|(fungi) and their spores are found in a wide range of Earth environments. A recent study in the soil of Antarctica found viable spores from 11 mold taxa including the common indoor molds Aspergillus and Penicillium (Godinho, Goncalves et al. 2015).|
Viable fungi are found almost everywhere on earth including on mountains, deserts, oceans and freshwater lakes/rivers, and virtually every indoor environment. Another recent study found 2 strains of the common pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus in the International Space Station (Knox, Blachowicz et al. 2016).
The exact lifespan of fungal spores is not well known, however many fungal spores can remain alive (viable) for months to years. Such spores can then germinate when given proper moisture and environmental conditions. Many fungal spores (including those of species which cause infections in humans, animals, and plants) can travel for hundreds or thousands of miles in air and can remain viable.
Microbial studies have reported that a large number of viable fungi is present in this transatlantic African dust, including many common fungi which contain allergens and mycotoxins including Alternaria, Aspergillus, Bipolaris, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Nigrospora, Penicillium, Scopulariopsis, and Trichophyton (Shinn, Griffin et al. 2003).
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