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.


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