Fungal Infections

Species/common name:

Aspergillus fumigatus


Neosartorya fumigata

Natural habitat

Very common distribution, found everywhere from grasslands to mountainous terrain to high temperature habitats. Highly aerobic fungus and therefore found in most oxygenated environments. More common in cultivated fields compared to uncultivated fields. High counts in garden soils. Also found in compost, bird droppings, tobacco and stored foods such as potatoes.


A. fumigatus has worldwide distribution.


It is the most common airborne fungus due to growth in a wide range of temperatures.


Aspergillosis refers to infection by any of the Aspergillus species. Infection can be limited to the lungs (pulmonary) or spread throughout the body (disseminated Aspergillosis) in more severe cases.

1)      Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis and aspergilloma

2)      Asthma exacerbation and severe asthma with fungal sensitization (SAFS)

3)      Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA)

4)      Chronic invasive and granulomatous sinusitis

5)      Fungus ball of the sinus

6)      Aspergillus bronchitis and invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis

7)      Invasive (pulmonary) aspergillosis

8)      Disseminated aspergillosis

Culture peculiarities

Powdery surface and dark green in colour with a white border. Colonies turn grey with age and the reverse is white to tan.

Antifungal resistance (intrinsic and acquired)

Some emerging strains are resistant to itraconazole, with cross-resistance to voriconazole and posaconazole. Polyene resistance unheard of. Some rare acquired resistance to echinocandin drugs.

Biosafety level 2

This fungal species may be managed in a laboratory with safety containment level 2.

Industrial use: 

None, although several heat resistant enzymes (ie phytase, pectinase and cellulase) identified with potential for industrial use.


Aspergillus head surrounded by hyphae and conidiospores

Aspergillus fumigatus grown from a woodland source for 7 days on Czapek yeast extract agar. (Dr. David Midgley)

Appearance of multiple fruiting heads of A. fumigatus on agar with long conidial heads

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