In: Science

Submitted By akpena
Words 775
Pages 4
De La Cruz
May 27, 2014 Aspergillus

Aspergillus is a fungus whose spores are commonly found in the environment, and can also be found in household dust, building materials and some foods. There are numerous types, but the more common ones include Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus niger. For healthy people, this does not cause harm, the immune system is able to get rid of the spores. But for people with weakened immune systems, breathing in these spores can lead to infection. Studies have shown that Invasive Aspergillosis can occur during building renovation or construction. Outbreaks of Aspergillus skin infections have been traced to contaminated biomedical devices. Aspergillosis cannot be spread from person to person or between people and animals, and because it is not a reportable infection, the exact incidence is difficult to determine.

Aspergillus mostly targets the respiratory system. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), is a condition where the fungus causes respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing and coughing, but does not actually invade and destroy tissues. It can affect people who are otherwise healthy, but it is most common in people with asthma or cystic fibrosis. Invasive aspergillosis generally affects people who have weakened immune systems, such as those who have had a bone marrow transplant or solid organ transplant, are on high doses of corticosteroids, those on chemotherapy, or those with HIV. It most commonly affects the lungs, but can also cause infection in many other organs and can spread throughout the body. In this condition, the fungus invades and damages tissues in the body causing fever, chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and Aspergilloma or “fungus ball”. It is difficult to avoid breathing in…...

Similar Documents

Respiratory System and Diease

...soldiers are suffering from a rare interstitial lung disease called nonspecific interstitial pneumonitis associated with inhalation of titanium and iron. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are faced with a barrage of respiratory insults, including dust from the sand, smoke from the burn pits, aerosolized metals and chemicals from exploded IEDs, outdoor aeroallergens such as date pollen, and indoor aeroallergens such as mold aspergillus.” (Vetrans Today, 2011). Aspergillus is a fungus with spores that are in the air we breathe, but does not normally cause illness. People that have an increased risk of contracting the disease usully live in conditions with dirty air conditioning units, compost heaps and damp or flood-damaged housing (Murray, 1997). “The soldiers operating in Iraq and Afghanistan work in a very dusty environment. They are continually breathing in a lot of microbial dust raised by weather conditions and explosions, and other inhaled toxins. That dust will contain a lot of moulds and a lot of Aspergillus and given that we know that Aspergillus in particular can cause respiratory problems ranging from allergy, asthma exacerbations, sinusitis to invasive infections with deadly results” (Vetrans Today, 2011). Another deadly disease from our past is also on the rise again. Diphtheria is an old disease from our history that has made a terrifying and worrisome comeback. Diphtheria is a respiratory disease that, most of the time, affects children.......

Words: 1503 - Pages: 7

Natural Preservatives

...source of references. The legal aspects of this concept are considered. The traditional methods of preservation, many taken from the food industry are summarised. The use of alcohol, glycerine, sugar, salt, dessication, anhydrous systems and temperature are amongst examples considered. The definitions of the many words used to describe the act of preservation are considered, and the confusion that results from the presence of the many synonyms is considered. e.g. antimicrobial, antibiotic, antiseptic, bactericidal, etc. Specific organisms are identified as being of particular interest, especially those standard organisms that form part of the B.P. challenge test. These include Candida albicans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Aspergillus niger and Staphylococcus aureus. A cross-section of plants mentioned in the literature as being specifically targeted at these organisms are considered. The paper concludes with Appendices of plant materials that have mention in the literature according to specific definitions, which may give researchers a potential introduction to future research. KEY WORDS Natural preservation, traditional preservation, challenge test organisms, legal status. INTRODUCTION The subject of natural preservatives is one that probably has more academic interest than practical or economic virtue. However, it does have a wonderful marketing angle which may justify the higher raw material costs. The paper first reviews the most commonly used methods......

