Hyphal fungi: The three photos below were taken at approximately the same magnification. Identify each fungus and give characteristic features of size, branching, and septation. All are stained with the Gomori methenamine silver (GMS) stain.

Left: Answer | Middle: Answer | Right: Answer

Clinical summaryDiscussion

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Candida: Yeast forms (blastospores) bud to form an elongate pseudohypha. Constrictions, not septa, occur at the budding point. Size is less than that of a RBC, 2-3 µm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aspergillus: Septate hyphae with predominant acute angle branching. Size is about that of a RBC, 4-7 µm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zygomycete (e.g. Mucor): Nonseptate hyphae with 90°-angle branching. Folds (arrow) can simulate septa. Size is greater than that of a RBC, 10-15 µm.