Need some facts on the fungal organisms (Aspergillus) that cause Aspergillosis?
Answer the questions below regarding the fungal organisms called 'Aspergillus' -
- Type of cell?
- Multicellular or unicellular?
- Cell wall composition?
The genus Aspergillus, though world wide in distribution, is more prevalent in tropical countries. Conidia of Aspergillus are always present in the air and cause contamination in laboratory cultures of bacteria and fungi. The various species are of great importance because of their harmful as well as useful activities. When Aspergillus infects lungs, it causes pulmonary Aspergillosis. The symptoms resemble tuberculosis.
The hyphae are hyaline, septate and branched. The cells are multinucleate. The conidial state is dominant and the sexual stage is either absent or rarely produced. Species which have only conidial stage are called Aspergillus. The fungal cell wall contains 80-90% carbohydrates; the remainder being proteins and lipids. A typical features of fungal cell wall is the presence of chitin and not cellulose.
Aspergillus is known as forming a group of fungi, aspergillus group, from where, as about 20 species from the approximately 185 contained by the group, are the basis of opportunistic infection in human.
The type of fungus cell is eukaryotic, but presents important differences from the rest of eukaryotes. One of the important difference consists in the structure of the fungus wall, which, unlike the other eukaryotes( where contains cellulose and pectin), contain chitin. Chitin is a polyssacharide, and could be seen as cellulose but with one hydroxyl group. Chitin has bee recognized as being an efficient provoker of the defending mechanism in plants.
Aspergillus, being a fungus, presents the peculiar way of vegetative growing, namely hypahe. Aspergillus have septate hyphae.
Having hyphae, it results that aspergillus is a multicellular organism, because only unicellulars (yeasts) doesn't have hyphae!
Aspergillums ubiquitous fungus is found in nature. It has no known sexual spore production. Members of the species are flavus, furnigatus, glacus, nidulans, niger, terreus, and versicolor. They can be; infectious, causing opportunistic infections; causes allergies; and can be toxic. It is considered to be the most common cause of invasive infections. About twenty species are harmful to mankind but there are over 185 species of Aspergillums.
Aspergillus flavus obtains its nutrients from dead or decaying material. It is an opportunistic pathogen that can infect humans, plants, and animals. It reprodiuces asexually. It is also a mold and grows by producing hyphae, a threadlike one of the thread like element of the mycelium. The mycelia and conidia can be seen without a microscope but the hyphae can not.