Genetic diversity and antifungal susceptibility of Aspergillus spp. isolates from avian farms in Guangxi, China

Abstract : Fungi of the genus Aspergillus are moulds, which occur most frequently in soil, water and decaying vegetation. They sporulate abundantly and the spores are easily dispersed into the environment by air. As a result of this ubiquitous presence, animals and people are constantly exposed to Aspergillus spores. Aspergillus fumigatus and A. flavus are recognized as predominant causes of fungal diseases in humans and wide range of animals. Birds are much more sensitive that mammals and in avian farms, environmental conditions are favorable to the development of many fungal species, including Aspergillus spp. The objective of the present study was to assess the genetic diversity and antifungal susceptibility of Aspergillus isolates from avian farms in Guangxi, China. The first part of the experimental work related the evolution of fungal contamination in 3 avian farms near the city of Nanning and one farm (including a hatchery) near the city of Guilin. Pharyngeal swabs and air samples were collected during several weeks and 3 cycles of hatching were monitored. The average contamination level with Aspergillus spp. and Mucorales was significantly different according to the farms. The survey allowed to collect a total number of 188 A. fumigatus and 159 A. flavus isolates. The second part of the work was about the genetic diversity of A. fumigatus and A. flavus. For that purpose, the Multiple Locus Variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) Analysis was specifically developed and used. For A. flavus, 8 VNTR markers were selected and a multiplex reaction was designed. A total number of 91 A. flavus isolates, including 6 reference strains were typed with the panel of 8 VNTRs. This analysis yielded 78 different genotypes, which corresponds to a combined loci index of 0.993. Among all genotypes, 71 were only found once. The analysis of 188 A. fumigatus isolates using 10 VNTR markers led to the resolution of 142 distinct genotypes. Clusters of A. flavus or A. fumigatus isolates could be defined by using the graphing algorithm Minimum Spanning Tree. The third part of the experimental work was about the antifungal susceptibility of 177 A. fumigatus isolates collected in avian farms in China and France. Most of the isolates from China were susceptible to itraconazole with a Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) comprised between 0.38 and 0.75 µg/mL. Most of the isolates from birds and avian farms in France were susceptible to itraconazole with a MIC comprised between 0.19 and 1 µg/mL. MIC values of isolates collected in farms with antifungal chemoprophylaxis were not higher than those of isolates collected from birds (that never received antifungal drugs before the sampling). Susceptibility testings demonstrated that 4 isolates should be considered as resistant to itraconazole: (2 isolates from avian farms in Guangxi, China and 2 isolates from avian farms in France). A modification of the Cyp51A sequence was identified in 11 isolates (3 azole-resistant and 8 azole-susceptible isolates). Twenty-one nucleotidic mutations were detected. Eleven of these mutations were silent and 10 yielded to amino acid substitutions. Seven of these substitutions had already been described whereas mutations A116R, E130D and Q131H were original.
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Dong Ying Wang. Genetic diversity and antifungal susceptibility of Aspergillus spp. isolates from avian farms in Guangxi, China. Agricultural sciences. AgroParisTech, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012AGPT0040⟩. ⟨pastel-00779051⟩

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