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School of Molecular & Biomedical Science
The University of Adelaide

Dr David Ellis

Sporothrix schenckii

At 25C, colonies are slow growing, moist and glabrous, with a wrinkled and folded surface. Some strains may produce short aerial hyphae and pigmentation may vary from white to cream to black.  Conidiophores arise at right angles from the thin septate hyphae and are usually solitary, erect and tapered towards the apex.  Conidia are formed in clusters on tiny denticles by sympodial proliferation of the conidiophore, their arrangement often suggestive of a flower.  As the culture ages, conidia are subsequently formed singly along the sides of both conidiophores and undifferentiated hyphae.  Conidia are ovoid or elongated, 3-6 x 2-3 um in size, hyaline, one-celled and smooth-walled. In some isolates, solitary, darkly pigmented, thick-walled, one-celled, obovate to angular conidia may also be observed along the hyphae.

On BHI blood agar at 37C, colonies are glabrous, white to greyish yellow and yeast-like, consisting of spherical or oval budding yeast cells.

Culture of Sporothrix schenckii
Culture of Sporothrix schenckii.

Conidiophores and conidia of S. schenckii
Conidiophores and conidia of S. schenckii.


MIC data is limited.  Antifungal susceptibility testing of individual strains is recommended.

Antifungal MIC ug/mL Antifungal
MIC ug/mL
0.5 (4)
Amphotericin B
4 (16)


Clinical significance:

Sporothrix schenckii has a world-wide distribution, particularly in tropical and temperate regions.  It is commonly found in soil and on decaying vegetation and is a well known pathogen of humans and animals. RG-2 organism.

Sporotrichosis is primarily a chronic mycotic infection of the cutaneous or subcutaneous tissues and adjacent lymphatics characterized by nodular lesions which may suppurate and ulcerate.  Infections are caused by the traumatic implantation of the fungus into the skin, or very rarely, by inhalation into the lungs.  Secondary spread to articular surfaces, bone and muscle is not infrequent, and the infection may also occasionally involve the central nervous system, lungs or genitourinary tract.

Mycosis: Sporotrichosis

Further reading:

Domsch, K.H., W. Gams, and T.H. Anderson. 1980. Compendium of soil fungi. Volume 1. Academic Press, London, UK.

Rippon, J.W. 1988. Medical Mycology. 3rd Edition. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, USA.