infection caused by a true Helminthosporium have been reported in humans or animals. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied, although cross-reactivity may exist between all the above-mentioned genera. Natural habitat includes dead stems of herbaceous plants, and twigs and branches of many different kinds of trees. Helminthosporium solani is the cause of “silver scurf” disease in potatoes.

Hyalodendron

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Hyalodendron species appear to be common during certain periods of the year. They are morphologically related to Cladosporium but do not have the olive and brown pigments of Cladosporium. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. Spores look very close to Cladosporium and would most probably be thought of as “young” unpigmented Cladosporium spores on spore trap samples. Reported to be rarely isolated from soil by Barron; reported to be isolated from utility poles by Wang. Our laboratory sees this organism in moderate numbers on Andersen air sampling during certain periods of the year, most frequently from northern California and from the southern areas of the United States. Natural habitat is most probably woody plant materials.

 

Hyphal Fragments
These are organisms that have not sporulated under the culture conditions provided. Most never sporulate in culture (sterile mycelia). Some represent non-sporulating colonies of common fungi (e.g., Cladosporium, Alternaria, even Aspergillus).

Lasiodiplodia Theobroma

Characteristics: Rare health effects have been reported. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Lasiodiplodia (monotypic) comprises a very small proportion of the fungal biota. It is a common plant pathogen in tropical and subtropical regions. Reports of health effects include keratitis, onychomycosis, corneal ulcer, and phaeohyphomycosis (one report of each since 1975). No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) and spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) This genus is found worldwide between 40° N and 40° S of the equator (includes roughly the south half of the United States). Natural habitat includes many different kinds of plants. Formerly called Botryodiplodia theobromine.

Leptographium

Commonly found on wood. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Leptosphaeria

Characteristics: No information is available regarding other inhalation health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

 

Description: Leptosphaeria species are common, and are closely related to other ascomycetes such as Venturia and Pleospora. Grows saprophytically and also as a plant pathogen. Leptosphaeria Senegalese’s and L. thompkinsii are two of the agents of human mycetoma in Africa. No information is available regarding other inhalation health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Leptosphaeria will grow in the laboratory but needs specialized media. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) However, our laboratory does not count this organism separately from other ascomycetes (all are placed into the category “Ascospores”). Natural habitat includes leaves and culms of a great many kinds of grass, dead herbaceous stems, and driftwood.

Memnoniella

Characteristics: Allergenicity has not been studied. No information is available regarding pathogenic effects. It is a toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found in plant litter, soil, and many types of plants and trees with a dark gray or black coloration. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. It is not considered an allergen. It is not considered a pathogen. As a toxigenic agent, it produces trichothecenes (trichodermol and trichodermin) and griseofulvins. Trichothecene toxicity is due to the ability to bind ribosomal protein. Griseofulvin has been made commercially available as an anti-dermatophyte drug.

Microascus

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Microascus species are common but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to other perithecial forming ascomycetes such as Melanospora. Some species of Microascus have been isolated from clinical sources such as cases of onychomycosis, cutaneous lesions, and mycetomas. Microascus Mangini was reported to be the cause of a disseminated infection in a leukemic patient in 1987. No information is available regarding other inhalation health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, and tease mounts from bulk samples. If Microascus spores are isolated on culturable (Andersen) sampling, the Scopulariopsis anamorph is likely to be the identifiable result, at least with primary growth within one week. May be identified on spore trap samples if the presence of this genus has already been demonstrated (for example, on tape lifts). (Spores have somewhat distinctive morphology but may be confused with other genera.) Recorded isolations are from sunflower seeds, soybeans, sand, soil, chicken litter, and waste compost.

Microstroma

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Microstroma species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by spore trap samples. (While the spores are only somewhat distinctive, this organism at times becomes airborne with underlying sporulating structures intact, so that the entire organism may be seen on spore trap traces.) In culture Microstroma grows as yeast. This organism is a plant pathogen, and is common on leaves of Juglans and Carya.

Monilia

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. A single case of human infection was reported in 1961.

Description: Monilia and Chrysonilia are closely related. Monilia is common and may be more common in the eastern and southeastern areas of the United States. The genus is heterogeneous and is not a natural grouping. Commonly grows in sterilized soil in the greenhouse as well as bread (called red bread mold). It has a very rapid growth rate and can be a formidable problem as a contaminant in the laboratory. A single case of human infection was reported in 1961, which was an endophthalmitis following cataract extraction. No information is available regarding other health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been well studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) and spore trap samples. (Spores are a form of arthrospore but are large, variable in size, and distinctive.) Natural habitat is said to be soil, according to some (but not all) references. Monilia sitophilia is not referred to as Chrysonilia sitophilia.

Monodictys

Commonly found on wood. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Mortierella

Characteristics: There are no reports of any health effects in humans, although some species cause abortions and pulmonary infections in cattle. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Mortierella species are soil organisms, common, and are related to other zygomycetes such as Mucor. There are no reports of any health effects in humans, although some species cause abortions and pulmonary infections in cattle. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) While most recorded isolations are from soil, other sources include sugar cane, damaged grasses, and vegetable seeds. Our laboratory sees this organism occasionally in quantitative dust samples.

Mucor

Characteristics: Considered a type I and type III allergen. Rarely pathogenic. Not considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in organic matter, dung, and soil. It is disseminated as a wet spore by rain splash or as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus is commonly found on leftover food, soft fruits, and juices. As an allergen, it has been known to cause type I symptoms like hay fever and asthma as well as type III symptoms like hypersensitivity pneumonitis. As a pathogen, it has rarely been known to cause infections in severely debilitated patients. As a toxigenic agent, old cultures have been found to produce a substance which inhibits further growth and promotes autolysis of the culture. Mucor produces proteolytic enzymes used in cheese production.

