Microbe of the Month: Acremonium

Classification Type: Fungi

Cultured from / found in HVAC: Coiling Coils, Diffusers, Grilles, Filters, Drain Pans, Humidifiers

Noted Health Risks: Immune System Diseases, Nail Infection, Corneal Ulcers, Eye Infection, Heart Inflammation

About the Acremonium Fungi

Acremonium is a common type of mould found in HVAC Systems. This type of mould has the appearance of white powder. It can be found and cultured from moist, compact areas within air ducting, drain pains, humidifiers and cooling coils. 

The genus Acremonium (previously known as Cephalosporium) is a large and cosmopolitan group of filamentous Ascomycete fungi containing approximately 100 different species that are largely saprophytes. [7]


Associated Health Risks of Acremonium

Some Acremonium species occur as plant endophytes or plant pathogens and some are animal pathogens, occasionally causing infection in immunocompromised humans.

Acremonium is a mould that starts off small and seemingly non-threatening to then turn into a white, orange, pink or grey powdery substance. Acremonium can team up with other types of mould to cause endocarditis, pneumonia and subcutaneous infections.

Acremonium toxicity has anecdotally been associated with bone marrow and immune system diseases. As noted by Doctor Fungus “Acremonium is one of the causative agents of eumycotic white grain mycetoma,”. Rare cases of “onychomycosis, keratitis, endophthalmitis, endocarditis, meningitis, and other conditions” have been attributed to exposure to acremonium, as well.[2]


Here’s a quick breakdown of those conditions:


Endophthalmitis (Eye Infection)=

Endophthalmitis is a rare but sight-threatening complication that can occur after ocular surgery or trauma or as a consequence of systemic infection[1] .

Endophthalmitis is a purulent inflammation of the intraocular fluids (vitreous and aqueous) usually due to infection. [5]


Endocarditis (Heart Inflammation)

Endocarditis is a life-threatening inflammation of the inner lining of the heart's chambers and valves. Usually caused by an infection. Bacteria, fungi or other germs get into the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart. [6]

Endocarditis is a life-threatening inflammation of the inner lining of the heart's chambers and valves. This lining is called the endocardium.

Onychomycosis (Nail Infections)

Fungal nail infections, also known as “onychomycosis,” are very common. They may affect up to 14% of the general population. Fungal toenail infections are more common than fungal fingernail infections [3].


Keratitis (Corneal Ulcers)

Keratitis (also known as “corneal ulcer”) is an inflammation of the cornea – the clear, dome shaped window located at the front of the eye that covers the iris and pupil[4].

Safe indoor air from a serviced HVAC system means a lower particle count and less breathing difficulties for occupants of the building. Clean-Air are IICRC mould remediation experts with the knowledge and experience to test, treat and eliminate serious mould-related risks within your HVAC system. If you have concerns about the air you are breathing, or would like an HVAC health check, contact our team today.