Molecular detection of airborne Emergomyces africanus, a thermally dimorphic fungal pathogen, in Cape Town, South Africa

Ilan S Schwartz, Josh D McLoud, Dilys Berman, Alfred Botha, Barbra Lerm, Robert Colebunders, Estelle Levetin, Chris Kenyon

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Abstract

Emergomyces africanus is a thermally dimorphic fungus that causes a systemic mycosis in immunocompromised persons in South Africa. Infection is presumed to follow inhalation of airborne propagules. We developed a quantitative PCR protocol able to detect as few as 5 Es. africanus propagules per day. Samples were collected in Cape Town, South Africa over 50 weeks by a Burkard spore trap with an alternate orifice. We detected Es. africanus in air samples from 34 days (10%) distributed over 11 weeks. These results suggest environmental exposure to airborne Es. africanus propagules occurs more commonly in endemic areas than previously appreciated.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0006174
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume12
Issue number1
Number of pages12
ISSN1935-2727
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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