Mould Identification: A Virtual Self Assessment
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Unknown 14 = Fusarium solani
Case History: A 25-year-old female in good health developed a corneal ulcer in her right eye associated with daily disposable soft contact lens wear. There was no history of trauma to the eye, and she denied overnight wear. Corneal scrapings were taken and direct examination revealed the presence of hyaline fungal hyphae and cultures grew the fungus shown below.
Direct Microscopy : (Lactophenol Cotton Blue Stain)
Identification of Fusarium species is often difficult due to the variability between isolates (e.g. in shape and size of conidia and colony color) and because features that are required are not always well developed (eg. the absence of macroconidia in some isolates after subculture). The important characteristics used in the identification of Fusarium species are as follows. Note, sporulation may need to be induced in some isolates and a good slide culture is essential.
Most Fusarium species are soil fungi and have a world-wide distribution. Some are plant pathogens causing root and stem rot, vascular wilt or fruit rot. Other species cause storage rot and are important mycotoxin producers. Several species, notably F. oxysporum, F. solani and F. moniliforme, are recognized as being pathogenic to man and animals causing mycotic keratitis, onychomycosis and hyalohyphomycosis, especially in burn victims and bone marrow transplant patients.
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