The prevalence of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is uncertain in Australia. Azole exposure may select for resistance. We investigated the frequency of azole resistance in a large number of clinical and environmental isolates.
Non-WT MICs/MICs at the epidemiological cut-off value of one or more azoles were observed for 3/148 (2%) human isolates but not amongst animal, or environmental, isolates. All three isolates grew on at least one azole-supplemented well based on VIPcheck™ screening. For isolates 9 and 32, the itraconazole and posaconazole MICs were 1 mg/L (voriconazole MICs 0.12 mg/L); isolate 129 had itraconazole, posaconazole and voriconazole MICs of >16, 1 and 8 mg/L, respectively. Soil isolates from azole-exposed and azole-naive environments had similar geometric mean MICs of itraconazole, posaconazole and voriconazole (P > 0.05). A G54R mutation was identified in the isolates exhibiting itraconazole and posaconazole resistance, and the TR34/L98H mutation in the pan-azole-resistant isolate. cyp51A
Azole resistance is uncommon in Australian clinical and environmental A. fumigatus isolates; further surveillance is indicated.