Aspergillus flavus

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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General definition
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Saprophytic mould (filamentous fungus) with the ability to form aflatoxin B. Occasionally transmitted through contaminated food, more rarely through contaminated dressings (e.g. plasters, tape, gauze) or intravascular catheters or indwelling cannulas.

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Worldwide, ubiquitously distributed. Most commonly found in peanuts, spices, oil plants, cereals, and in soil and water. As an opportunistic germ in hospitals mostly occurring in insufficiently filtered ventilation systems, on house plants, floor coverings and food.

Clinical picture
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A. flavus occasionally leads to the picture of aspergillosis or disseminated aspergillosis in patients with HIV infection, immunosuppressive therapy, diabetics, organ transplant patients or in the presence of other serious underlying diseases. Patients with severe neutrophilic granulocytopenia are considered particularly at risk. As an inhalation allergen, it is responsible for triggering symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, for example.

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  • Septic hyaline hyphae, distinct air mycelium.
  • Conidiophores: numerous, coarse, thick-walled, unseptet, colourless; length: 400-1000 μm, width: 5-15 μm.
  • Radially arranged, uniseriate phialides directly connected to the conidial head or biseriate phialides connected to the conidial head via metulae.
  • Conidia: Round, colourless to yellowish-green, irregular surface with pits, spines or pigmentation, size: 2-5 μm Ø, distinct expression of conidial heads ("dandelion").

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  1. Correa ME et al (2003) Primary aspergillosis affecting the tongue of a leukemic patient. Oral Dis 9: 49-53
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  8. Wong J et al (2001) Coexistent cutaneous Aspergillus and cytomegalovirus infection in a liver transplant recipient. J Am Acad Dermatol 44: 370-372


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Last updated on: 29.10.2020