Talaromyces marneffei


  • Dimorphic fungus, recent taxonomy change to Talaromyces from Penicillium subgenus Biverticillium, reflects phylogenetic distinction from other subgenera of Penicillium. Disease still referred to as penicilliosis.
    • Mold at 25oC with short, hyaline, septate and branched hyphae;
    • Yeast at 37oC with cerebriform, smooth, light tan colonies; secretes bright red pigment that appears pink as it diffuses into agar.
      • Yeast form 3-6 x 2 µm, sausage-shaped with central transverse septum.
  • T. marneffei geographically distributed across tropical SE Asia. Endemic in: NE India, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, southern China.
  • Reservoir: Bamboo rats
    • Found in 100% of sample of hoary bamboo rats (cultured from lungs, liver and spleen) in Guangxi Province, China.[13]
    • Organism also isolated from soil of bamboo rats’ burrows.
  • Transmitted primarily via inhalation; also direct inoculation, possibly ingestion.
  • Proliferates in macrophages and spreads via reticuloendothelial system.[3]

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Last updated: January 14, 2020