Atlas of foodborne infections
transmitted by contaminated food and water

Atlas of Patogens Contents Information sources Glossary Administration

Aspergillus

CZ: aspegrilus
EN: aspergilus

Occurrence:
Fruits and Vegetables
Cereals
Spices
Delicatessen


Category:
Moulds


Foodborne Disease:
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Aspergillus mycotoxins moulds can produce a number of mycotoxins: aflatoxin, ochratoxin, patulin and citrinin.

aflatoxicosis - acute hepatic necrosis, resulting later in cirrhosis, and carcinoma of the liver - hemorrhage, edema , alteration in digestion, and absorption and metabolism of nutrients and mental changes and coma

Read more: MYCOTOXINS

 


Description:
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Aspergillus is a genus consisting of several hundred mold species found in various climates worldwide.  Aspergillus species are highly aerobic and are found in almost all oxygen-rich environments, where they commonly grow as molds on the surface of a substrate, as a result of the high oxygen tension.

Commonly, fungi grow on carbon-rich substrates such as monosaccharides (such as glucose) and polysaccharides (such as amylose). Aspergillus species are common contaminants of starchy foods (such as bread and potatoes), and grow in or on many plants and trees.

Species of Aspergillus are important medically and commercially. Some species can cause infection in humans and other animals. Some infections found in animals have been studied for years. Some species found in animals have been described as new and specific to the investigated disease and others have been known as names already in use for organisms such as saprophytes.

More than 60 Aspergillus species are medically relevant pathogens. For humans there is a range of diseases such as infection to the external ear, skin lesions, and ulcers classed as mycetomas.

Ochratoxin A and Citrinin: These mycotoxins can be produced by Aspergillus moulds in cool wet climates. Wet harvests and poor storage increase the risk. These mycotoxins can affect liver and kidney function.

• Patulin: Although apples tend to be the major source, any moldy or rotten fruit could contain this toxin.

• Aflatoxins: These are probably the most important mycotoxins at global level. However they usually occur in warmer climates.


Pictures:

Aspergillus
Source: A magnified view of Aspergillus - scan microscopy
Aspergillus
Source: A magnified view of Aspergillus spp.
Aspergillus
Source: A magnified view of Aspergillus spp.
Aspergillus fumigatus
Source: Aspergillus fumigatus
Aspergillus
Source: Cycle of Aspergillus transmission
Aspergillus
Source: Maize (corn) with Aspergillus spp.
Aspergillus
Source: Microscopic examination of Aspergillus spp.
Aspergillus
Source: Peanuts with Aspergillus spp.

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