DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Filamentous allergenic fungus (Alternaria alternata). Alternaria is a dematiaceous (phaeoid) fungus commonly isolated from plants, soil, food, and indoor building environment. They are causative agents of phaeohyphomycosis and other respiratory allergies. It is one of the main fungal causes of allergy, being a common type I and III allergen. It is the most common species isolated from human infections. Cases of onychomycosis, sinusitis, ulcerated cutaneous infections, and keratitis, as well as visceral infections and osteomyelitis have been reported. The production of melanin-like pigment is one of its major morphological characteristics. These moulds are characterized by their dark pigmentation due to melanin, which absorbs harmful UV-radiation. Alternaria alternata also causes leaf spots, rots and blights in plants. Magnification: x400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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