Melanized fungi, those with dark pigments in their hyphae or conidia, cause several significant diseases including phaeohyphomycosis, chromoblastomycosis, and mycetoma. Correct identification of the causative fungi is critical to appropriate treatment. In this 3-part Hot Topic, Dr. Roberts describes the characteristics of melanized fungi, the steps necessary to identify the specific fungi present, and provides a visual overview of some of the common melanized fungi. Part 2 focuses on rapidly growing fungi, and Part 3 on polymorphic fungi.
Dr. Roberts is a Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and Microbiology, as well as a consultant in the Division of Clinical Microbiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.