Mycotypha

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Mycotypha species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to other one spored Mito sporangial zygomycetes such as Choanephora and Cunninghamella. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely found but may be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Natural habitat is soil.

Myrothecium

Characteristics: Allergenicity has not been studied. No reports as a human pathogen. Considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found on grasses, plants, soil, and decaying fruiting bodies of russula mushrooms with a gray-green coloration. It is disseminated as a wet spore by insects and water splash or as a dry spore through the wind. It is not considered an allergen. It is not considered a human pathogen. As a toxigenic agent, it produces trichothecenes (verrucarins and roridins).

Myxomycetes

Characteristics: Considered a type I allergen. Not considered a human pathogen. Not considered a toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found in decaying logs, stumps, and dead leaves particularly in forested regions. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. As an allergen, it has been known to cause type I allergen symptoms including hay fever and asthma. It is not considered a human pathogen. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

Myxotrichum

Characteristics: Heath effects are very rare with only one report of onychomycosis in 1976. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Myxotrichum species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to other gymnothecial forming ascomycetes such as Gymnoascus and Ctenomyces. Heath effects are very rare with only one report of onychomycosis in 1976. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, and tease mounts from bulk samples. If Myxotrichum spores are isolated on culturable (Andersen) sampling, the Geomyces, Malbranchea, or Oidiodendron anamorph is likely to be the identifiable result, at least with primary growth within one week. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) This organism is keratinophilic and cellulolytic. Natural habitat is soil. Isolated regularly from paper substrates, damp drywall, decomposing carpets.

Neosartorya

Characteristics: Reports of illness include pulmonary infection, endocarditis, and osteomyelitis. Health effects (for the most part), allergenicity, and toxicity of Neosartorya are closely related to the Aspergillus anamorph and have rarely been studied apart from that primary phase. Aspergillus, as an allergen, has been known to cause Type I (hay fever, asthma), and Type III (hypersensitivity pneumonitis: Humidifier lung, Malt worker’s lung, Compost lung, Wood trimmer’s disease, Straw hypersensitivity, Farmer’s lung, Oat grain hypersensitivity, fumigatus: allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), and allergenic fungal sinusitis) symptoms. As a pathogen, it has been known to cause respiratory, invasive, cutaneous, ear, and corneal disease including fumigatus (fungus ball), flavus (nasal sinus lesions), and niger (“swimmer’s ear”). As a toxigenic agent, it produces flavus, fumigatus, niger, usutus, and versicolor causing agents as well as many others.

Description: Neosartorya species are the sexual states of Aspergillus species, notably the Aspergillus fumigatus group among others. Neosartorya is common and is most closely related to Emericella, another genus with Aspergillus anamorphs. Neosartorya is likely to be present along with related aspergilli if growth has been long term and the nutrients of the substrate are conducive for the conversion to sexual phase. Reports of illness include pulmonary infection, endocarditis, and osteomyelitis. Health effects (for the most part), allergenicity, and toxicity of Neosartorya are closely related to the Aspergillus anamorph and have rarely been studied apart from that primary phase. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, and tease mounts from bulk samples, especially if the Aspergillus anamorph is present. If Neosartorya spores are isolated on culturable (Andersen) sampling, the Aspergillus anamorph is likely to be the identifiable result, at least with primary growth within one week. Spores have somewhat distinctive morphology but would most probably be called “ascospores” on spore trap samples. Natural habitat is soil.

Nigrospora

Characteristics: Allergen Type I. Rare Pathogen. Not known to be a toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found in decaying plant material and soil with a white coloration with a wooly tuft or long, soft, hairy texture, that over time turns to a black spore cluster. It is disseminated through active discharge and does not require wind or rain. This fungus is rarely found indoors. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergy symptoms including hay fever and asthma. Rarely considered a pathogen, it has been known to cause infections. It is not considered to be a toxigenic agent.

Nodulisporium

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Nodulisporium species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to Geniculosporium, Hansfordia, and Calcarisporium. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Natural habitat includes soil and dead stems of trees and herbaceous plants, especially dead wood in the tropics.

Ochroconis

Characteristics: There have been several reports of opportunistic infections caused by these genera but a true pathogenic role has not been firmly established. No information is available regarding upper respiratory health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Ochroconis species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to Dactylaria and Scolecobasidium. Opinions differ regarding the taxonomy of these three genera and are considered by many to be synonyms. All three genera are listed in Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi as legitimate genera. There have been several reports of opportunistic infections caused by these genera but a true pathogenic role has not been firmly established. No information is available regarding upper respiratory health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. Certain species of Ochroconis have somewhat distinctive spores which could be counted on spore trap samples if the presence of this genus has already been demonstrated (for example, on tape lifts). Natural habitat includes soil and decaying leaves.

Oedocephalum

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Oedocephalum species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is related to Gonatobotrys and possibly to Amblyosporium. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) and spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) Reported isolations include soil and waste compost. Our laboratory has isolated this organism occasionally from dust samples. It sporulates on initial isolation but forms only sterile mycelia on subsequent transfer.

