Detection of human pathogenic Fusarium species in hospital and communal sink biofilms by using a highly specific monoclonal antibody
Wiley for Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM)
Reason for embargo
The fungus Fusarium is well known as a plant pathogen, but has recently emerged as an opportunistic pathogen of humans. Habitats providing direct human exposure to infectious propagules are largely unknown, but there is growing evidence that plumbing systems are sources of human pathogenic strains in the Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC) and Fusarium oxysporum species complex (FOSC), the most common groups infecting humans. Here, we use a newly developed Fusarium-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb ED7) to track FSSC and FOSC strains in sink drain biofilms by detecting its target antigen, an extracellular 200kDa carbohydrate, in saline swabs. The antigen was detectable in 52% of swab samples collected from sinks across a University campus and a tertiary care hospital. The mAb was 100% accurate in detecting FSSC, FOSC and F. dimerum species complex (FDSC) strains that were present, as mixed fungal communities, in 83% of sink drain biofilms. Specificity of the ELISA was confirmed by sequencing of the internally transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1)-5.8S-ITS2 rRNA-encoding regions of culturable yeasts and molds that were recovered using mycological culture, while translation elongation factor (TEF)-1α analysis of Fusarium isolates included FSSC 1-a, FOSC 33 and FDSC ET-gr, the most common clinical pathotypes in each group.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
Accepted manuscript online: 23 February 2016