Penicillium species are very common moulds. About 200 species have been described. They are commonly called the blue or green moulds because they produce enormous quantities of greenish, bluish or yellowish spores which give them their characteristic colours. Their spores are found everywhere in the air and soil. They are the most common causes of spoilage of fruits and vegetables. For example, Penicillium italicum and Penicillium digitatum are common causes of rot of citrus fruits, while Penicillium expansum is known to spoil apples. Most species are active producer of toxins.
The most common Penicillium species in indoor environment is Penicillium chrysogenum. It is widespread and has a wide range of habitats. In indoor environment, it is extremely common on damp building materials, walls and wallpaper, floor, carpet mattress and upholstered furniture dust. It produces a number of toxins of moderate toxicity. It is allergenic and can infect immuno-compromised patients.
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