Words: 10819 - Pages: 44


...become widely disseminated throughout the body. This type is often fatal. How common are fungal diseases? Treating and caring for patients with fungal diseases is becoming an increasing economic burden. Estimated numbers of patients who will need expensive antifungal drugs for some of the life-threatening fungal illnesses are summarized here. Candidaemia infections occur can be predicted at around 300,000 worldwide per year with a mortality of 30-55%. Invasive aspergillosis can occur in different patients groups- so around 10% of new leukaemic cases will go on to develop invasive aspergillosis 30,000 per year. Of stem cell transplants - 54,000 are carried out in USA, UK, Europe and Japan anually, of which 5,400 will need treatment for aspergillus infection. In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -1.2% of these will need antifungals for aspergillosis- 216,000 per year. Over 50% of invasive aspergillosis patients will die from their infection - even with treatment. In AIDS patients 1million contract cryptococcal meningitis resulting in 600,000 deaths - 70% of which are in sub-saharan Africa. Less fatal infections but which affect large numbers of people worldwide include cutaneous fungal infections, nail infections and athletes foot - affects some 1.5 billion people - or 25% of the world’s population. Tinea capitis -or hair infection- which is common in young children is predicted to affect some 200 million worldwide. An antifungal medication is a medication used to......

Words: 1324 - Pages: 6

Impact of Aspergillus Flavus on Groundnut

...Impact of Aspergillus flavus on groundnut, Arachis hypogaea Ntambo Mbuya Sylvain Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources Africa University P.O Box: 1320 Mutare, Zimbabwe Email: Abstract Good quality seed has reasonable varietal and physical purity, a high germination percentage and is free of external and internal pathogenic organism. An experiment to study the impact of Aspergillus flavus on groundnut seeds was conducted in the laboratory using the blotter method. Groundnut seeds sample from Mutsamba were provided and four petri dishes were prepared containing each ten seeds placed on two to three sheets of wet (but not dripping with water) blotter papers. The petri dishes were incubated in the laboratory for two weeks. The results had shown that Aspergillus flavus was the seed borne fungi detected affecting the germination of seeds with 23.3%. The identification of this fungus was through use of a stereo microscope for habit characters identification and a compound microscope for conidia identification of the fungus. Keywords: Impact of Aspergillus flavus, groundnut seeds, stereo microscope, compound microscope. 1 Introduction Groundnut is one of the most nourishing foods and it contains five important nutrients such as food energy, protein, phosphorus, thiamin and niacin. However, the crop is affected by a number of fungus diseases among which Aspergillus flavus is a part (Singh and Oswalt, 1992). Aspergillus flavus grows...

Words: 1133 - Pages: 5

Exploring the Mysteries Surrounding the "Mummy's Curse"

...or examination, Nelson accounted for their increased exposure. [source: BMJ]. Out of 44 identified Westerners, 25 were present during an opening or examination. These 25 lived an average of 20.8 years after exposure, while the unexposed lived 28.9 years. The mean age at death for the exposed was 70 years and 75 for the unexposed. Nelson determined that the results proved there was no curse [source: BMJ]. In conclusion, couldd sealed tombs house pathogens that can be dangerous or even deadly to those who open them after thousands of years? The mausoleums house not only the dead bodies of humans and animals but foods to provision them for the afterlife. Lab studies have shown some ancient mummies carried mold, including Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus, which can cause congestion or bleeding in the lungs. Lung-assaulting bacteria such as Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus may also grow on tomb walls. These substances may make tombs sound dangerous, but scientists seem to agree that they are not. F. DeWolfe Miller, professor of epidemiology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and I concur with Howard Carter's original opinion: Given the local conditions, Anyone who was in the mausoleum was probably safer inside than outside. "Upper Egypt in the 1920s was hardly what you'd call sanitary," Miller said. "The idea that an underground tomb, after 3,000 years, would have some kind of bizarre microorganism in it that's going to kill somebody six weeks later and make it......