Oidiodendron

Characteristics: As to health effects, one isolation from a case of neurodermatitis nuchae in 1969 exists for Oidiodendron cerealis/Stephanosporium cereale, with no reports for other Oidiodendron species. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Oidiodendron species are common but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to Geomyces and Arthrographis. Oidiodendron cerealis is quite distinct from other Oidiodendron species and is placed in a separate genus Stephanosporium by some taxonomists. As to health effects, one isolation from a case of neurodermatitis nuchae in 1969 exists for Oidiodendron cerealis/Stephanosporium cereale, with no reports for other Oidiodendron species. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. Stephanosporium has distinctive spores and can also be recognized on spore trap samples. (Spores of other Oidiodendron species are arthrospores without distinctive morphology and would be categorized as such on spore trap samples.) Natural habitat includes soil, litter, wood, and bark. Stephanosporium cereale has been isolated from air, paper, soil, and textiles.

Oidium

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Oidium is the asexual state of Erysiphe. Erysiphe species are plant pathogens, one of the genera causing powdery mildews. Erysiphe is very common and is an obligate parasite on leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits of living higher plants. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. The asexual phase Oidium may be identified in the air on spore trap samples, (spores have distinctive morphology), although because obligate parasites cannot grow on non-living environmental surfaces, our laboratory does not include Erysiphe on our spore trap report form. The asexual spores are also seen in the dust as part of the normal influx of outdoor microbial particles.

Ophiostoma Keratocystic

Characteristics: As an allergen it has not been studied. Persons most likely to be affected would be lumberyard workers or carpenters. As a pathogen it has not been reported to infect humans or animals. A connection between Ophiostoma and the human pathogen Sporothrix schenckii has been proposed but not confirmed. There is no potential toxin production.

Description: It grows indoors. Most homes built with lumber have areas of growth on wood framing inside walls. On spore trap recognition, it’s not identifiable. On rare occasions the spores of Gonatobotryum, which grows parasitically on Ceratocystis, are seen on spore trap samples (an indirect indication of the presence of this group of fungi). On swab or tape lift samples, it has a distinctive fruiting bodies with long necks are easily identifiable.

Other Brown

Characteristics: No Health Data Available

Description: Spores with no distinct morphology. Health effects cannot be quantified.

Other Colorless

Characteristics: No Health Data Available

Description: All non-distinctive unidentifiable colorless spores seen on spore trap samples are placed into this category. These are all the genera described by the sentence: Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.

Paecilomyces

Characteristics: Type I and Type III allergy symptoms. Rarely considered a pathogen, it has been known to cause infections in immunocompromised patients. It is considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, decaying plant material, composting processes, legumes, cottonseed, and some species of parasitic insects. It generally has an ocher or lilac coloration. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus has been found on common items such as jute fibers, paper, PVC, timber (oak wood), optical lenses, leather, photographic paper, cigar tobacco, harvested grapes, bottled fruit, and fruit juice undergoing pasteurization. Paecilomyces are thermophilic and can grow in temperatures from 37°C up to 55°C. As an allergen, it has been known to cause both Type I allergy symptoms including hay fever and asthma as well as Type III symptoms including hypersensitivity pneumonitis and humidifier lung. Rarely considered a pathogen, it has been known to cause myopic keratitis in conjunction with corneal implants, nosocomial infections, endocarditis, and infections in immunocompromised patients. As a toxigenic agent, it produces paecilotoxins, byssochlamic acid, variotin, ferrirubin, viriditoxin, indole-3-acetic acid, fusigen and patulin.

Penicillium | Aspergillus Types

Characteristics: Type I and Type III allergen. One species considered pathogenic. Produces toxins.

Description: It is often found in soil, decaying plant debris, compost piles, and rotting fruit with a blue, green, or white coloration. It is disseminated as a dry spore by wind and insects. Indoor growth is common and is often found in house dust. Generally it is found in water damaged buildings on wallpaper, wallpaper glue, decaying fabrics, moist chipboards, and behind the paint. It can also commonly be found in the blue rot of apples, dried foods, cheeses, fresh herbs, spices, dry cereals, nuts, onions, and oranges. As an allergen, it has been known to cause both Type I allergy symptoms including hay fever and asthma as well as Type III allergy symptoms including hypersensitivity pneumonitis called cheese washer’s lung, woodman’s lung, and moldy wall hypersensitvity. As a pathogen, one species of the Penicillium species called P. marneffei, has been known to cause infection, but has not yet been found in the United States. As a toxigenic agent, it produces penicillic acid, peptide mephrotoxin, viomellein, xanthomegin, xanthocillin X, mycophenolic acid, roquefortine C&D, citrinin, penicillin, cyclopiazonic acid, isofumigaclavine A, penitrem A, decumbin, patulin citreoviridin, griseofulvin, verruculogen, ochratoxin, chrysogine, and meleagrin.

Periconia

Characteristics: Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely considered pathogenic. Not considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, blackened and dead herbaceous stems and leaf spots, grasses, rushes, and sedges. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. This fungus is rarely found growing indoors. As an allergen, it has not been studied. As a rare pathogen it has been known to cause a case of mycotic keratitis. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

Petriella

Characteristics: Allergenicity, pathogenicity, and toxicity have not been studied.

Description: It is often found in plant debris, seeds, dung, and soil with a yellow or reddish brown coloration. It is not known to be allergenic, pathogenic, or toxic.

Phoma

Characteristics: Allergen Type I and Type II, considered to be pathogenic, and not considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in plant material, soil, and as a fruit parasite in nature. Indoors, it is often found on walls, ceiling tiles, and on the reverse side of linoleum. It is also found in cement, paint, paper, wood, wool, and such foods as rice and butter. It may have little effect on the indoor air quality because the spores are not readily disseminated by air currents. It is usually disseminated as a dry spore by insects and the wind. As an allergen, it has been known to cause allergies such as hay fever and asthma. As a pathogen, it has been known to cause mycotic keratitis, rare skin infection, and a few cases of subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

Pithomyces

Characteristics: Not studied as an allergen, no reports of being pathogenic, and produces the toxin Sporidesmin.

