Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Aspergillus fumigatus

Contributor(s): Richard Walker




  • Kingdom: Fungi.
  • Division: Amastigomycota.
  • Order: Eurotiales.
  • Genus: Aspergillus.
  • Species: fumigatus.


  • L: asperge - to sprinkle; fumus - smoke.

Active Forms

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Clinical Effects



  • Grows abundantly in decaying vegetation, sewage sludge, compost, decomposing wood chips, and mouldy hay.
  • A. fumigatus becomes predominant over competing microbes in fermented plant material.


  • Aspergillus molds consist of septate hyphae and asexual fruiting bodies borne on conidiophores.
  • Conidiophore originates in a foot cell in the mycelium and ends in an expanding vesicle covered by a layer of phialides from which chains of conidia (asexual reproductive units) arise.
  • Only mycelium is seen in tissues.
  • Fruiting bodies can be seen in air sac infections in birds.


  • Inhalation or ingestion from the environment.

Pathological effects

  • Depends on impaired defences in host to assume pathogenic role.
  • Produces hemolysins, proteolytic enzymes and other toxic factors but their role in pathogenesis is not known.
  • Horses: guttural pouch mycosis, nasal granulomas.
  • Dogs: otitis externa Skin: otitis externa (often mixed infection), chronic rhinitis (nasal aspergillosis Nasal aspergillosis/penicillosis ).
  • Cattle: abortion, pneumonia, mastitis.
  • Birds: pneumonia and respiratory tract infection.
  • Humans: local infection, generalized infection and allergic reactions (often affects immunocompromised patients).
  • Cats: rare, pneumonia.

Other Host Effects

  • Opportunistic pathogen.


Control via chemotherapies


  • Not available.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Sharp N J, Sullivan M, Harvey C E et al (1993) Treatment of canine nasal aspergillosis with enilconazole. JVIM (1), 40-43 PubMed.
  • Pavletic M M & Clark G N (1991) Open nasal cavity and frontal sinus treatment of chronic canine aspergillosis. Vet Surg 20 (1), 43-48 PubMed.
  • Sharp N H J, Harvey C E, Sullivan M (1991) Canine nasal aspergillosis and penicillinosis. Comp Cont Ed Pract Vet 13 (1), 41-46, 47 VetMedResource.