A biopsy of an infected lung from a 76-year-old woman who suffered a third-degree burn 2 months ago revealed uniform hyphae with regularly spaced septation and a parallel arrangement. No yeast cells were observed. Which of the following is the most probable diagnosis?
a. Aspergillosis is a spectrum of diseases that may be caused by a number of Aspergillus species.
b. These species are widespread in nature.
c. Aspergillus species grow rapidly in vivo and in vitro and bear septate uniform hyphae with long conidiophores with terminal vesicles on which phialides produce chains of conidia. In healthy individuals, alveolar macrophages are able to phagocytize and destroy the conidia.
d. Macrophages from immunocompromised patients have a diminished ability to do this. In the lung, conidia swell and germinate to produce hyphae that have a tendency to invade preexisting cavities (abnormal pulmonary space as a result of tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, or emphysema).
e. Sputum and lung tissue specimens produce colonies which are hyaline, septate and uniform in width.
f. Blastomyces and Cryptococcus from yeast cells, while Zygomycoses species have hyphae that are sparsely septate. Actinomyces may be considered a branching bacterium.