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Fusarium verticillioides
Fusarium verticillioides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Hypocreales
Genus: Fusarium

Fusarium is a large genus of filamentous fungi widely distributed in soil and in association with plants. Most species are harmless saprobes and are relatively abundant members of the soil microbial community. Some species produce mycotoxins in cereal crops that can affect human and animal health if it enters the food chain. The main toxins produced by these Fusarium are fumonisins and trichothecenes.


The genus includes a number of economically important plant pathogenic species. The genome of the wheat and maize pathogen, Fusarium graminearum, has been sequenced. In addition, some species may cause a range of opportunistic infections in humans. In humans with normal immune systems, fusarial infections may occur in the nails ( onychomycosis) and in the cornea ( keratomycosis or mycotic keratitis). In humans whose immune systems are weakened in a particular way ( neutropenia, i.e., very low count of the white blood cell type called neutrophils), aggressive fusarial infections penetrating the entire body and bloodstream (disseminated infections) may be caused by members of the Fusarium solani complex, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium verticillioides, Fusarium proliferatum and rarely other fusarial species. The neutropenia in such cases is almost always the result of chemotherapy against certain kinds of leukemia or else heavy use of immunosuppressive drugs in problematic cases of major organ transplant surgery.

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