Fact Sheet: Aspergillus brasiliensis
- Aspergillus brasiliensis ( A. brasiliensis) was discovered in 1729 by Pier Antonio Micheli, a priest.
- A. brasiliensis is a spore producing fungi that produces black conidia (spores) that are readily dispersed in the environment.
- A. brasiliensis is a member of the genus Aspergillus. There are approximately 180 species of Aspergillus, but fewer than 40 of them are known to cause infections in humans.
- Aspergillus makes reference to this microorganism’s shape – Pier Antonio thought it looked like an aspergillus (a holy water sprinkler) under the microscope.
- A. brasiliensisis a member of the black aspergilli group of organisms.
- First known as Aspergillus niger, it was renamed in 2010 – molecular testing indicates organisms previously designated as Aspergillus nigeractually belong to the brasiliensis species.
- It is used extensively in industry, in particular for enzyme production.
- All black aspergilli grow well on wheat bran, a crude plant biomass.
- A. brasiliensishas been found to be thermotolerant and has shown a tolerance to temperature variances from extreme heat to freezing, further indicating that this fungus can be found nearly anywhere.
- As moulds typically like damp environments, it is said that drying damp clothes on radiators can encourage Aspergillus to grow.
- People with weakened immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing health problems due to brasiliensis.
- Aspergillus genus is responsible for around 75% cases of otomycosis (an infection of the external auditory canal and auricle), and brasiliensis is the most common cause.
- A. brasiliensis can cause pulmonary infections. In rare cases it will invade existing pulmonary cavities and create a ball of matted hyphae known as aspergilloma. This aspergilloma may be present for years and may produce oxalic acid in situ, which may lead to renal problems caused by oxalosis.
In the Lab / at Wickham Laboratories Ltd
- Media such as Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA) can be used to examine for the presence/absence of brasiliensis. Colonies that are initially white / yellowish that turn black in older cultures indicates a A. brasiliensis presence.
- The presence / absence of brasiliensis is one of the standard Quality Control (QC) tests required in the British, European, Japanese and US Pharmacopoeias for all Products (Ph. Eur. 2.6.13, USP <62>, JP 4.05).
- It is one of the microorganisms required in both the Preservative Efficacy Test (Efficacy of Antimicrobial Preservation Ph Eur 5.1.3 and Antimicrobial Effectiveness Test USP <51>) for all products.
- It is one of the gallery of microorganisms used in growth promotion tests of media for Microbiological Quality of Non-sterile products (Ph. Eur.2.6.12 & 2.6.13, USP <61> & <62>, JP 4.05) and media for Sterility Testing (Ph. Eur. 2.6.1, USP <71>, JP 4.06).
- It can be used as a challenge microorganism for Disinfectant Testing, Zone of Inhibition testing and Log Reduction testing.
- The optimal growth temperature is 20-25°C for 5-7 days. To get sporulation it is best to leave the plates for the full 7 days.