Description: It is often found in dead leaves of more than 50 different plants, especially leaf fodders as well as in soil and grasses with a tan to brown coloration. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. It is rarely found indoors unless growing on paper or houseplants. As an allergen, it has not been studied. It has not been reported as being pathogenic. As a toxigenic agent, it produces sporidesmin. Pithomyces chartarum is one of the causes of facial eczema in sheep in New Zealand.

Polythrincium

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Polythrincium species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is somewhat related to Ramularia. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Spores may be seen in the dust as part of the normal influx of outdoor microbial particles. Natural habitat is on leaves.

Poria Incrassata

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Poria incrassata is one of the basidiomycetes which cause brown rot of wood (dry rot). This fungus is most closely related to Serpula lacrimans (formerly called Merulius). These fungi can digest the cellulose components of wood. A small amount of decay markedly alters the strength of the wood. If the macroscopic fungus fruiting body is collected, it may be identified as a polypore (bracket fungus). The polypores belong to a limited group of fungi capable of attacking wood and using it for food. Wood with brown rot can be identified by observation of typical squarish cracking transverse to the grain of the wood. The wood also shrinks and becomes some shade of brown. The other general type of wood decay is called white rot, where all components (cellulose and lignin) are removed in differing proportions at different rates, and the decayed wood is light-colored. The strength factor is more slowly altered, and frequently the decayed wood is still usable in the early stages of decay. The natural habitat of the polypores is wood, i.e., slash in forests. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Pycnidial Formers

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Pycnidia are sac-like fruiting bodies (asexual) formed by the many of the Coelomycetes. Spores are commonly formed in sticky masses which ooze out an ostiole (opening). These spores are not readily disseminated by air currents, although they do constitute a small proportion of the air spora. Spores may also be dry, but these forms are less common. The identification of many of the Coelomycetes is difficult because internal sporulating structures are hidden. Some very common genera such as Phoma may be identified on tape lift and tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. Many times, however, Coelomycetes are reported simply as “pycnidial former, ID unknown.” Pycnidial fungi are ubiquitous, and are commonly found and recovered from the cultivated and uncultivated soil of different types, leaf litter and other organic debris from both natural and manufactured sources, from saline- and fresh-water, on other fungi and lichens, and as parasites of plants, vertebrates and insects.

Pyrenochaeta

Characteristics: No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Pyrenochaeta species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota and is closely related to Phoma. This genus is a pycnidial former although many times pycnidia are lacking and the organism appears only as sterile mycelia. May be identified on tape lifts and tease mounts from bulk samples if the pycnidia are present. (Pycnidial formers may have little effect on the indoor air because the spores are not readily disseminated by air currents.) Very rarely isolated from air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Natural habitat is plant debris and soil in tropical countries, where it is a cause of mycetoma. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Rhinocladiella

Characteristics: Allergenicity has not been studied. Is rarely considered a pathogen. Not known as a toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, herbaceous substrates, and decaying wood. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. As an allergen, it has not been studied. As a pathogen it has been known to cause three cases of subcutaneous infections. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

Rhizopus

Characteristics: Type I and Type III allergen. Considered pathogenic. It is not known to be toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in the forest and cultivated soils, in decaying fruits and vegetables, or animal dung and compost. It is found to be a parasitic plant pathogen on potato, cotton, and various fruits. Generally, if visible, it has a black and white. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus is most commonly found on spoiling food. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergy symptoms including hay fever and asthma as well as Type III allergy symptoms including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, paprika splitter’s lung, wood trimmer’s lung, or “sawmill” lung. As a pathogen it has been known to cause zygomycosis which occurs primarily in patients suffering diabetic ketoacidosis (rhinocerebral disease), malnutrition, severe burns, or those who are immunocompromised. It is not known to be a toxigenic agent.

Rusts

Characteristics: Type I allergen. No reports as a pathogen. Not known as a toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found in grasses, flowers, trees, and other living plant materials. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind while other species have an active spore release mechanism. For growth this fungus requires a living host plant for growth. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergen symptoms including hay fever and asthma. As it is a parasitic plant pathogen that is not reported to infect humans. It is not known to be a toxigenic agent. Rusts are members of the Basidiomycetes class. They have a complex life cycle, producing five different spore types in two different plant hosts. Spore types include: basidiospores, pycniospores, aeciospores, urediospores, and teliospores.

Scedosporium

Characteristics: Allergenicity has not been well studied. Considered pathogenic. No information is available regarding toxicity.

Description: Scedosporium species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is distantly related to Sporothrix, Exophiala, and Scopulariopsis. Two species have health effects which can be serious, even fatal: Scedosporium apiospermum and Scedosporium prolificans. These organisms have a surplus of past names. S. apiospermum was formerly called Monosporium apiospermum, while S. prolificans was formerly called S. inflatum. In addition, the sexual phase of S. apiospermum, now called Pseudallescheria boydii, has been called Allescheria boydii and Petriellidium boydii. To confuse things even further, S. apiospermum has yet another asexual coremial form called Graphium eumorphum, syn. Graphium fructicola, but is usually reported as the “Graphium state of Scedosporium apiospermum.” Health effects are many, particularly with regard to Scedosporium apiospermum. There have been many reports of opportunistic infections, including white grain mycetoma which occurs worldwide. Other systemic infections may involve the central nervous system, usually after severe local trauma or after aspiration of polluted water. In addition, this organism may cause an invasive sinusitis, pneumonia, or allergic reactions in the lungs. Ophthalmic cases have been reported. What makes these infections very serious is the fact that this organism is very resistant to most of the antifungal medications available. Scedosporium prolificans has been associated with subcutaneous lesions after trauma with thorns or splinters. In immunocompromised patients or transplantation patients’ fatal dissemination may occur. Fortunately, these organisms are infrequently found growing on environmental surfaces. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been well studied. Natural habitat includes soil, polluted water, and manure.

