This glossary is provided for general information only. It’s not meant to be a tool for self-diagnosis. For diagnosis consult a physician.
Absidia - Absidia is reportedly allergenic and may cause mucorosis in immune compromised individuals. The common species indoors, Absidia corymbifera has a worldwide distribution in soil, decaying plant matter and composts. It’s found in carpet and mattress dust. It’s considered a health hazard especially to immune compromised individuals.
Acremonium - Acremonium is reportedly allergenic. One of the common indoor species, Acremonium strictum, thrives on wet drywall, wallpaper, cellulose-based ceiling tiles, wood materials, and other surfaces. Acremonium sp can produce trichothecene, a mycotoxin which is toxic if ingested.
Actinomycetes - A group of bacteria that are capable of forming filaments like molds.
Aerobic - An organism or process that requires oxygen.
Allergic - Caused by or relating to an allergy or having an allergy to (a substance).
Allergic alveolitis - Condition where the lungs are allergic to fungus and other allergens which cause inflammation of the alveolar region of the deep lung.
Allergy - A damaging immune response by the body to a substance, esp. pollen, mold spores, fur, a particular food, or dust, to which it has become hypersensitive.
Alternaria - Alternaria is a very common allergen. It is often found in carpets, textiles, and on horizontal surfaces in building interiors. Often found on window frames. Outdoors it may be isolated from samples of soil, seeds and plants. It is commonly found in outdoor samples. It may be related to baker’s asthma. It has been associated with hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The species Alternaria alternata, is capable of producing tenuazonic acid and other toxic metabolites which may be associated with disease in humans or animals. Common cause of extrinsic asthma (immeadiate-type hypersensitivity: type I). Acute symptoms include edema and bronchiospasms, chronic cases may develop pulmonary emphysema.
Aspergillus - Aspergillus spp are reported to be allergenic. Members of this genus are reported to cause ear infections (see Aspergillus niger) . Many species produce mycotoxins (see Aspergillus flavus) which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals . Toxin production is dependent on the species or a strain within a species and on the food source for the fungus. Some of these toxins have been found to be carcinogenic in animal species. Several toxins are considered potential human carcinogens. Common cause of extrinsic asthma (immediate-type hypersensitivity: type I).
Aspergillus caesiellus - This species is only occasionally pathogenic.
Aspergillus candidus - Aspergillus candidus is found in warm soils, grain and in the secondary decay of vegetation. It can produce the toxin petulin which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals.
Aspergillus carneus - This species is only occasionally pathogenic.
Aspergillus clavatus - Aspergillus clavatus is found in soils and animal manure. Can produce the toxin petulin which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals. This species is only occasionally pathogenic.
Aspergillus deflectus - This species is only occasionally pathogenic.
Aspergillus flavus - Aspergillus flavus is reportedly allergenic. It grows on mouldy corn and peanuts and grains. It can be found in warm soil, foods and dairy products. Aspergillus flavus can be found in water damaged carpets. Some strains of Aspergillus flavus are capable of producing a group of mycotoxins, the aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are known carcinogenic and are poisonous to humans by ingestion. It may also result in occupational disease via inhalation. The production of the aflatoxin is dependent on the growth conditions and on the substrate used as a food source.
Aspergillus fumigatus - Aspergillus fumigatus is considered a human pathogen. It grows well at 35 degrees C. It is commonly found outdoors in compost piles with temperatures higher than 40 degrees C, in mild to warm soils and on cereals. It is the major cause of both invasive and allergic aspergillosis to individuals who are immune compromised.
Aspergillus glaucus - Aspergillus glaucus is reportedly allergenic. It is only occasionally pathogenic. It can grow at low moisture levels on grains, sugary food products, meat and wool.
Aspergillus nidulans - Aspergillus nidulans is found in mild to warm soils and on slowly decaying plants. Can produce the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin. This toxin has been shown to produce liver and kidney damage in lab animals. Aspergillus nidulans is associated with aspergillosis of the lungs and/or disseminated aspergillosis. It is only occasionally pathogenic.
Aspergillus niger - Aspergillus niger is commonly found in the environment on textiles, in soils, grains, fruits and vegetables. It has a musty odor. It is a less common cause of aspergillosis. It has been reported to cause skin and pulmonary infections. It is a common cause of fungal related ear infections-otomycosis.
Aspergillus ochraceus - Aspergillus ochraceus is found in grains, soil and salted food products. It can produce a kidney toxin ochratoxin A which may cause ochratoxicosis in humans. The toxin is produced at optimum growth conditions at 25 degrees C and high moisture conditions. Aspergillus ochraceus can produce other toxins including penicillic acid, xanthomegnin and viomellein . These are all reported to be kidney and liver toxins.
Aspergillus oryzae - This species is only occasionally pathogenic.
Aspergillus parasiticus - Some strains of Aspergillus parasiticus are capable of producing a group of mycotoxins, the aflatoxins. The production of the fungal toxin is dependent on the growth conditions and on the substrate used as a food source.
Aspergillus penicilloides - It is found in house dust and food.
Aspergillus restrictus - This species is only occasionally pathogenic.
Aspergillus sydowii - This species is only occasionally pathogenic.
Aspergillus terreus - Aspergillus terreus is common in warmer soil and in grains, straw. cotton and decomposing vegetation. Can produce the toxin patulin and citrinin which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals. Aspergillus terreus is a rare cause of aspergillosis of the lungs and/or disseminated aspergillosis. Also a rare cause of ear infection and infection of finger or toe nails.
Aspergillus ustus - This species is only occasionally pathogenic.
Aspergillus versicolor - Aspergillus versicolor is commonly found in soil, hay, cotton and dairy products. It can produce the mycotoxins sterigmatocystin and cyclopiaxonic acid . These toxins can cause diarrhea and upset stomach. It is reported to be a kidney and liver carcinogen. This species is only occasionally pathogenic.
Asthma - Narrowing of the bronchial tubes, where the muscles go into spasm and the patient has difficulty breathing.
Aureobasidium - Aureobasidium pullulans is a black yeast-like fungus. It is often found in bathrooms, in kitchens, or on exterior building walls under shade.