Words: 714 - Pages: 3

Commercial Enzyme

...(pH4.8) and stored at 4°C. Gel Filtration Chromatography After precipitation, the enzyme solution was fractionated on Sephadex G-75 column (1.2 × 44 cm) and protein was eluted with the citrate buffer. About 40 fractions each of 2 ml was collected. Absorbance at 280 nm showed 3 peaks (Fig. 1) at fractions 11 to 20. Enzyme activity determinations showed high pectinase activity in fraction no 12, 14 and 19. Fig12: Gel Filtration Profile of Pectinase Gel filtration effectively removed the considerable amount of impurities present in crude enzyme extract and thus pectinolytic activity was raised. Pectinase in present study was purified 4.54 folds. Percentage yield achieved was 16.94%. Table 5: Purification of Pectinase (PG) from Aspergillus niger Sample | Enzyme Activity (U/ml) | Protein Content (mg/ml) | Specific Activity (U/mg) | Total Activity (U*ml) | Fold-Purification | Percentage Yield | Crude | 344 | 835.15 | 0.412 | 34400 | 1 | 100 | Sephadex G-75 | 2914.87 | 1538 | 1.87 | 5829.74 | 4.54 | 16.94 | 4.1. Characterization 4.2.1. Characterization of Crude Enzyme Crude enzyme showed highest activity at pH range of 4-5. Enzyme activity significantly declines at pH 2. Optimal enzyme activity was observed at 50°C. Higher temperature deactivates the crude pectinase. Enzyme incubation at different incubation indicated that optimal reaction time is 15 minutes. 4.2.2. Characterization Purified Enzyme Effect of pH Effect of pH was studied...

Words: 2592 - Pages: 11


...fungal enzymes are used in cheese making as an alternative to rennet as they help to clot milk. Microbial proteases can also be used in clarifying fruit juices and also in beer by terminating the protein haze. They can also be used in the digestion of fish livers to permit improved withdrawal of fish oil, tenderization of meat and alteration of proteins in flour used for bread making. Pectinases The job of pectinases is to degrade pectin, which are polysaccharides found within plant cell wall structure into shorter molecules, which are known as galacturonic acid. Pectin can turn into jelly that comes in use for products such as jams but not adequate in fruit juices and other liquids. Pectinases are obtained from fungi like Aspergillus and Penicillin. Other bacterial and fungal pectinases are used in destroying and rotting of fruits and vegetables. The biggest uses of pectinases are probably in the purification of fruit juices. They are added to fruit that has been crushed like grapes. This increases the yield of the juice extracted and also improves the color derived from the fruit skins. Celluloses These break down cellulose into smaller chains and then into disaccharides cellobiose and to glucose. Celluloses currently have little use in the food industry however can be used in improving the release of color form fruit skins and removing the haze from beer and to tenderize green beans. When celluloses are used in conjunction with ligases,......

Words: 880 - Pages: 4

Assignment 1: Essay “the Mummy’s Curse” come up with a more scientific theory to Lord Carnarvon's death. Many people have come up with the explanation that there were microorganisms that could have killed him that had been sealed with the Ancient Egyptian tombs. In many of the other tombs with ancient mummies bacteria and other molds have been found that can be deadly, many of these molds and bacteria are known to attack the respiratory system. In laboratory studies it has been discovered that many ancient mummies carry two potentially dangerous species of mold known as, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus. These molds can cause reactions ranging from congestion to bleeding in the lungs. Lord Carnarvon, who was known to be a sickly man, would have almost been a kiss of death the moment he breathed them in. One doctor of the Cairo University in Egypt did a study and examined the health records of some museum workers and noticed that many of them had been exposed to Aspergillus Niger. It was suggested that the fungus can survive in the tombs for thousands of years and then when an archaeologist team goes into the tomb they pick up the fungus. Several other doctors from all over the world have all done the same study and come to the same conclusion that it is highly likely that what killed the English lord was not a curse but rather his weak immune system and the toxins he inhaled inside the tomb. Another part of the curse was the results of the media, the newspapers appear to have randomly killed off many...

Words: 997 - Pages: 4

Microorganismos Productores de Etas

...Aspergillus oryzae A. oryzae, junto con la mayoría de los otros miembros de la familia Aspergillus, tiene una hifas que es hialino y septado, y cuneiforme, que termina en una vesícula de forma redonda. Las células portadores de esporas, o ascos, se producen dentro de la asco carpo, o el cuerpo fructífero. La principal enzima secretada por el hongo filamentoso se llama amilasa, que le da un sabor dulce a los alimentos que se fermenta en. Esta enzima es más eficiente a una temperatura de 35-40 grados Celsius. La mayoría de otras enzimas que se encuentran en A. oryzae crecen a una temperatura de alrededor de 30-35 grados Celsius. Los miembros del género Aspergillus son distintos de otros microbios debido al hecho de que utilizan tanto un sistema metabólico primario y secundario. La funcionalidad del metabolismo de Aspergillus depende de sus ácidos carboxílicos, que se descomponen en las cadenas de ácidos grasos que se componen de un conjunto único de complejos de síntesis de ácidos grasos. Estas cadenas ayudar en el desarrollo de la membrana celular Aspergillus y las vesículas de almacenamiento de la enzima. El metabolismo primario de A. oryzae recibe su energía a través del contacto con las fuentes de energía (por ejemplo, granos o almidones). Una vez que se hace contacto con una fuente de energía, que segrega enzimas que degradan las proteínas y los enlaces peptídicos dentro de la fécula y las convierten en aminoácidos y azúcares para el consumo. El metabolismo......