Schizophyllum Commune

Characteristics: No information is available regarding toxicity and allergenicity has not been well studied.

Description: Schizophyllum commune is a macrofungus, commonly called the “Split-Gill.” It has been found growing on a variety of domestic materials, including plaster. These small bracket-like fungi are whitish, hairy, with tough leathery flesh. They may remain dry for 50 years and when moistened will unroll their gills and begin shedding spores. Adverse health effects are rare but cases of the following in have been reported: brain abscess (1996), fungus ball in the lungs (1995), sinusitis (1992, 1990, 1986, and 1956), allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis (1994), ulcerative lesions of the hard palate (1973), chronic lung disease (1956), meningitis (1955), and onychomycosis (1950). No information is available regarding toxicity and allergenicity has not been well studied. In addition, this is one of the few microfungi that grow and fruit on general fungal media. The natural outdoor habitat of this fungus is hardwood sticks, stumps, and logs, with a worldwide distribution. Photographs of this fungus are available in the book Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora, available at most local bookstores.

Scolecobasidium

Characteristics: Allergenicity has not been studied. Possibly a pathogen. No information about toxicity.

Description: Scolecobasidium species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is distantly related to Ochroconis and Dactylaria. Opinions differ regarding the taxonomy of these three genera and are considered by many to be synonyms. All three genera are listed in Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi as legitimate genera. There have been several reports of opportunistic infections caused by these genera but a true pathogenic role has not been firmly established. No information is available regarding upper respiratory health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. Certain species of Scolecobasidium have somewhat distinctive spores which could be counted on spore trap samples if the presence of this genus has already been demonstrated (for example, on tape lifts). Natural habitat includes soil and decaying leaves.

Scopulariopsis

Characteristics: Allergenicity has not been studied. Possibly a pathogen. No information about toxicity.

Description: Scopulariopsis is a large genus comprising mainly soil species. Species are frequently isolated from food and building materials such as drywall paper and wood. This fungus has relatively high water activity similar to Stachybotrys. Very little is known about the health effects of this fungus. Certain species may be involved in human onychomycoses or pulmonary mycoses. Scopulariopsis has been recovered from culturable air, spore trap, and dust samples. Rarely a cause of human infection. Onychomycosis is occasionally reported, while reports of subcutaneous and pulmonary infection are rare, and primarily concern the immunocompromised host. Its Teleomorph, Microascus, has also been recovered from indoor building material. Moderately rapid growth; texture velvety to powdery.

Sepedonium

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Sepedonium species are common but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is somewhat related to Chrysosporium and Staphylotrichum. It also bears a superficial resemblance to Histoplasma capsulatum, an important pathogen found primarily in the midwestern United States. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) and spore trap samples. (Spores have distinctive morphology.) Natural habitat is soil, coniferous wood, and mushroom compost. Commonly parasitic on mushrooms in the Agaricaceae and Boletaceae as well.

Septonema

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Septonema species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is somewhat related to Cladosporium. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, and tease mounts from bulk samples. Septonema has somewhat distinctive spores which could be counted on spore trap samples if the presence of this genus has already been demonstrated (for example, on tape lifts). Commonly found in the bark of deciduous or coniferous trees as well as on other fungi, particularly the Pyrenomycetes. Less commonly found in soil and buried root pieces.

Serpula

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Serpula lacrimans (formerly called Merulius) is one of the basidiomycetes which causes brown rot of wood (dry rot). This fungus is most closely related to Poria and other wood rotting polypores. These fungi can digest the cellulose components of wood. A small amount of decay markedly alters the strength of the wood. If the macroscopic fungus fruiting body is collected, it may be identified as a polypore (bracket fungus). The polypores belong to a limited group of fungi capable of attacking wood and using it for food. Wood with brown rot can be identified by observation of typical squarish cracking transverse to the grain of the wood. The wood also shrinks and becomes some shade of brown. The other general type of wood decay is called white rot, where all components (cellulose and lignin) are removed in differing proportions at different rates, and the decayed wood is light-colored. The strength factor is more slowly altered, and frequently the decayed wood is still usable in the early stages of decay. The natural habitat of the polypores is wood, i.e., slash in forests. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Smuts, Periconia, Myxomycetes
Smuts

Characteristics: Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma). Not considered pathogenic. Not known to be toxigenic.

