Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples of patients with chronic diseases

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Abstract

Objectives

Triazole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus has been increasing. We explored the A. fumigatus azole resistance profiles in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples from Danish patients examined for aspergillosis.

Methods

A total of 94 BAL samples from 87 patients were evaluated by galactomannan (GM) test and A. fumigatus CYP51A profiling by PCR.

Results

Aspergillus spp. were isolated from 27/48 (56.3%) cultured samples, including 23 A. fumigatus with one resistant strain (4.3%). Samples were classified into GM-positive (≥3.0), GM-intermediate (0.5 to <3.0) and GM-negative (<0.5) groups, where the CYP51A PCR was positive in 81.8% (36/44), 56.3% (18/32) and 38.9% (7/18) of samples, respectively. Nine CYP51A PCR-positive samples (9/61, 14.8%) were found to have mutations resulting in amino acid substitutions. M220V was detected from a sample culture positive for susceptible A. fumigatus and P216L was found in a culture-negative BAL sample. Conversely, no mutation was found in one sample culture positive for azole-resistant A. fumigatus. The tandem repeat/L98H mutation was not detected.

Conclusions

Our study shows that azole resistance in A. fumigatus can be cryptic and may go undiagnosed. The combination of improved culture/susceptibility tests and the direct molecular detection of resistance markers will facilitate prompt institution of appropriate antifungal therapy.

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