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.