Aspergillus niger is a fungus and one of the most common species of the genus Aspergillus.
It causes a disease called “black mold” on certain fruits and vegetables such as grapes, apricots, onions, and peanuts, and is a common contaminant of food.
It is ubiquitous in soil and is commonly reported from indoor environments.
Aspergillus niger is less likely to cause human disease than some other Aspergillus species. In extremely rare instances, humans may become ill, but this is due to a serious lung disease, aspergillosis, that can occur. Aspergillosis is, in particular, frequent among horticultural workers who inhale peat dust, which can be rich in Aspergillus spores.
A. niger is one of the most common causes of otomycosis (fungal ear infections), which can cause pain, temporary hearing loss, and, only in severe cases, damage to the ear canal and tympanic membrane.