Fungal Infections

Species/common name: Rhizopus arrhizus (older name: Rhizopus oryzae)

Teleomorph: None

Natural habitat

It has been isolated from soil, decaying fruit and vegetables, animal feces, and bread.


World wide


The most common cause of mucormycosis


Most common infection is rhinocerebral mucormycosis but other organs can be involved as skin, subcutaneous tissue, and lung. Many cases are associated with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. In haematological patients, the incidence of mucorrmycosis is rising.

Culture peculiarities

R. arrhizus is a quickly growing fungus. In 24 hours, the culture plate is filled with a grey-brownish mycelium. Isolates are partially thermotolerant, able to growth at 40ºC but not a 45ºC.

Antifungal resistance (intrinsic and acquired)

The most active antifungal agents are amphotericin B and posaconazole. Itraconazole has limited activity. R. arrhizus is intrinsically resistant to voriconazole and echinocandins.

Biosafety level 1

This fungal species may be managed in a laboratory with safety containment level 1.

Industrial use

In Asia and Africa is used in the production of alcoholic beverages. It also produces lactic, fumaric and malic acid.

Rhizopus arrhizus

Microscopic appearance of Rhizopus arrhizus

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