Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus in the environment of northern Italy, May 2011 to June 2012

A Prigitano, V Venier, M Cogliati, G De Lorenzis, M C Esposto, A M Tortorano
Euro Surveillance 2014, 19 (12): 20747
In recent years acquired azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus has been increasingly reported and a dominant mechanism of resistance (TR34/L98H) was found in clinical and environmental isolates. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of azole resistance in environmental A. fumigatus isolates collected in northern Italy. A. fumigatus grew from 29 of 47 soil samples analysed. Azole-resistant isolates were detected in 13% (6/47) of the soil samples and in 21% (6/29) of the soil samples containing A. fumigatus. High minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of itraconazole (≥16 mg/L) and posaconazole (≥0.5 mg/L) were displayed by nine isolates from six different soil samples, namely apple orchard (1 sample), rose pot compost (2 samples), and cucurbit yields (3 samples). Seven isolates had a MIC=2 mg/L of voriconazole. Seven of nine itraconazole and posaconazole resistant isolates harboured the same TR34/L98H mutation of cyp51A. These findings, together with the occurrence of resistant clinical isolates, suggest that azole resistance should be considered in primary patient care.

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