Aspergillus Products



The genus Aspergillus includes over 185 species. Around 20 species have been reported as causative agents of opportunistic infections in humans. Among these, Aspergillus fumigatus is the most commonly isolated species, followed by Aspergillus flavus. Aspergillus fumigatus is the major cause of aspergillosis. This organism causes both invasive and allergic aspergillosis. Aspergillus also produce fungal toxins called mycotoxins. Aflatoxin is produced by Aspergillus flavus as it grows on corn and peanuts. The toxin is poisonous to humans by ingestion and causes liver disease. Aspergillus nidulans can produce the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin. This toxin has been shown to produce liver and kidney damage in lab animals. Aspergillus oschraceus,found in grains, soil and salted food products can produce a kidney toxin called oschratoxin A, which may produce oschratoxicosis in humans. Ochratoxin may also be produced by other aspergillus and penicillium species. Other toxins that can be produced by this fungus include penicillic acid, xanthomegnin and viomellein. Aspergillus infections have a very high mortality rate. Their incidence is growing because of the increased number of immunocompromised patients. Previous to antibodies such as these, special stains were used to identify aspergillus. Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus niger are used extensively in industrial scale fermentation to produce enzymes for processing household food and drink products.