Aspergillus fumigatus Home

 A. fumigatus conidia, Courtesy of Dr. Volk


What is it?

Aspergillus fumigatus is a pathogenic fungus found in the Ascomycota Phylum. Its adverse effects on the animals cause a deadly disease called aspergillosis. Because the spores of this organism are found virtually everywhere, anyone can be at risk. Just breathing can cause onset of the disease. Most of the time, it is found in soil habitats, construction areas, or other dusty environments.



What is with the Latin name?

No common name was ever created, but this name has a history. The priest of each Roman Catholic Church used an aspergillum to sprinkle holy water on members of the church during Sunday mass. This figure closely resembles the conidial head of members of the Aspergillus genus. Therefore, the root of the word was taken up in the name of this genus. The pictures below depict a place for holy water with a classic Psalm using the word asperges, meaning to sprinkle. In the English language, the Psalm means “You will sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be cleansed. You will wash me, and I will be made whiter than snow” (The Sacred Bible n.d.).


Asperges Psalms, Courtesy of Dr. Volk  Asperges Psalms, Courtesy of Dr. Volk 
The Asperges Psalm   The Asperges Psalm, San Antonio, TX


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The University of Wisconsin- La Crosse

Created April 15, 2008


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