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Trichoderma Mold Species

The U.S. Government's Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] classifies Trichoderma species as  an allergen and irritant and a cause of Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and Dermatitis.



Trichoderma species is a causative agent of Hyalohyphomycosis and Peritonitis.

(Information from @ 2005)


Taxonomic Classifications


Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota

Class: Euascomycetes

Order: Hypocreales

Family: Hypocreaceae

Genus: Trichoderma


Trichoderma Mold Pictures

Trichoderma microscopic morphology

(Image Courtesy of @ 2005)


Microscopic morphology of Trichoderma harzianum


 Take note of the repeatedly branched conidiophores, irregularly verticillate, bearing clusters of divergent, often irregularly bent, flask - shaped phialides.



Trichoderma mold culture

(Image Courtesy of @ 2005)


A 6 - 7 day - old Trichoderma viride mold culture grown on malt extract agar.



Trichoderma is a cosmopolitan, filamentous fungus that is commonly isolated from soil and from wood.  Hypocrea species are the teleomorph of some Trichoderma species.  Trichoderma may cause infections in presence of certain influential factors, aside from commonly being considered as a contaminant.



There are five species belonging to the genus Trichoderma namely, Trichoderma harzianum, Trichoderma koningii, Trichoderma longibrachiatum, Trichoderma pseudokoningii, and Trichoderma viride.  Apart from these, there are two other species that have been proposed, Trichoderma asperelum and Trichoderma citrinoviride; however, their identity and clinical significance remain unreliable and unverified.  In the differentiation of these species from one another, the morphological features of their conidia and phialides are of great importance. 


Pathogenicity and Health Effects

Trichoderma species are usually considered as non pathogenic, on the other hand, Trichoderma viride has been reported as a causative agent of pulmonary infection, peritonitis in a dialysis patient, and perihepatic infection in a liver transplant patient.  Trichoderma infections are opportunistic in nature and develop in immunocompromised patients, such as neutropenic cases and transplant patients, as well as those with chronic renal failure, chronic lung disease, or amyloidosis.  Disseminated infections due to Trichoderma have also been reported. 


Macroscopic Appearance

     Growth rate is rapid and colonies are wooly becoming compact in time; and

     The surface colony color is white and scattered greenish patches become visible as the conidia are formed and may form concentric rings at times while on the reverse, the color is pale, tan, or yellowish;


Microscopic Appearance

      Septate hyaline hyphae, conidiophores, phialides, and conidia are present;

      Trichoderma longibrachiatum and Trichoderma viride may also produce chlamydospores;

      Phialides are hyaline, branched, flask shaped, inflated at the base, solitary or may appear in clusters, and are attached to the conidiophores at right angles;

      Conidiophores are hyaline, branched, and may occasionally demonstrate a  pyramidal arrangement; and

      Conidia are unicellular, round or ellipsoidal, green in color, smooth walled or rough, with an average diameter of 3 m, and are grouped in sticky heads at the tips of the phialides, however, these clusters usually get disrupted during slide preparation procedure intended for microscopic examination.


Laboratory Precautions

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


Very limited data are available with regards to the susceptibility activity of Trichoderma species.  MICs of amphotericin B and itraconazole may be elevated.  Posaconazole, caspofungin, and anidulafungin show promising activity in vitro against Trichoderma isolates.  To note, voriconazole exerts activity against Trichoderma longibrachiatum isolates.

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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