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December 1953

TARSONEMUS CONFUSUS: Contaminant of Fungus Cultures

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology of the New York University Post-Graduate Medical School (Dr. Marion B. Sulzberger, Chairman) and the Service of Dermatology and Syphilology of Bellevue Hospital (Dr. Frank C. Combes, Chief of Service).

AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1953;68(6):728-730. doi:10.1001/archderm.1953.01540120112017

Specimens of fungous cultures kept in refrigerators can be preserved for a considerable length of time without risking contamination. However, culture collections which are not stored in refrigerators but are exposed to the dust in cabinets are at times attracted by mites.

After perusal of the available American literature we found that no mention is made of these contaminants, and therefore we deem it of interest to report our findings.


On examining a culture mount of a month-old Microsporum lanosum culture we observed a typical mite with several ova (Figs. 1 and 2), which was identified as Tarsonemus confusus Ewing. There was no macroscopic evidence on the surface of the culture which would have indicated such an infestation.

The only informative reference which we have traced is that of Langeron,1 who considers these mites as "the enemies of fungus cultures." The mites belong

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