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Fusarium sp.

Mitosporic fungus. Hyphomycetes. Teleomorphs (sexual state): Gibberella, Nectria (Ascomycetes).

Distribution

Ubiquitous;
cosmopolitan.
Approx. 50-70 species.

Where Found

Soil, saprophytic or parasitic on plants. Many species are important plant pathogens.

Mode of Dissemination

Wet spore.
Insects, water splash, and wind when dried out.

Allergen

Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

Causes keratitis, endophthalmitis, onychomycosis, mycetoma, and disseminated infection in immunocompromised patients; infections in burn victims, and systemic opportunistic infections in severely disabled hosts.

Potential Toxin Production

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.

Growth Indoors

Occasionally found on a variety of substrates. Fusarium requires very wet conditions.
Aw=0.86-0.91 (minimum for various species).

Industrial Uses

Zearalenone has been patented as a growth stimulant in animals and has application as an oral contraceptive, and as an anabolic steroid (<1ppm). F. graminearum is used for the production of quorn, a mycoprotein.

Other Comments

None.

Used with permission from EMLab P&K

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