Paecilomyces variotii is widespread in composts, soils and food products. The genus Paecilomyces may be distinguished from the closely related genus Penicillium by having long slender divergent phialides and colonies that are never typically green.
Paecilomyces Variotii is one of the 36 species of molds genetically identified in an index called ERMI that is an acronym for Environmental Relative Moldiness Index that uses qualitative and quantitative PCR (qPCR) analyses for fungi. PCR is basically the identification of mold species by DNA sequencing. More information on ERMI testing.
Typical Areas Found
As such, the fungus is a common contaminant of heat-treated foods and juices. It is also known from decaying wood and creosote-treated wood utility poles. P.Variotii can be found in composts, soils, and foods, and its spores observed in foods, indoor air, wood, soil, and carpet dust.
Paecilomyces Variotii is thermophilic, able to grow at high temperatures as high as 50–60 °C. It can withstand brief exposures of up to 15 min at 80–100 °C. Accordingly, it typically causes spoilage of food products following pasteurization or other heat-treatments.
Besides clinical samples, the fungus is a common contaminant of moisture-damaged materials in the indoor environment including carpet, wall boarding, and wood.
The fungus is known from a number of non-food items including compost, rubber, glue, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation and creosote-treated wooden poles.
Mycotoxins Produced by Paecilomyces Variotii
This species produces the mycotoxin, viriditoxin. Viriditoxin is effective as for antibacterial activity.
Paecilomyces species are common environmental moulds and are seldom associated with human infection, however, the species, P. variotii and P. marquandii are emerging as causative agents of mycotic keratitis and of hyalohyphomycosis in the immunocompromised patient. It is also associated with many types of human infections and is among the emerging causative agents of opportunistic mycoses in immunocompromised hosts. Paecilomyces can cause hyalohyphomycosis. P. variotii is the most frequently encountered organisms relating to specified health complications and infections.
Colonies are fast growing, powdery or suede-like, gold, green-gold, yellow-brown, lilac or tan, but never green or blue-green as in Penicillium. Phialides are swollen at their bases, gradually tapering into a rather long and slender neck, and occur solitarily, in pairs, as verticils, and in penicillate heads. Long, dry chains of single-celled, hyaline to dark, smooth or rough, ovoid to fusoid conidia are produced in basipetal succession from the phialides.