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Introduction to Clinical Mycology

Part 2


Slide 18

January 2012

This is an illustration showing you a mushroom on the right hand side and if you look on the underside of the cap of this mushroom, you will notice this is made up of gills. On either side of a gill are these structures called basidia and they produce the basidiospores. The basidiospores are produced on little denticles off of the basidia and they hang down and then those are spread around by the wind or whatever happens as the mushroom cap begins to dry. The basidiospores are not something that you would see in the laboratory at all. Something that is interesting, though, is that we have one pathogen that we deal with that belongs to the group of Basidiomycetes; that is Cryptococcus neoformans. And the rule in mycology is that if you find this sexual form of an organism you give it one name and you give the asexual form another name. Well, the asexual form of this organism is Cryptococcus neoformans. The sexual form is called Filobasidiella neoformans. And this is a very common human pathogen. The problem with this nomenclature is that when you try to change the name of an organism whose name has been around for 25 or 50 years or longer, it is not accepted very well to change that name by people who do the work. And so nine times out of ten, you rarely hear the term Filobasidiella neoformans even though it is botanically correct. So this is the example of something that belongs to the Basidiomycetes.



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