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Aspergillus (plural: Aspergilli) is a fungal genus consisting of approximately 250 species 1. 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 1.
A. fumigatus is the commonest of the Aspergillus species to cause disease in humans 3. Inhalation of its spores is associated with pulmonary aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. It may also be associated with hypersensitivity pneumonitis 1.
Other rarer species
History and etymology
Aspergillus was first cataloged in 1729 by the Italian priest and botanist Pier Antonio Micheli who likened their appearance at microscopy to an aspergillum, Latin for a holy water sprinkler 4,5.