Words: 2633 - Pages: 11


...dioxide and sulphite beyond safe limit In variety of food as preservative Acute irritation of the gastro-intestinal tracts etc. 37 Artificial sweetners beyond safe limit Sweet foods Chances of cancer Fungal contamination 38 Aflatoxins Aspergillus flavus-contaminated foods such as groundnuts, cottonseed, etc. Liver damage and cancer 39 Ergot alkaloids from Claviceps purpurea Toxic alkaloids, ergotamine, ergotoxin and ergometrine groups Ergot-infested bajra, rye meal or bread Ergotism (St.Anthony’s fire-burning sensation in extremities, itching of skin, peripheral gangrene) 40 Toxins from Fusarium sporotrichioides Grains (millet, wheat, oats, rye,etc) Alimentary toxic aleukia(ATA) (epidemic panmyelotoxicosis) 41 Toxins from Fusarium sporotrichiella Moist grains Urov disease (Kaschin-Beck disease) 42 Toxins from Penicillium inslandicum Penicillium atricum, Penicillium citreovirede, Fusarium, Rhizopus, Aspergillus Yellow rice Toxic mouldy rice disease 43 Sterigmatocystin from Aspergillus versicolour Aspergillus nidulans and bipolaris Foodgrains Hepatitis 44 Ascaris lumbricoides Any raw food or water contaminated by human faces containing eggs of the parasite Ascariasis 45 Entamoeba histolytica Viral Raw vegetables and fruits Amoebic dysentery ......

Words: 1028 - Pages: 5

Microbiology Task 12 Yeast, Molds and Fungi

...A. Describe conidiospores and sporangiospores. 1. Identify a mold that produces each of these spores. Molds reproduce primarily by means of asexual reproductive. Conidiospores (conidia) a unicellular or multicellular spore that is not enclosed in a sac. Penicillium and Aspergillus are examples of molds that produce conidiospores. Penicillium is a common household molds and a food contaminant. Sporangiospores are formed within a sporangium (sac). Sporangia are formed at the end of aerial hyphae called sporangiophores e.g. Rhizopus can cause wounds and respiratory infections in the host with a compromised immune system (Gladwin, & Trattler, 2011). B. Describe a zygospore. 1. Identify a mold that produces zygospores.   A thick-walled spore of fungi that is formed by union of two similar sexual cells, usually serves as a resting spore, and produces the sporophytic phase an example is rhizopus. It’s a black mold and grows on old bread and fruits. C. Describe what type of growth you observed in each of your substrates (e.g., number of colonies, shape, color, and defining characteristics). I saw about three different types of fungi on the bread. There was a dark green and white while the cheese only had some green fungi and all the colonies were all attached to each other looking like a sponge. On the strawberry I noticed a whitish-greenish-grey growth also with the hyphae growing outwards. It was all around the strawberry and the......

Words: 822 - Pages: 4


...Aspergillus is a fungus that is presented in the air we breathe through its spores. It does not normally cause any illness however those with a weakened immune situation may be susceptible to Aspergillus infection. Chronic pulmonary aspergillus (CPA) has been given a variety of names. These disease entities all share common characteristics suggesting they belong to the same group of CPA disorders. There are no codified treatment guidelines as of yet for CPA. Bronchial artery embolization may stop hemoptysis. Surgery is not possible to be conducted because of impaired respiratory function or the severity of the comorbidity. Oral triazoles are the possible drug that can cure or reduce CPA. Unlike itraconazole, coriconasole has an in vitro fungicidal activity against Aspergillus. A research was conducted in Paris with the pneumology department (n=12) in teaching hospitals from November 2001 to May 2004 and treated with voriconazole. The patients were consistent with a diagnosis of CPA. The patients received voriconazole for the treatment of CPA except for SA with a follow up duration of at least six months until November 2004. The following patients were released from the study due to 1.) Patients with possible CPA presenting negative Aspergillus antibody detection; 2.) Patients with SA, acute IPA, pseudomembranous tracheobronchitis aspergillosis, or allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, 3.) patients with progressive tumoral or infectious lung disease at the time of......

