Fungal Infections

Species name/ common name

Fusarium oxysporum

Natural habitat

It is a common soil fungus and pathogen of plants.


Worldwide distribution.


Unknown. There are no good epidemiology studies documenting the real frequency of this pathogen. Apart from keratitis, it is an infrequent cause of fungal infections. It is the second most frequent species, after Fusarium solani, able to cause human infections.


F. oxysporum causes the following diseases:


Culture peculiarities

Colonies of rapid growth. The mycelium is white usually becoming purple. Sometimes some orange areas are developed. Phialides are short in comparison with Fusarium solani. Microconidia abundant and characteristic (bean shape), never in chains. Macroconidia fusiform, slightly curved. Chlamydospores terminal or intercalary.

Antifungal resistance (intrinsic and acquired)

Fusarium oxysporum is a highly resistant fungus. The most active antifungal is amphotericin B. Voriconazole can show activity against some isolates but it is not the rule. The rest of azole antifungals are inactive as well as the echinocandins.

Biosafety level 2.

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

Industrial use

Produce several mycotoxins and enzymes of industrial use. The related species Fusarium graminearum is used to produce the food mycoprotein Quorn.

Key reading: Tupaki-Sreepurna A, Kindo AJ. Fusarium: The versatile pathogen. Indian J Med Microbiol. 2018 Jan-Mar;36(1):8-17. Review.


Macroscopic appearance of Fusarium oxysporum.

Microscopic appearance of Fusarium oxysporum.

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