Advance Environmental Services
Fungi Properties
Mold Procedures
HVAC Cleaning
Content Cleaning and Storage
Industrial Insulation

Properties of Common Fungi



Acremonium sp.: Commonly known as contaminants, some species occasionally are known to produce mycetomas, corneal infections, and nail infections. It is generally found in the soil and on plant matter, and can be a parasite of other fungi.


Afternaria sp.: Most species are commonly considered contaminants. Most species only aus~" is~ ease in plants, but some are occasionally associated with infection in humans. Some species of this genus produce mycotoxins. They are also linked to hypersensitivity and extrinsic asthma.

Alemnoniella sp.: This genus is rarely found in the indoor environment and essentially never found airborne. They do, like Stachybotrys sp., produce a mycotoxin that is considered to be potentially dangerous to humans. Symptoms of exposure to Memnoniella sp. mycotoxins might include cough, irritation of eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, headache, fatigue, and possibly bleeding from the nose. Like their cousin, Stachybotrys sp., significant amounts of water in contact with cellulose based materials are an ideal growth condition for these organisms.

Ascospores: Very common with many different genera. While some Ascospores sporulate (grow) in culture, many are parasitic plant pathogens and sporulate only on living host plants.

Asper~lllus sp.: Aspergillus species is a common fungus that has worldwide distribution and vary greatly within genus. Some species may cause lesions on or in any part of the body. Most are not normally pathogenic to humans, but some produce mycotoxins that can be fatal if ingested and many species may be associated with allergic type reactions. Some species of this fungus can grow at 37°C and, of all the mycotic diseases (diseases initiated by fungal infections), organisms from this genus encompass the broadest range of pathogenic mechanisms. These organisms are capable of not only of causing disseminated infection, as seen in immunosuppressed patients, but also of causing a whole host of other types of infectious including invasive lung infection. pulm~vca is koratnsis sinendocarditis_and central nervous system infection. Most often, immunosuppressed patients acquire a primary pulmonary infection that disseminates rapidly and causes infection in virtually every organ.

Aureobasidium sp.: Commonly considered contaminants found in many varied habitats.

return to top


Basidiobolus sp.: Etiologic agent of Entomophthoromycosis basidiobelae (subcutaneous Zygomycosis), a chronic, inflammatory, lesion forming disease generally restricted to the limbs, chest, and back.

Basidiospores: Very common with many different genera, commonly called mushrooms, Most Basidiomyceres will not fruit on laboratory media and form sterile mycelia. Growth indoors are usually associated with "dry rot" which destroy the structural wood of buildings. Many genera are known to be allergens and few may cause rare opportunistic infections.

Beauveria sp.: Commonly considered contaminants, these are pathogens in some animals and insects, but rarely humans.

Bipolaris sp.: Most species are commonly considered contaminants. Some occasionally infect the eye, bones, and aorta and some species have been associated with allergic reactions.   



Blastamycas SP.: Some species can cause Blastomycosis, a chronic infection characterized by pus forming and possibly chronic lesions in any part of the body. It usually begins in the lungs and disseminates to the skin and bones.

Batrytis sp.: Commonly considered contaminants. They usually live in dead or dying plants and can cause disease in living plants.


return to top


Candida sp.: This genus consists of yeast like fungi that are mostly opportunistic pathogens. Some are known to cause candidiasis, an infection that can manifest itself as rash, intertrigo, yeas t infection, and thrush.

Chaetomium sp.: This genus requires significant amounts of water in contact with cellulose based materials. Some species have been associated with a rare form of cerebral fungal infection in immunocompromised individuals. In addition, most of the Chaetornium species produce mycotoxins. This species should be considered a potential emerging and aggressive opportunistic pathogen due to its thermophilic (growth at 37 ° C) and neurotropic (central nervous system) nature. However, there is little research on the effects of this species on the immune systems of immunocompetent hosts.

Chrysnsporium sp.: Commonly considered contaminants, some species can cause disease in humans on rare occasions.

Cladasporium sp.: These organisms are consistently found in indoor environments. As one of the most common outdoor fungi, it is often associated with human activity and routes of entry into a facility (doors, windows, air handlers, etc.). Under most growth conditions, this group of organisms can produce significant odors, stains, and deterioration. It is almost always associated with some sort of natural material such as wood, natural textiles, paper or similar materials. It is not normally linked to human health concerns. However, interior growth of this fungus indicates water intrusion and a potential indoor air quality problem.

Coccidivides sp.: Some species cause Coccidioidmycosis, a disease that starts with the symptoms of a mild cold, then, after a brief remission, returns with a constant low grade fever and possible weight loss.

