Stephanosporium is a genus that lacks a known sexual state and thus belongs to the Fungi Imperfecti. It is a species of Oidiodendron cerealis, which is quite distinct from other Oidiodendron species, and is often placed in a separate genus Stephanosporium by some taxonomists. It has distincitve spores and can be recognized on spore trap samples. It is generally classified as a dematiaceous (dark-walled) fungus. This genus is most closely related to Dactylaria and Scolecobasidium. Opinions differ regarding the taxonomy of these three genera and are considered by many to be synonyms. All three genera are listed in Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi as legitimate genera.
There have been several reports of opportunistic infections caused by these genera but a true pathogenic role had not been firmly establishes. No information is available regarding upper respiratory health effects, or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. As to health effects, one isolation from a case of neurodermitis nuchae in 1969 exists for Odiodendron cerealis/Stephanosporium cereale, with no reports for other Odiodendron species. No information is available regarding toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. May be identified on surfaces by tape lifts, tease mounts from bulk samples, and in air by culturable (Andersen) sampling. Stephanosporium has distinctive spores and can also be recognized on spore trap samples. Spores of other Odiodendron species are arthrospores without distinctive morphology and would be recognized as such on spore trap samples. Natural habitat includes soil, litter, wood, and bark. Stephanosporium cereale has been isolated from air, paper, soil, and textiles.
Opportunistic Pathogen – Causes infection only when the weak or injured condition of the person gives the agent opportunity to infect. Rarely infect patients who are otherwise healthy.
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