Aspergillus is a fungal genus consisting of approximately 180 species. It is a ubiquitous fungus frequently found in urban areas especially in decomposing organic matter or water damaged walls and ceilings. Only a few Aspergillus species are associated with human disease.
A. fumigatus is the commonest of the Aspergillus species to cause disease in humans. Inhalation of its spores is associated with pulmonary aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. It may also be associated with hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Other rarer species
- A. niger
- A. nidulans
- A. oryzae
- A. terreus
- A. glaucus
History and etymology
Aspergillus was first cataloged in 1729 by the Italian priest Pier Antonio Micheli who likened their appearance at microscopy to an aspergillum (holy water sprinkler).
Related Radiopaedia articles
- CNS aspergillosis
- fungal sinusitis
- allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA)
- chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis (CNPA) (or subacute invasive pulmonary aspergillosis or semi-invasive aspergillosis)
- airway invasive aspergillosis (or bronchopneumonic aspergillosis)
- angioinvasive aspergillosis
chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) - non-immunocompromised patients
- chronic cavitary pulmonary aspergillosis (CCPA)
- chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis (CNPA)
- chronic fibrosing pulmonary aspergillosis (CFPA): may progress to this from CCPA in untreated
- obstructive bronchopulmonary aspergillosis