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Aureobasidium sp.

Mitosporic fungus. Hyphomycetes.

Distribution

Ubiquitous;
cosmopolitan.
Approx. 15 species.

Where Found

Soil, forest soils, fresh water, aerial portion of plants, fruit, marine estuary sediments, wood.

Mode of Dissemination

Wet spore.
Wind (when dried out), water droplet.

Allergen

Common.
Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
Type III hypersensitivity pneumonitis: Humidifier fever, Sauna taker’s lung.

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

Rare reports of isolates from skin lesions, keratitis, spleen abscess in a lymphoma patient, blood isolate from a leukemic patient.

Potential Toxin Production

Not known.

Growth Indoors

Widespread, where moisture accumulates, especially bathrooms and kitchens, on shower curtains, tile grout, window sills, textiles, liquid waste materials.

Industrial Uses

Used in the removal of unwanted components of raw textile materials. Aureobasidium pullulans produces pullulan (a biodegradable polysaccharide) used for packaging of food and drugs. It is processed into fibers which have a shiny gloss like rayon and have the strength of nylon.

Other Comments

Aureobasidium pullulans represents a morphologically heterogenous group of taxonomically related fungi. Very closely related to Hormonema. Older medical texts refer to this fungus by its former name Pullularia pullulans.

Used with permission from EMLab P&K

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