Cryptococcus sp: This genus of yeast like fungi is generally nonpathogenic except in cases of severely immunosuppressed individuals. However, C. neoformans can cause the infection of the lungs and brain known as cryptococcosis. This species is often found in pigeon droppings.

Curvularia sp.: Commonly considered contaminants. They can cause corneal and other opportunistic infections and may be allergenic.


return to top


Drechslera sp.: Commonly considered contaminants. They can cause corneal and other opportunistic infections.

return to top


Epicoccum sp.: Commonly considered contaminants in dead plant material. but has been found in the air.

return to top


Fusurium sp: Fusartum species have been commonly considered contaminants, but known to be relatively frequent agent of fungal eye infection. In addition, most of these species produce mycotoxins similar to Stachybotrys species and can cause other infections in severely debilitated hosts.

return to top


Histoplasma sp: Some species cause I listoplasmosis. The effects of this disease range from benign pulmonary disease to chronic, progressive, and fatal infection in susceptible individuals.

return to top


Microsporum sp.: Causes ringworm, mostly in the scalp, but on other parts of the body as well. It is more common in animals than humans, and can be transmitted to humans from animals.



Myxomycetes: Common species that have both dry and wet spores. Initial growth phase requires high moisture content. Myxomycetes do not grow on general fungal media and are not considered true fungi. Myxomycetes cannot be distinguished from smuts.

Mucor sp.: It is known as a contaminant, but can occasionally cause Zygomycosis (see Rhtzopus sp.).

return to top


Paecflomyces sp.: These are usually considered contaminants, but are occasionally reported in association with disease, especially of the cornea.

Paracoccidiaides sp.: Some species cause Paracoccidioidomycosis, a chronic lesionforming disease that characteristically begins in the lungs and spreading to the skin and other internal organs.

Penicillium sp.: The genus Penicillium species have been associated with allergic type reactions and, in our experience, have been found in virtually all cases involving problemscausing buildings. Evidence is increasing which points to a relationship between the inhalation of the spores from this organism and asthma. In addition, many of species have been shown to induce allergic reactions.

Penicilliuml/.Aspergfllus like spores: Term used for identifying spores obtained in a spore trap that are similar (small, circular spores) to perticillium and/or Aspergillus spores. However, a large number of fungi produce small, circular spores and it is difficult to differentiate these types of spores.

Peronarpora sp.: A downy mildew found commonly in the environment.

Phoma sp.: Commonly considered contaminants on plants and soil. Some cause infections on rare occasions.

return to top


Rhizomyces sp.: Grow on dead grass in pastures. Can cause facial eczema in ruminants.

Rhizomucor sp.: This species is known as a contaminant, but occasionally causes Zygomycosis (see Rhizopus sp.).

Rhiznpus sp.: Although a common contaminant, some species have been found to be responsible for Zygomycosis, a disease that is most often systemic, with invasion of the central nervous system, arterial blood vessels, lungs, and subcutaneous tissue.

Rhodotorula sp: These yeasts are commonly known as contaminants. Their presence in the tettninal stages of debilitating diseases such as leukemia and carcinoma may indicate ' an ability to colonize particularly susceptible individuals.

return to top


Smuts: Common species and are members of the Basidiomycetes Smuts do not usually grow indoors and require a living plant host for sporulation (growth) and will not sponrlate on laboratory media. Smut spores cannot be easily distinguished from Myxomycetes.

Sporotrichum sp.: Soil borne fungi that are commonly considered contaminants.

Stachybotrys sp.: The genus Stachybotrys species, of which Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as S. atra) is the most common, is capable of producing mycotoxins, which can affect occupants producing both mucosal andneurological symptoms. Acute exposure can cause severe symptoms. All species produce mycotoxins that may be lethal to animals if eaten. The presence of Stachybotrys sp. is often overlooked due to the fact that it is difficult to isolate from the air. However, Stachybotrys sp. needs a substantial amount of water and a suitable nutrient substrate (cellulose) to initiate growth. Most often Stachybatrys sp. is only isolated from bulk and/or swab and tape surface samples where conditions are favorable for growth. It is possible that Stachybotrys sp. could exist in other locations that have been subjected to persistent water intrusion.   


Sterile Mycelia: These are unidentifiable parts of fungi that do not have spores, or do not reproduce in test samples. This may be induced by the organism's inability to utilize the laboratory media. An example would be that many Basidiomycetes produce sterile mycelia on laboratory media.

return to top

For more information or quotes contact Advance Environmental Services
at, or by phone at (432) 530-3700 or 1-866-530-3700.
Click here for directions and map to our office.
©2003 Advanced Enviromental Services