Species identification and in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing of Aspergillus section Nigri strains isolated from otomycosis patients

Publication date: Available online 11 March 2018
Source:Journal de Mycologie Médicale

Author(s): Z. Kamali Sarwestani, S.J. Hashemi, S. Rezaie, M. Gerami Shoar, S. Mahmoudi, M. Elahi, M. Bahardoost, A. Tajdini, S. Abutalebian, R. Daie Ghazvini

Introduction Aspergillus niger is the most commonly reported etiology of otomycosis based on morphological characteristics. This fungus is a member of Aspergillus section Nigri, a set of morphologically indistinguishable species that can harbor various antifungal susceptibility patterns. The aim of this study was to accurately identify and determine the susceptibility pattern of a set of black aspergilli isolated from otomycosis patients. Methods Forty-three black Aspergillus isolates from otomycosis patients were identified by using the PCR-sequencing of the β-tubulin gene. Furthermore, the susceptibility of isolates to three antifungal drugs, including fluconazole (FLU), clotrimazole (CLT) and nystatin (NS), were tested according to CLSI M38-A2. The data were analyzed using the SPSS software (version 15). Results The majority of isolates were identified as A. tubingensis (32/43, 74.42%) followed by A. niger (11/43, 25.58%). The lowest minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were observed for NS with geometric means (GM) of 4.65μg/mL and 4.83μg/mL against A. tubingensis and A. niger isolates, respectively. CLT showed wide MIC ranges and a statistically significant inter-species difference was observed between A. tubingensis and A. niger isolates (P <0.05). FLU was inactive against both species with GMs>64μg/mL. Conclusion Species other than A. niger can be more frequent as observed in our study. In addition, considering the low and variable activity of tested antifungal drugs, empirical treatment can result in treatment failure. Accurate identification and antifungal susceptibility testing of isolates is, however, recommended.

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