DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Green mould (Aspergillus flavus) - asexual conidia). Aspergillus flavus is a wide spread saprophyte found in soil, seeds, fruits and decaying vegetation. It is also found indoors on water damaged carpets and building materials. It is one of the Aspergillus species which causes aspergillosis, commonly in the tropics. Aspergillosis is a respiratory lung infection in people with weakened lungs or that are immune deficient (especially AIDS patients). This fungus produces aflatoxin, a group of virulent mycotoxins that are known animal carcinogens. These mycotoxins are can induce liver cancer in humans. The toxins may contaminate stored food (particularly carbohydrates). A. flavus has also been reported to be allergenic and its presence is associated with asthma. Magnification: x800 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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