Epicoccum Species

ENVIRONMENTAL

Plant debris, soil. Secondary invader of damaged plant tissue.

SEPTATE OPPORTUNISTS

Hyphae of most opportunists molds contain cross-walls. Those of medical importance fall into the phylum Deuteromycota. The septate opportunistic molds may be divided into those that are dematiaceous (dark-colored hyphae and/or conidia), and those that are hyaline (light colored hyphae and conidia). Organisms with dark hyphae on tease mounts also have dark green to black colonies, especially on the colony reverse. The colonial color aids in the initial identification. Hyaline organisms exhibit light-colored colonial aerial hyphae, but they may be covered over with brightly colored comidia; thus, a tease mount is required. In the following descriptions, key identifying features are capitalized.

DEMATIACEOUS OPPORTUNISTS

Opportunists with dark-colored hyphae may cause phaeohyphomycosis (infection caused by dematiaceous fungi).

PATHOGENICITY

Epicoccum has been associated with allergies.

LABORATORY EVALUATION

CULTURE

On SABHI agar at room temperature, colonial rings of yellow, orange, and brown are sen, and pigments of the same color may diffuse into the agar.

MICROSCOPIC

Thick clusters of SPORODCHIA (short conidiophores) support terminal. DARK round conidia with unconstricted HORIZONTAL and VERTICAL SEPTA. With age, the condidia become rough-walled. Epicoccum superficially resemble the opportunists Ulocladium and Stemphylium.