BMC Microbiol. 2021 Oct 18;21(1):283. doi: 10.1186/s12866-021-02338-4.
BACKGROUND: The widespread use of shared bicycles has increased the demand and sanitary requirements for shared bicycles. Previous studies have identified potentially pathogenic bacteria on the surfaces of shared bicycles, but fungal communities have not been investigated.
METHODS: We sampled shared-bicycle handles and saddles from five selected locations in a metropolis (Chengdu, China, n = 98) and used surrounding air deposition samples as controls (n = 12). Full-length ITS sequencing and multiple bioinformatic analyses were utilized to reveal fungal community structures and differences.
RESULTS: Aspergillus was dominant on both the handles and saddles of shared bicycles, and Alternaria and Cladosporium were the most abundant families in the air samples. Significant differences in fungal community structures were found among the three groups. The handle samples contained higher abundances of Aureobasidium melanogenum and Filobasidium magnum than the saddle and air samples. The saddle samples had a higher abundance of Cladosporium tenuissimum than the other two sample types (P < 0·05). A higher abundance of fungal animal pathogens on shared-bicycle surfaces than in air by FUNGuild (P < 0·05). Moreover, the co-occurrence network of fungi on handles was more stable than that on saddles.
CONCLUSION: There were more potential pathogens, including Aspergillus pseudoglaucus, Aureobasidium melanogenum, Kazachstania pintolopesii, Filobasidium magnum, Candida tropicalis, and Malassezia globose were found on shared bicycles than in air, suggesting that hands should not contact mucous membrane after cycling, especially in susceptible individuals, and hygiene management of shared bicycles should be given more attention by relevant organizations worldwide.