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Scedosporium Mold Species

Scedosporium species is a causative agent of Brain Abscess, Mycetoma, Hyalohyphomycosis, and Phaeohyphomycosis.

(Information from @ 2005)



Taxonomic Classifications


Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota

Class: Euascomycetes

Order: Microascales

Family: Microascaceae
Genus: Scedosporium

Scedosporium Mold Pictures


Scedosporium microscopic morphology

(Image Courtesy of @ 2005)


Microscopic morphology of the anamorphic state Scedosporium apiospermum showing numerous, single - celled, pale brown, broadly clavate to ovoid conidia, borne singly or in small groups on elongate, simple or branched conidiophores or laterally on hyphae.

Scedosporium colony morphology

(Image Courtesy of @ 2005)


Rapid growth of Scedosporium species after 5 days on Sabourauds medium showing the non - diffusible grayish brown pigment on both obverse (left) and reverse (right) of the plate.




Scedosporium brain abscess

(Image Courtesy of @ 2005)


Scedosporium Brain Abscess


Blankophore preparation of aspirated pus showing septate hyphae suggestive of a fungal etiology and features (conidia) suggestive of Scedosporium species.



Scedosporium is a cosmopolitan filamentous fungus which is commonly isolated from rural soils, from polluted water, from composts, and from manure of cattle and fowl.  Scedosporium occasionally causes infections in humans.



The genus Scedosporium contains two species namely, Scedosporium apiospermum and Scedosporium prolificans. There is no sexual form or teleomorph known for Scedosporium prolificans while Pseudallescheria boydii is the teleomorph of Scedosporium apiospermum.


Pathogenicity and Health Effects

Both immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts can be infected by Scedosporium prolificans.  Subcutaneous infections, osteomyelitis, and arthritis are commonly post traumatic and may affect otherwise healthy individuals. 


Due to various reasons, on the other hand, disseminated infections which are often fatal are generally encountered in immunosuppressed neutropenic patients.  Scedosporium prolificans is now the known common causative agent of disseminated phaeohyphomycosisScedosporium prolificans has been reported to cause ocular infections (keratouveitis) and colonization.  Cases with pneumonia, meningoencephalitis, and endocarditis have also been reported.  


Macroscopic Appearance

     Growth rate is very rapid at 25C and colonies are initially cottony and moist (yeast like) becoming flat with fine, short, mycelial tufts in texture in maturation; and

     The surface colony color is light gray to black becoming dark gray to black in time while reverse is gray to black;


Microscopic Appearance

      Septate hyaline hyphae, conidiogenous cells (annellides), and conidia are present;

      Annellides may form directly from hyphae or are formed at the tips of the conidiophores, flask shaped with swollen base part and elongated neck;

      Conidia are oval shaped, olive to brown in color, with a slightly narrowed, truncated base, unicellular, with size of 2 5 x 3 13 m, and appear in clusters at the tips of the annellides; Additionally, some isolates may produce round, thick walled conidia which are formed directly from the hyphae (present in Scedosporium asexual state); and

      After two to three weeks of incubation, brown cleistothecia are often present in the sexual state of Pseudallescheria boydii.


Laboratory Precautions

General laboratory precautions are required, no special safety measures needed.



Scedosporium prolificans is resistant to amphotericin B, flucytosine, ketoconazole, miconazole, fluconazole, and itraconazole.  Showed no or very limited in vitro activities against Scedosporium prolificans isolates are voriconazole, the novel triazole Syn 2869 and caspofungin. 


Although either itraconazole or terbinafine has no activity against most isolates of Scedosporium prolificans, the combination of these two drug agents proved to be active in in vitro 95% of the isolates after 48 hours of incubation.  Additionally, in this combination study antagonism was not observed. 


Treatment of infections caused by Scedosporium prolificans is difficult due to its primary multi resistant nature.  Therapy of amphotericin B alone or in combination with flucytosine, fluconazole, or itraconazole has been used in Scedosporium prolificans - infection cases.  The mortality rate, however, has been very high in most disseminated infection cases.  Liposomal amphotericin B combined with G - CSF seemed to improve survival in an immunocompromised murine model with disseminated Scedosporium prolificans infection.  Post traumatic infections which include arthritis in immunocompetent cases have responded to fluconazole or surgical debridement alone. 

Optimal treatment of Scedosporium prolificans infections remains yet unidentified and there is a great demand for novel agents with positive activity.  Significantly, the clinical outcome is closely linked with the immune status of the host, degree of the infection, and viability of concomitant surgical debridement. 

Finally, optimal treatment of Scedosporium prolificans infections remains yet unknown and there is a great demand for novel agents with favorable activity. Significantly, the clinical outcome is closely associated with the immune status of the host, extent of the infection, and feasibility of concomitant surgical debridement.


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 below:

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


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