Fungal Infections

Species/common name:

Aspergillus terreus ( older name: Sterigmatomyces hortai)

Teleomorph: None

Natural habitat

Found in a wide variety of habitats; soil, compost, dust.


A. terreus has worldwide distribution.


Less common than A. fumigatus and some other common Aspergillus species as A. flavus or A. niger; however, it remains one of the more commonly encountered, opportunistic moulds causing aspergillosis. It is more common in certain geographical locations .


Aspergillosis refers to infection by any of the Aspergillus species. Infection can be limited to the lungs (pulmonary) or spread throughout the body (disseminated Aspergillosis) in more severe cases. The allergenicity of A. terreus is unclear, but it has been reported to cause ABPA.

The spectrum of diseases caused by A. terreus covers

1)      Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA)

2)      Aspergillus bronchitis and invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis

3)      Invasive (pulmonary) aspergillosis

4)      Disseminated aspergillosis

Culture peculiarities

It is a brown Aspergillus in all culture media. In Czapek dox agar the appearance on reverse is cinnamon/sandy. Microscopically, the conidial heads are densely columnar and the vesicles are subspherical with conidiogenous cells biseriate. Conidiophore stalks are smooth walled. Conidia arer smooth-walled.

Antifungal resistance (intrinsic and acquired)

Intrinsic resistance to amphotericin B, with rare exceptions. Triazole resistance has been acquired rarely.

Biosafety level 2

This fungal species may be managed in a laboratory with safety containment level 2.

Industrial use

Original source of lovastatin. It is also used to produce important organic acids, such as itaconic acid and cis-aconitic acid as well as commercially important enzymes such as xylanase.


Aspergillus terreus conidial head with spores

Colonies grown on Czapek dox agar

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