Pythium insidiosum

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Pythium insidiosum
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukarya
(unranked): SAR
Superphylum: Heterokonta
Class: Oomycota
Order: Pythiales
Family: Pythiaceae
Genus: Pythium
Species: P. insidiosum
Binomial name
Pythium insidiosum

Pythium insidiosum is a species of Pythium and a member of the class oomycota. Pythium insidiosum is mainly found in standing water and occasionally soil. Unlike most Pythium species, which are generally pathogens of terrestrial plants, Pythium insidiosum is a pathogen of mammals. It causes pythiosis,[1][2] mainly in horses, dogs and humans. It is a rarely occurring, non-transmissible disease. Infection can occur in healthy mammals. The pathogen is well-adapted to mammalian body temperature, with an optimum temperature for growth of 34-36 °C.

The cells walls of Pythium insidiosum are composed of β-glucans (compared to the chitin walls of fungi), and their cytoplasmic membranes lack sterols.


  1. ^ Schurko AM, Mendoza L, Lévesque CA, Désaulniers NL, de Cock AW, Klassen GR (May 2003). "A molecular phylogeny of Pythium insidiosum". Mycol. Res. 107 (Pt 5): 537–44. doi:10.1017/S0953756203007718. PMID 12884950. 
  2. ^ Krajaejun T, Imkhieo S, Intaramat A, Ratanabanangkoon K (February 2009). "Development of an Immunochromatographic Test for Rapid Serodiagnosis of Human Pythiosis". Clin. Vaccine Immunol. 16 (4): 506–9. doi:10.1128/CVI.00276-08. PMC 2668273Freely accessible. PMID 19225072.