Description: It is often found on cereal crops, grasses, weeds, other fungi, and flowering plants with a brownish coloration. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. They are parasitic plant pathogens that require a living host, so growth indoors on building materials is rare. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergen symptoms including hay fever and asthma. As a pathogen it has not been known to cause human infection. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

      Periconia

Characteristics: Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely considered pathogenic. Not considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, blackened and dead herbaceous stems and leaf spots, grasses, rushes, and sedges. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. This fungus is rarely found growing indoors. As an allergen, it has not been studied. As a rare pathogen it has been known to cause a case of mycotic keratitis. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

          Myxomycetes

Characteristics: Considered a type I allergen. Not considered a human pathogen. Not considered a toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found in decaying logs, stumps, and dead leaves particularly in forested regions. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. As an allergen, it has been known to cause type I allergen symptoms including hay fever and asthma. It is not considered a human pathogen. It is not considered a toxigenic agent. Myxomycetes are not considered true fungi. These organisms have both dry and wet spores. The Wind disperses the dry fruiting body spores, whereas the wet amoebic phase is motile. The myxomycetes have an interesting life cycle which includes a wet spore phase and a dry spore phase. When conditions are favorable, they move about like amoebae, resembling primitive animals. When conditions are not favorable they form a resting body (sclerotium) with dry, airborne spores. While a few are distinctive, many of the myxomycete spores are difficult to distinguish from the smuts. These spores are placed in our group “smuts, myxomycetes, Periconia,” due to their similar “round, brown” morphology.

Sordaria

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Sordaria species are common but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to other perithecial forming ascomycetes such as Gelasinospora and Melanospora. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Natural habitat is mainly on dung, but also found in seeds and in soil.

Spadicoides

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Spadicoides species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is somewhat related to Diplococcium and Cephaliophora. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Natural habitat includes dead wood and bark of various trees including birch, pine, oak, beech, and elm.

Spegazzinia

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Spegazzinia species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is somewhat related to other lobed or ornamented genera such as Candelabrum. Usually identified on spore trap samples where it is seen every few weeks. (Spores have very distinctive morphology.) May also be found in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples if a long enough incubation period is provided so that sporulation occurs. Natural habitat includes soil and many kinds of trees and plants.

Spiniger State of Heterobasidion Species

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Spiniger species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is interesting because it is a conidial state of a macrofungus, a polypore called Heterobasidion. (Polypores are bracket fungi usually seen on dead or dying logs in the forest.) No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.)

Sporidesmium

Characteristics: No data or information on human health effects or allergenicity studies were located.

Description: There are roughly 40 good species known for the genus Sporidesmium according to Index Fungorum. It appears to be mostly saprophytic, as many occur on woody plant parts, dead twigs and branches, and a few occur on leaves and less woody portions of plants. It’s also known to occur as a parasite on other fungi (i.e. Sclerotinia), and is also reported and can occur on lichens. This fungus is a dematiaceous hyphomycete so reproduces asexually. A few species are similar in overall morphology to Dreschlera/Bipolaris. The conidia (spores) are solitary, simple, and shaped either straight, curved, cylindrical, sigmoid, and fusiform or obclavate. The color range can be almost colorless to dark brown, olive brown or reddish brown. The spore surface can be smooth or warty and is transversely septate or appearing so. Overall it is quite heterogeneous and recent molecular phylogenetic studies are also resulting in similar conclusions. More research needs to be done to determine the true relations in this group.

Sporobolomyces

Characteristics: Type I and III allergen. Possible pathogen. Not known to be a toxigenic agent.

Description: It is often found on tree leaves, soil, rotting fruit, and other plant materials with a peach, pink, or salmon coloration. It is disseminated as a wet by a discharge mechanism in times of high humidity. For indoor growth this fungus requires very wet conditions. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I and Type III allergen symptoms. As a pathogen it has been known to cause dermatitis. It is not known to be a toxigenic agent.

Sporormiella

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Sporormiella species are common but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to other multicelled dark spored ascomycetes such as Preussia and Hysterium. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air on spore trap samples (spores have distinctive morphology). Our laboratory has found this organism growing in fiberglass insulation. Natural habitat is mainly on the dung of various animals.

Sporothrix

Characteristics: No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Sporothrix species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota and are most closely related to other colorless hyphomycetes such as Beauveria, Nodulisporium and Calcarisporium. One species, Sporothrix schenckii, is a cause of a subcutaneous infection called sporotrichosis which develops characteristic lesions at regional lymph nodes. The fungus occurs in soil, wet or damp wood and the disease develops in humans most commonly after puncture by thorns or splinters. This genus is rarely found on environmental surfaces Natural habitat includes various substrates in contact with soil, such as plant litter, bark, straw and living plants. Sporothrix schenckii is particularly common on the wood of conifers and Eucalyptus, with other recorded isolations from sphagnum moss and timber. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Sporotrichum

Characteristics: No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Rarely a pathogen.

Description: Sporotrichum species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota and are most closely related to other colorless hyphomycetes such as Chrysosporium. The only information available regarding health effects are a few rare cases of repeated isolations from respiratory secretions suggestive of bronchopulmonary colonization. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Natural habitat includes soil and decaying wood.

Stachybotrys

Characteristics: Allergenicity not well studied, but often considered a Type I allergen. Not considered pathogenic. Considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, decaying plant substrates, decomposing cellulose, leaf litter, and seeds. Its growth is not influenced by soil pH or copper, and is enhanced by manure. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind and also as a wet spore by insects and water splash. It is a slow growing fungus on media. It does not compete well with other rapidly growing fungi. For indoor growth this fungus requires high water availability for a prolonged period of time. Indoors, it is usually seen growing on cellulose-containing materials such as wallboard, jute, wicker, straw, baskets, and other paper materials. The dark colored fungi grow on building material with high cellulose content and low nitrogen content. As an allergen, it has not been well studied, but Type I allergen symptoms have been attributed to it. It is not considered a pathogen. As a toxigenic agent, it produces Macrocyclic trichothecenes which include verrucarin J, roridin E, satratoxin F, G & H, sporidesmin G, trichoverrol; cyclosporins, stachybotryolactone. These toxins can produce a condition known as Stachybotrys mycotoxicosis. It is characterized by dermatitis, cough, rhinitis, itching or burning sensation in mouth, throat, nasal passages and eyes. The best described toxicoses are from domestic animals that have eaten contaminated hay and straw or inhaled infected material from contaminated bedding. Many human reports of Stachybotrys toxicosis are anecdotal. Stachybotrys mycotoxicosis is currently the subject of toxin research. Areas subject to temperature fluctuations with relative humidity above 55% are ideal for toxin production. The spores will die readily after release. The dead spores are still allergenic and toxigenic. Individuals with chronic exposure to the toxin produced by the fungus reported cold and flu symptoms, sore throats, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, dermatitis, intermittent local hair loss and generalized malaise. The toxins produced by the fungus will suppress the immune system affecting the lymphoid tissue and the bone marrow. Animals injected with the toxin from the fungus exhibited the following symptoms: necrosis and hemorrhage within the brain, thymus, spleen, intestine, lung, heart, lymph node, liver and kidney. Effects of absorption of the toxin in the human lung are known as pneumomycosis. Cutaneous absorption has caused mild symptoms.

