Epidemiological Studies of Pan-Azole Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus Populations Sampled during Tulip Cultivation Show Clonal Expansion with Acquisition of Multi-Fungicide Resistance as Potential Driver

Microorganisms. 2021 Nov 18;9(11):2379. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9112379.


Pan-azole resistant isolates are found in clinical and environmental Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) populations. Azole resistance can evolve in both settings, with Af directly targeted by antifungals in patients and, in the environment, Af unintendedly exposed to fungicides used for material preservation and plant disease control. Resistance to non-azole fungicides, including methyl benzimidazole carbamates (MBCs), quinone outside inhibitors (QoIs) and succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHIs), has recently been reported. These fungicide groups are not used in medicine but can play an important role in the further spread of pan-azole resistant genotypes. We investigated the multi-fungicide resistance status and the genetic diversity of Af populations sampled from tulip field soils, tulip peel waste and flower compost heaps using fungicide sensitivity testing and a range of genotyping tools, including STRAf typing and sequencing of fungicide resistant alleles. Two major clones were present in the tulip bulb population. Comparisons with clinical isolates and literature data revealed that several common clonal lineages of TR34/L98H and TR46/Y121F/T289A strains that have expanded successfully in the environment have also acquired resistance to MBC, QoI and/or SDHI fungicides. Strains carrying multiple fungicide resistant alleles have a competitive advantage in environments where residues of multiple fungicides belonging to different modes of action are present.

PMID:34835504 | DOI:10.3390/microorganisms9112379

Source: Industry