Words: 299 - Pages: 2

“Mummy’s Curse”

...Media belonged to newspapers and information traveled much slower and not very reliable. People were more superstitious then, and the media took full advantage of that to sell publications and often made up facts to sensationalize stories. One of the explanations was the tomb’s toxins; studies have shown some ancient mummies carried mold, including Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus, which can cause congestion or bleeding in the lungs. Lung-assaulting bacteria such as Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus may also grow on tomb walls. It is believed that when tombs were first opened, fresh air could have disturbed these spores, blowing them into the air, and perhaps, creating health problems. Gotthard Kramer, a German microbiologist from the University of Leipzip believes that the cause of the curse is some type of mold spores. Kramer studied 40 different mummies; he identified several potentially dangerous mold spores. Dr. Hans Merk, a dermatologist at the University of Aachen, Germany, performed similar research and analyzed dust and rock samples from tombs and found primarily three types of mold: Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terreus and Cephalosporium (Acremonium) species; all of these species are toxic. They also provided meats, fruits, vegetables, clothing, ornaments, furniture, statues of their Gods and anything else thought to aid the pharaoh’s travel to the afterlife. These items after 3000 years were sure to attract insects and bacteria. Dr. Stenger-Phillip, a......

Words: 414 - Pages: 2

Curse of King Tut dissuade tomb raiders from carting away everything that had been placed in the tomb to enable the pharaohs to live a better life in the spirit world. This theory was generated by the media who played it up and made it seem like fact. Consequently, the deaths of all these men were attributed to their having disturbed the tomb. The second theory, states that because the tomb was hundreds of years old, and because the dead in those days were buried with an assortment of food, numerous potentially toxic molds and bacteria were present in the tomb. When disturbed, the theory goes; these different toxins can cause numerous complications, especially if inhaled in large quantities (Handwerk, 2005). Two of these toxins, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus, the theory adds, can be very harmful to people whose immune systems are not strong enough to withstand the assault. This theory, propounded by Egyptologists also argues that some of these toxins can stay for thousands of years, so long as the conditions are favourable. Although the theory of ‘tomb toxins’ still has its weaknesses, it is nevertheless a more plausible explanation for the unexplained deaths than the theory of the curse. The reason for this is that research has indeed shown that different toxins, fungi and bacteria are usually present in such conditions and have been found in other tombs (Handwerk, 2005). Moreover, it is common knowledge that such toxins do affect people’s immune systems,......

Words: 598 - Pages: 3

Mummy's Curse

...and the mix of media hype and facts, people started to speculate that the curse was real. “Legend has it that anyone who dared to open the tomb would suffer the wrath of the mummy, because mummies have been associated with many magical powers throughout history” ( Another possibility is that “New findings are showing that bacteria on the wall of the tomb might have been the cause of the curse” ( From all that I have read, I believe that the “Mummy’s” most likely is the real thing. I say this mainly because I do believe in things such as “curses” and magic, but also because the likely hood of the mold or bacteria found at the tomb ( Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus Flavus) can cause congestion and bleeding of the lungs, but scientist have confirmed that they are not. In fact, “F. DeWolfe Miller, professor of epidemiology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, concurs with Howard Carter's original opinion: Given the local conditions, Lord Carnarvon was probably safer inside Tut's tomb than outside”. (, additionally Miller stated, "Upper Egypt in the 1920s was hardly what you'd call sanitary," Miller said. "The idea that an underground tomb, after 3,000 years, would have some kind of bizarre microorganism in it that's going to kill somebody six weeks later and make it look exactly like [blood poisoning] is......

Words: 433 - Pages: 2