Cladosporium species are widely distributed in air and rotting organic material. They are common in water-damaged buildings (WDB) and readily grow on building materials that contain organic compounds. The genus contains over 30 species with the most common being elatum, herbarum, sphaerospermum and cladosporioides.
EMBL differentiates Cladosporium cladosporioides into four types to improve its analytical method for indoor contamination.
Cladosporium Type I elevation signifies an indoor source, while type II is present in both indoor and outdoor air. Types III and IV are relegated to an outdoor source.
Colony colors range from olivaceous brown to a blackish brown.
Cladosporium species are recognized to cause skin lesions, keratitis, onychomycosis, sinusitis, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Some species cause chromoblastomycosis.
The toxins produced by Cladosporium are cladosporin and emodin. The toxicity of these two toxins to animals and humans has not been fully established or researched.