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Conidiobolus Mold Species

Conidiobolus species is a causative agent of Entomophthoromycosis.

(Information from @ 2005)



Taxonomic Classifications


Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Zygomycota

Subphylum: Zygomycotina
Order: Entomophthorales  

Family: Anylistaceae

Genus: Conidiobolus



Conidiobolus Mold Pictures


Conidiobolus microsopic photograph from doctor fungus

(Image Courtesy of @ 2005)


Take note of the microscopic morphology of Conidiobolus coronatus showing several mature, spherical sporangiola (conidia) with hair-like appendages, called villae and prominent papillae, marking the site of former attachment to the sporangiophore.



Entomophthoromycosis caused by Conidiobolus from Doctor Fungus

(Image Courtesy of @ 2005)


Entomophthoromycosis caused by Conidiobolus coronatus in a patient seen at the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1972 from the then French Camaroons. Note the massive swelling and distortion of the subcutaneous tissue of the nasal and perioral regions, with a large polypoid protrusion on the inner aspect of the lower lip.



Conidiobolus is a cosmopolitan fungus commonly found in humid soils and decaying plant material.  It is also isolated from parasitized insects and amphibians.  The majority of human infection cases come from tropical and subtropical regions and particularly at Central America, equatorial Africa, and India.





The genus Conidiobolus contains a number of species. The most widespread ones are Conidiobolus coronatus, Conidiobolus incongruus and Conidiobolus lamprauges.



Pathogenicity and Health Effects


Conidiobolus species is a causative agent of subcutaneous infection in humans which involves the nasal mucosa and maxillofacial tissues.  This chronic inflammatory granulomatous infection is also referred to as entomophthoromycosis conidiobolae.  It involves facial subcutaneous tissues and paranasal sinuses and is characterized by the formation of firm, subcutaneous nodules or polyps.  The infection may be acquired through breathing in of airborne mold spores or through a minor trauma such as an insect bite.  The infected host is commonly a healthy individual working outdoors in tropical areas.  However, the infection may also develop in patients with underlying pathologies such as neutropenia or Burkitt's lymphoma.  Thus, the species is considered as an opportunistic pathogen as well.  Fatal, deeply invasive infections are encountered very seldom.  Health cases involving pulmonary and pericardial have also been reported.


Conidiobolus species are the causative agents of infections in humans, sheep, dogs, deer, and horses.



Macroscopic Appearance


     Colonies grow very rapid and are initially glabrous and waxy in texture and become powdery after aerial hyphae development;

      Surface colony color is white becoming beige to brown by aging and while pale on the reverse; and

      Satellite colonies are formed due to discharged sporangioles by the sporangiophores.



Microscopic Appearance


      More or less septated hyphae, unbranched sporangiophores, conidia spores with diameter ranging from 10 - 30 m, zygospores, and chlamydoconidia are present;

      The sporangiophores with size ranging from 18 to 22 x 60 90 m are scarcely differentiated from vegetative hyphae and are slightly tapered towards the tip which carry unicellular round primary spores that are forcibly discharged at maturity;

      One spored sporangioles called ballistospores are ejectible, round to pyriform in shape but with a prominent papilla which is the site of former attachment to the sporangiophore;

      Villose sporangioles are formed in old cultures and have smooth surface and covered with hair-like appendages;

      The primary sporangioles may germinate and produce spore bearing sporangiophores and some primary sporangioles themselves may also produce numerous secondary sporangioles which, in turn, form a corona around the primary sporangioles; and

      Zygospores are commonly thick walled, globose to elongate in shape, and without beaks.



Laboratory Precautions


Only general laboratory precautions are required, no special safety measures needed.





Data on in vitro activity of anti fungal agents isolated of Conidiobolus are very limited.  Generated considerably high MICs for limited colonies of Conidiobolus coronatus and Conidiobolus lamprauges isolates tested are amphotericin B, flucytosine, fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, and miconazole. 

Potassium iodide, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and azole derivatives have been used as treatment; however, there is yet no standard regimen for treatment of Conidiobolus infections.

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The mycological information gathered and organized in this extensive research on different Pathogenic Molds was sourced out from the list of informative websites and reference book below:


 A Clinical Laboratory Handbook: Identifying Filamentous Fungi by St. Germain, Guy and R. Summerbell.

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