General Information about Fusarium
70+ species. Ubiquitous, cosmopolitan.
What are some of this molds characteristics?
Grows well on general fungal media although sporulation in many species requires specialized media.
Where does fusarium grow outside?
Often found growing on soil, also acts in a saprophytic or parasitic manner on plants. Many species are important plant pathogens.
Where does fusarium grow inside?
Occasionally found on a variety of substrates. Fusarium requires very wet conditions.
Is fusarium considered a “black mold”?
The term black mold (also “toxic black mold”) is not scientific but is widely used by the media to usually reference Stachybotrys molds.
Health Concerns regarding Fusarium
Is fusarium a potential allergen?
Some people may experience hay fever and or asthma.
Does it present any unique human risks? (as pathogen, opportunist or contaminant)*
Causes keratitis, endophthalmitis, onychomycosis, mycetoma, and disseminated infection in immunocompromised patients; infections in burn victims, and systemic opportunistic infections in severely disabled hosts.
Can fusarium produce toxins?**
Can produce trichothecenes (type B); T-2 toxin; zearalenone (F-2 toxin), vomitoxin, deoxynivalenol, and fumonisin. Zearalenone is not acutely toxic, and actually may have positive effects with controlled ingestion.
Identification of Fusarium
Can it be identified via Air Sampling?
The macroconidia are distinctive and recognizable on spore trap slides. The microconidia are less distinctive and would most probably be identified as “other colorless.”
Can fusarium be identified via Direct Sampling?
Macroconidia are distinctive and often are readily identifiable on tape lifts. However, microconidia of Fusarium may be confused with Acremonium.
What are some of its industrial uses?
None at this time.