Antimicrobial activity of filamentous fungi isolated from highly antibiotic-contaminated river sediment

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Chryssanthou, Erja ; Svahn, K. Stefan ; Göransson, Ulf ; El-Seedi, Hesham ; Bohlin, Lars ; Larsson, D.G. Joakim ; Olsen, Björn (2012)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Infection Ecology & Epidemiology, volume 2 (issn: 2000-8686, eissn: 2000-8686)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/iee.v2i0.11591, pmc: PMC3426321
  • Subject: Aspergillus fumigatus, gliotoxin, antimicrobial activity, filamentous fungi | Original Article | gliotoxin | secondary metabolites | Aspergillus

Background: Filamentous fungi are well known for their production of substances with antimicrobial activities, several of which have formed the basis for the development of new clinically important antimicrobial agents. Recently, environments polluted with extraordinarily high levels of antibiotics have been documented, leading to strong selection pressure on local sentinel bacterial communities. In such microbial ecosystems, where multidrug-resistant bacteria are likely to thrive, it is possible that certain fungal antibiotics have become less efficient, thus encouraging alternative strategies for fungi to compete with bacteria. Methods: In this study, sediment of a highly antibiotic-contaminated Indian river was sampled in order to investigate the presence of cultivable filamentous fungi and their ability to produce substances with antimicrobial activity. Results: Sixty one strains of filamentous fungi, predominantly various Aspergillus spp. were identified. The majority of the Aspergillus strains displayed antimicrobial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis and Candida albicans. Bioassay-guided isolation of the secondary metabolites of A. fumigatus led to the identification of gliotoxin. Conclusion: This study demonstrated proof of principle of using bioassay-guided isolation for finding bioactive moleculesKeywords: secondary metabolites; Aspergillus; gliotoxin(Published: 24 May 2012)Citation: Infection Ecology and Epidemiology 2012, 2: 11591 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/iee.v2i0.11591
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