Aspergillus fumigatus, a well-known human and animal pathogen causing aspergillosis, has been historically identified by morphological and microscopic features. However, recent studies have shown that species identification on the basis of morphology alone is problematic. The aim of this work was to confirm the taxonomic state at specie level of a set of clinical (human and animal) and animal environment A. fumigatus strains identified by morphological criteria applying a PCR-RFLP assay by an in silico and in situ analysis with three restriction enzymes. The A. fumigatus gliotoxin-producing ability was also determined. Previous to the in situ PCR-RFLP analysis, an in silico assay with BccI, MspI and Sau3AI restriction enzymes was carried out. After that, these enzymes were used for in situ assay. All A. fumigatus strains isolated from corn silage, human aspergillosis and bovine mastitis and high per cent of the strains isolated from cereals, animal feedstuff and sorghum silage were able to produce high gliotoxin levels. Also, all these strains identified by morphological criteria as A. fumigatus, regardless of its isolation source, had band patterns according to A. fumigatus sensu stricto by PCR-RFLP markers.
SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:
Aspergillus fumigatus is a well-known human and animal pathogen causing aspergillosis. In this study, clinical (human and animal) and animal environment strains were able to produce high gliotoxin levels and had band profiles according to A. fumigatus sensu stricto by PCR-RFLP markers. The results obtained here suggest that strains involved in human and animal aspergillosis could come from the animal environment in which A. fumigatus is frequently found. Its presence in animal environments could affect animal health and productivity; in addition, there are risks of contamination for rural workers during handling and storage of animal feedstuffs.
Aspergillus fumigatus; animal environment; clinical (animal and human); restriction enzymes; taxonomic state