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Introduction to Clinical Mycology

Part 2

General Terms Used in Clinical Mycology

Slide 3

January 2012

This is a list of general terms using clinical mycology and the thing that I think most people have trouble with is the language that we use. It is not that the discipline is so difficult to understand, it is the terminology that we use to try to define what we are looking at. Well, these terms here give you examples of things that we use in an everyday basis, and we will just go through these and you will see them enough times that I think they will become clear as we go along. Hyphae- these are tube-like structures that compose a mold colony. If you think of hyphae as being a long garden hose that transports medium and nutrients to the body of the fungus; that is what a hyphal strand is. And we call them hyphae is plural, hypha is singular and we sometimes call them hyphal strands. We know that in some cases the hyphae are divided up into compartments by cross walls which we call septae. And these allow the organism to survive if these pieces break apart. Each one of those can become a separate organism. There are hyphae that lack septations and we call these nonseptate hyphae. There are hyphae that lack pigment, that are just simply clear and stain with the dyes that we use to examine them and they are called hyaline hyphae. Some of the hyphae are pigmented by a dark pigment whether it is brown, dark gray, or black and these are called dematiaceous hyphae. There are structures within the fungal hyphae and at the end of a hyphal strand that are nothing more than an over wintering, and there are round structures in there, chlamydoconidia. And then we see commonly the asexual spores produced by the molds that have septations in their hyphae and these spores are called conidia.

General Terms Used in Clinical Mycology


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