Aspergillus Species in Lower Respiratory Tract of Hospitalized Patients from Shanghai, China: Species Diversity and Emerging Azole Resistance
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Purpose: To investigate species diversity and prevalence of antifungal resistance among clinical isolates of Aspergillus spp. in Shanghai, China. Patients and Methods: In this study, the Aspergillus spp. isolates were analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) targeting the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions, and partial β-tubulin (BenA) and calmodulin (CaM) genes. The susceptibilities of these isolates to nine antifungal agents were determined according to the protocol in document M38-A3 established by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Results: The most common Aspergillus spp. was A. fumigatus (58.2%), followed by the A. flavus complex (23.5%), and A. niger complex (15.3%). Isolates belonging to A. tamarii and A. effusus of the A. flavus complex and A. tubingensis and A. awamori of the A. niger complex were identified. Moreover, several mutations were found in the azole target cyp51A gene (TR46/Y121F/T289A and F46Y, G89G, M172V, N248T and D255E) in azole-resistant isolates of A. fumigatus. Conclusion: The results of our study revealed a diversity of species in the lower respiratory tract of inpatients in Shanghai and approximately 9% of our isolates were resistant to at least one of the triazole antifungals. Formulation of local treatment strategies to combat emerging azole resistance and species diversity in clinically relevant Aspergillus spp. is needed.
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