Stemphylium

Characteristics: Type I allergen. Rare pathogen. Not considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, wood, decaying vegetation, or on leaves as plant pathogens. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. Indoor growth is rare. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergen symptoms. As a rare pathogen it has been known to cause phaeohyphomycotic sinusitis. It is not considered a toxigenic agent.

Stephanosporium

Characteristics: As to health effects, one isolation from a case of neurodermatitis nuchae in 1969 exists for Oidiodendron cerealis/Stephanosporium cereale. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Oidiodendron cerealis is quite distinct from other Oidiodendron species and is placed in a separate genus Stephanosporium by some taxonomists. As to health effects, one isolation from a case of neurodermatitis nuchae in 1969 exists for Oidiodendron cerealis/Stephanosporium cereale, with no reports for other Oidiodendron species. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Natural habitat includes soil, litter, wood, and bark. Stephanosporium cereale has been isolated from air, paper, soil, and textiles.

Syncephalastrum Racemosum

Characteristics: This organism is widely regarded as being nonpathogenic to humans, with only a single case of a cutaneous infection reported (1980). No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Syncephalastrum racemosum (monotypic) is common but comprises a small proportion of the fungal biota. This organism is widely regarded as being nonpathogenic to humans, with only a single case of a cutaneous infection reported (1980). No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Recorded isolations are from dung and soil, primarily in tropical and subtropical areas.

Taeniolella rudis | Annellophora

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Annellophora species are common, but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is related to Taeniolella. In particular, Taeniolella rudis has very similar morphology. The spores of both genera are dark brown and distinctive. Annellophora species have areas of successive proliferations, whereas Taeniolella rudis does not. No information is available regarding health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples and in the air by spore trap samples. These genera do not grow on common laboratory media. Natural habitat includes leaves, and wood. They are sometimes associated with lumber, and can be found indoors on wood, and plants.

Tetraploa

Characteristics: The only reported human infections are two cases of keratitis (1970, 1980) and one case of subcutaneous infection of the knee (1990). No information is available regarding other health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Tetraploa species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is somewhat related to Triposporium and Diplocladiella. The only reported human infections are two cases of keratitis (1970, 1980) and one case of subcutaneous infection of the knee (1990). No information is available regarding other health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Natural habitat includes leaf bases and stems just above the soil on many kinds of plants and trees.

Thysanophora

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Thysanophora species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is related to Penicillium, Phialocephala, and Gliocladium. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Recorded isolations include soil, leaves of Tsuga, and decaying leaves.

Torula

Characteristics: Type I allergen. Not pathogenic. Considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, dead herbaceous stems, wood, grasses, sugar beet root, ground nuts and oats. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. For indoor growth this fungus requires cellulose-containing materials such as jute, old sacking, wicker, wood, and paper. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergen symptoms including hay fever and asthma. As a pathogen it has not been known to cause any health effects. As a toxigenic agent, it produces torula herbarium, a cytotoxin. Nomenclatural problems: Torula is sometimes confused with the yeast Torulopsis. Torulosis is an old name for cryptococcosis, a disease in humans caused by the yeast Cryptococcus neoformans.

Trichocladium

Characteristics: The only reported human infections are two cases of keratitis (1922, 1965). No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Trichocladium species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is somewhat related to Torula. The only reported human infections are two cases of keratitis (1922, 1965). No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. One species in particular, Trichocladium uniseptatum, is regularly found on environmental surfaces, chiefly from wood. This organism does not grow on general fungal laboratory media and has been reported in times past as an “unknown brown spore type.” Recorded isolations of Trichocladium species include soil, wood, tubers of various plants, and pine needles.

Trichoderma

Characteristics: As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I and Type III allergen symptoms. It is considered pathogenic. It is considered toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, decaying wood, grains, citrus fruit, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, paper, textiles, and wood with a blue-green or yellow-green coloration with a tuft-like texture. It is disseminated as dry spore by the wind and also as a wet spore by rain, insects, and water splash. Indoors, growth is most common on paper, tapestry, wood, or unglazed ceramics. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I and Type III allergen symptoms including hay fever, asthma, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. As a pathogen it has been known to cause pulmonary infections, peritonitis infection in a liver transplant patient, and is considered an opportunistic pathogen for immunocompromised patients. As a toxigenic agent, it produces trichothecene and cyclic peptides. Trichoderma may cause a mycotoxicosis similar to that caused by Stachybotrys chartarum; some of the metabolic substances produced are closely related to trichothecenes. Trichoderma harzianum pellets have been mixed with ground bark to protect trees and vegetable crops against infections from other plant pathogens. T. viride produces cellulase and hemicellulase used in commercial beer, wine and food processing. It enhances the aroma in tea and mushroom products.

