Multicenter Study of Susceptibility of Aspergillus Species Isolated from Iranian University Hospitals to Seven Antifungal Agents
Microbiol Spectr. 2022 May 17:e0253921. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02539-21. Online ahead of print.
Aspergillus species are a major cause of life-threatening invasive infections and noninvasive diseases. This study seeks to investigate the frequency of Aspergillus species among Iranian patients and their susceptibility to seven antifungals. In a cross-sectional study, 233 Aspergillus isolates were collected from 11 university hospitals in Iran between 2018 and 2021. Aspergillus isolates were identified based on colony morphology, microscopic characteristics, PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), and sequencing of the beta-tubulin gene. The CLSI M38-A2 reference methodology was used for antifungal susceptibility testing of amphotericin B, voriconazole, posaconazole, itraconazole, luliconazole, isavuconazole, and caspofungin. Members of Aspergillus section Flavi (117/233, 50.2%), Aspergillus section Nigri (77/233, 33.1%), Aspergillus section Fumigati (21/233, 9%), Aspergillus section Terrei (14/233, 6%), Aspergillus pseudodeflectus (2/233, 0.85%), and Aspergillus melleus (2/233, 0.85%) were isolated from the samples. The lowest 0.25 MIC90 values for all isolates tested were for luliconazole (0.016 μg/mL) and isavuconazole (0.250 μg/mL), and the highest value was observed for itraconazole (≥ 8μg/mL). The 90% minimum effective concentration (MEC90) value for caspofungin was 0.125 μg/mL. MIC90 values for voriconazole, amphotericin B, and posaconazole were 1, 2, and 2 μg/mL, respectively. The non-wild-type species were presented for amphotericin B (3%), voriconazole (1.3%), posaconazole (2.6%), luliconazole (1.3%), isavuconazole (1.7%), and caspofungin (4.7%). Positive correlations in the MIC values of azole antifungals were observed, and using one azole increases the MIC value rates of other ones. None of the species were pan-azole resistant. Species of Aspergillus section Flavi were the most common Aspergillus species isolated from Iranian samples. Luliconazole, caspofungin, and isavuconazole present the most effective antifungal agents for treatment of infection due to Aspergillus species. Susceptibility tests should be performed frequently in each region for the best management of patients. IMPORTANCE Aspergillus species are the leading cause of invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised hosts. The susceptibility of Aspergillus species to antifungal agents might be different. Azole-resistant species have emerged worldwide. Performing susceptibility testing in each region can help in the best management of patients. Here, we show the epidemiology and distribution of Aspergillus species in Iran and their susceptibility patterns for seven antifungal agents. The significant points of the present study are that species of Aspergillus section Flavi are the most prevalent Aspergillus species isolated from 11 university hospitals. Luliconazole, caspofungin, and isavuconazole were effective antifungal agents against all Aspergillus species.