Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link Skip directly to A-Z link Skip directly to A-Z link
Volume 12, Number 3—March 2006
Etymologia

Etymologia: Aspergillus

Cite This Article

[as´´pər-jil´əs]

Figure 1

Thumbnail of Conidiophore of Aspergillus fumigatus. Image courtesy of Libero Ajello, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Figure 1. Conidiophore of Aspergillus fumigatus. Image courtesy of Libero Ajello, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Figure 2

Thumbnail of An aspergillum (from the Latin aspergere, "to scatter"), a device used for sprinkling holy water during a liturgical service. Photograph courtesy of Davide Borgonovo.

Figure 2. An aspergillum (from the Latin aspergere, "to scatter"), a device used for sprinkling holy water during a liturgical service. Photograph courtesy of Davide Borgonovo.

Genus of filamentous, ubiquitous fungi, commonly isolated from soil, plant debris, and indoor air. Aspergillus was first described in 1729 by Pier Antonio Micheli, an Italian priest and biologist who was the first person to attempt the scientific study of fungi. Micheli opposed the idea of "spontaneous generation" by showing that fungal spores grown on a medium would produce the same kind of fungus. The shape of Aspergillus (Figure 1) reminded him of an aspergillum (from the Latin aspergere, "to scatter"), a device used for sprinkling holy water during a liturgical service (Figure 2).

Sources: Dorland's illustrated medical dictionary. 30th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2003 and the Illinois Mycological Association, available from http://www.ilmyco.gen.chicago.il.us/

Top

Figures

Top

Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid1203.et1203

Related Links

Top

Table of Contents – Volume 12, Number 3—March 2006

Page created: January 27, 2012
Page updated: January 27, 2012
Page reviewed: January 27, 2012
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
file_external