Trichosporon

Characteristics: No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been well studied. Considered pathogenic.

 

Description: Trichosporon species are common yeast-like fungi whose primary mode of reproduction is the formation of arthrospores and blastospores. The genus Trichosporon should not be identified by microscopic morphology alone because many related and unrelated fungi form arthrospores. Biochemical analysis is necessary for identification. Trichosporon beigelii (old and common name) is the causal organism of superficial infections of hair shafts (white piedra) and nails (onychomycosis). Other health effects of this genus include reports of endocarditis, meningitis, pneumonia, ocular infections and peritoneal dialysis-associated peritonitis. Disseminated disease is recorded in immunosuppressed hosts. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been well studied. This genus is cosmopolitan, common in soil, fresh and sea water, and plant detritus. Recorded isolations include garden compost, sewage sludge, intertidal sand, running water, and mud.

Trichothecium

Characteristics: There are no reports of infection in humans or animals. No information is available regarding inhalation effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Trichothecium species are common but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is most closely related to Arthrobotrys. There are no reports of infection in humans or animals. No information is available regarding inhalation effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Found frequently growing on indoor environmental surfaces. Natural habitat includes decaying plant material, roots, seeds, nuts, grasses, twigs, water, and soil. It is a parasite on microfungi, where it can cover with a pink conidial dust. Formerly called Cephalothecium.

Tritirachium

Characteristics: Health effects include reports of corneal ulcers, and a case of otomycosis. No information is available regarding inhalation effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Tritirachium species are common, but comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is related to Beauveria and Engyodontium. Health effects include reports of corneal ulcers, and a case of otomycosis. No information is available regarding inhalation effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Commonly isolated from paper, jute, textiles, adhesives, and gypsum board. Natural habitat is soil and decaying plant material. Also an insect pathogen.

Ulocladium

Characteristics: Type I allergen. Rare pathogen. Not known to be toxigenic.

Description: It is often found in soil, dung, paint, grasses, fibers, wood, decaying plant material, paper, and textiles with a dark or rusty brown coloration with a granular or velvety texture. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. Indoors, growth this fungus is commonly found in gypsum board, paper, paint, tapestries, jute, and straw materials. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergen symptoms including hay fever and asthma. As an allergen, it also cross-reacts with Alternaria. As a pathogen it has been known to cause rare subcutaneous tissue infection. It is not known to be a toxigenic agent.

Ustilago

Characteristics: There are no reports of human infection. No information is available regarding toxicity. Smuts have been documented as a cause of Type I allergies.

Description: Ustilago is a genus of the smut fungi, which are the Ustilaginales. The smuts are major plant pathogens. There are no reports of human infection. No information is available regarding toxicity. Smuts have been documented as a cause of Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma). Ustilago is present in the air as dry brown spores (teliospores) and will grow in culture as yeast (basidiospores). Natural habitat includes grasses, cereal crops, weeds, other fungi, and other flowering plants (many types).

Verticillium

Characteristics: Allergenicity has not been well studied. Rare pathogen. Not considered toxigenic.

Description: Verticillium species are common and are most closely related to Acremonium, and Tritirachium. Former names include Acrostalagmus and Diheterospora. Verticillium is a major plant pathogen and is also parasitic on other fungi and insects. It is normally considered to be nonpathogenic in humans. A few cases of keratitis have been reported but remain questionable. Allergenicity has not been well studied. Verticillium produces an antifungal compound vergosin and an antitumor antibiotic, as well as a wide variety of additional compounds used by various industries. Very little other information is available regarding inhalation health effects or toxicity to humans. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in the air by culturable (Andersen) samples. (Spores do not have distinctive morphology and would be categorized as “other colorless” on spore trap samples.) Widespread in decaying vegetation and in the soil.

Wallemia

Characteristics: Type I allergen. Rare pathogen. Produces toxins.

Description: It is often found in soil, hay, and textiles with a light brown or tan coloration. It is disseminated as a dry spore by the wind. Indoors, growth this fungus is commonly found on relatively dry surfaces such as wood in crawl spaces. As an allergen, it has been known to cause Type I allergen symptoms including hay fever and asthma. As a pathogen it has rarely been known to cause human abscesses. As a toxigenic agent, it produces walleminol, tryptophol, and UCA 1064-beta. Wallemia is a keratinophilic, osmophilic fungus (grows on highly concentrated solutions e.g. salt and sugar).

Yeasts

Fungi may be unicellular or multicellular. Yeasts are unicellular fungi that reproduce primarily by budding and in culture, forms pasty colonies similar to those of bacteria.

Zygomycetes

Characteristics: Zygomycetes are one of the four major groups of fungi, the others being the Oomycetes, the Ascomycetes,

Description: Zygomycetes are one of the four major groups of fungi, the others being the Oomycetes, the Ascomycetes, and the Basidiomycetes. Zygomycetes are common, fast growing, and often overgrow and/or inhibit other fungi nearby. Rhizopus and Mucor are two of the most common Zygomycetes seen in the indoor environment. However, others are seen as well, including Syncephalastrum, Circinella, Mortierella, Mycotypha, Cunninghamella, and Choanephora. For further information, please see descriptions of these individual genera.

Zygosporium

Characteristics: No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied.

Description: Zygosporium species comprise a small proportion of the fungal biota. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Indoor growth usually found on damp walls. Natural habitat is primarily dead leaves (many plants), with occasional isolations from the soil.