is a dematiaceous, cosmopolitan saprobic fungus that inhabits the soil and
plant material. Wangiella species is an occasional agent of
various infections in humans.
The only species
classified under the genus Wangiella is Wangiella dermatitidis.
However, the taxonomic position of this species is not totally
consistent as some authorities would classify it in the genus Wangiella
as Wangiella dermatitidis, others would prefer to classify it in
the genus Exophiala as Exophiala
Pathogenicity and Health Effects
considered as an occasional agent of subcutaneous
of disseminated infection in the immunocompromised patient at times.
The infection is usually subsequent to the traumatic implantation
of the fungus into the dermis, and the fungus normally remains localized.
Wangiella dermatitidis is a neurotropic fungus. Infections in the
central nervous system and as well as cases of
endocarditis have been reported. In animals, Wangiella
dermatitidis may cause
bovine abortion and still birth.
Growth rate is slow and colonies are initially moist, shiny, yeast – like
becoming velvety around the periphery after incubation at 25°C;
surface colony color is black to olive black and as well as on the
Aerial hyphae develop after three to four weeks of incubation; and
has the ability to grow at
high temperatures, as high as
42°C and does not
assimilate potassium nitrate.
Septate brown hyphae, conidiophores, phialides, and yeast cells are
Brown, budding, yeast – like cells are dominant in young culture when
examined microscopically but as the culture gets older, hyphae and
phialides are formed from these yeast – like cells;
Phialides are brown, branched, flask – shaped to cylindrical, and without
Conidiophores are commonly difficult to differentiate from vegetative
Conidia are unicellular, brown, round - to oval – shaped, with size
ranging from 2 – 4 x 2.5 – 6 µm, and are found in clusters at the tips of
the phialides and down the sides of the conidiophores;
difference between Exophiala species and Wangiella dermatitidis
is that the former produces annellides while the latter produces
phialides. However, it must also be noted that annellide production has
been observed in some isolates of Wangiella dermatitidis.
precautions are required, no special safety measures needed.
Very limited data
are available with regards to the susceptibility activity of Wangiella
dermatitidis. It is observed that amphotericin B, itraconazole,
terbinafine, and voriconazole are active in vitro against Wangiella
dermatitidis and voriconazole yields lower MICs compared to
appears as the preferred treatment in cases with subcutaneous infection.
Amphotericin B alone or in combination with ketoconazole and rifampin has
also been used. However, best medical treatment of Wangiella
infections is not well – known.