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Volume 27, Number 9—September 2021
Etymologia

Talaromyces marneffei

Monika MahajanComments to Author 
Author affiliation: Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

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Talaromyces marneffei [t læ′ ɹɒ maɪ̯s ɪz mɑ:neɪ′]

Figure 1

Hubert Marneffe (1901‒1970) Source: Wikimanche, Institut Pasteur, public domain.

Figure 1. Hubert Marneffe (1901‒1970) Source: Wikimanche, Institut Pasteur, public domain.

Talaromyces marneffei (formerly Penicillium marneffei) is a thermally dimorphic fungus that causes talaromycosis, which was previously called penicilliosis. The genus name Talaromyces is derived from the Greek words tálaros (basket) and múkēs (mushroom). Talaros aptly describes the ascocarp known as a gymnothecium (composed of fine woven hyphae) in which asci are formed. Asexual stages of Talaromyces species were previously known as the species Penicillium of the subgenus Biverticillium. Capponi and Sureau isolated the fungus at Institute Pasteur de Dalat in Vietnam in 1955 from Chinese bamboo rats (Rhizomys sinensis). In 1959, Gabriel Segretain, after an accidental finger prick with a needle containing the yeast cells, described the fungus as a new species, naming it Penicillium marneffei in honor of Hubert Marneffe (1901‒1970), the Director of the Institute in Indochina (Figure 1).

Figure 2

A) Ultrastructural morphology of Talaromyces marneffei, including chains of single-celled, teardrop-shaped conidia, each originating from its respective, flask-shaped phialide. Source: Libero Ajello, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid = 4240). B) Superior (front) view of a petri dish culture plate on which a wrinkled colony of Penicillium marneffei has been cultivated. Source: James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid = 1879). C) Mouse testicle tissue specimen showing globe-shaped yeast cells of T. marneffei undergoing multiplication by binary fission not by mitosis (methenamine silver stain). Source: Libero Ajello, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid = 4235); D) Gradual conversion of mycelial phase of T. marneffei (growth at 25°C) to yeast phase on brain heart infusion agar after incubation at 37°C. Mycelial phase (first tube marked 25°C) shows diffusible red pigment. Source: Monika Mahajan, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India; E) Loose network of hyphae of T. marneffei forming gymnothecium that contains asci. Source: https://istudy.pk/ascomycota-fruit-bodies/.

Figure 2. A) Ultrastructural morphology of Talaromyces marneffei, including chains of single-celled, teardrop-shaped conidia, each originating from its respective, flask-shaped phialide. Source: Libero Ajello, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

Talaromycosis affects persons who live in or visit Southeast Asia, southern China, or northeastern India, and are immunocompromised because of HIV/AIDS, cancer, organ transplant, or adult-onset immunodeficiency syndrome (Figure 2). This disease occurs after inhalation of aerosolized fungal spores from the environment. Although the precise reservoir is unknown, T. marneffei is found in bamboo rats.

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References

  1. Pitt  JI. Penicillium and Talaromyces. In: Batt C. Patel P, editors. Encyclopedia of food microbiology. New York: Elsevier; 2014. p. 6–13.
  2. Talaromycosis (formerly penicilliosis) [cited 2021 Jun 10]. https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/other/talaromycosis.html
  3. Tsang  C-C, Lau  SKP, Woo  PCY. Sixty years from Segretain’s description: what have we learned and should learn about the basic mycology of Talaromyces marneffei? Mycopathologia. 2019;184:7219. DOIPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Vanittanakom  N, Cooper  CR Jr, Fisher  MC, Sirisanthana  T. Penicillium marneffei infection and recent advances in the epidemiology and molecular biology aspects. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006;19:95110. DOIPubMedGoogle Scholar

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2709.210318

Original Publication Date: August 09, 2021

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Table of Contents – Volume 27, Number 9—September 2021

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Monika Mahajan, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Medical Microbiology, Research Block A, Sector 12, Chandigarh 160012, India

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Page created: August 09, 2021
Page updated: August 17, 2021
Page reviewed: August 17, 2021
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.
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