Occupational exposure to toxigenic Aspergillus

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... dust are the most important hazards in pig buildings and include alieijepjc ... the same indoor places, using a 10 by 10 cm square stencil disinfecteci with 70%.

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Occupabonai exposure to toxigenic Aspergilius versicolor rn Portuguese Swlnes Cana Viegas1, Raquel Sabino2, Susana Viegas1, Cristina Venssimo2 ‘ESTeSL, Portugal 2 INSA Lisbon, Portugal


1. INTRODUCTION Biological factors associated with airbome dust are the most important hazards in pig buildings and include alieijepjc and/or toxic compounds, as weii as infectious agents such as fingi and their metabolites, like mycotoxjns Jnhalat-ion of such agents can be a potential occupationai treat (Kim ei ai., 2008). Exposure of workers froin swine conflnement buildings to respiratory hazards lias beca reported elsewhere in Europc (Portengen et ai., 2005; Radon et ai., 2002; Simpson et ai., 1999), Asia (Kim ei ai., 2008; Chang ei ai., 2001) and America (Corxnior et ai, 1990; Donhain, 2000).Analogous data has not been reported for Portugal and this omissjon has hindered the deveiopnient of policies in the arca of occupationai health and fanu safety. Aspergilius versicolor is known as being the major producer of the hepatotoxic and carcinogenio mycotoxin sterigmatocystin. The toxicity of this mycotoxin is manifested primarily in liver and kidney (Engelhart ei ai., 2002). This study aimed to determine occupationai exposure treat due to fingai contamination caused by A. versicolor in seven Portuguese swine. 2. MATERIAIS AND METHODS Air samples were coiiected witli te Miillipore Air Tester (Millipore) by impactation method at a velocity of 140 L / minute and at one meter height, using mait extract agar supplemented with chioramphenicol (0.5%). Air sampling was also performed outside premises, since this is the place regarded as reference. Concerning surfaces samples, they were

collected by swabbing the surfaces of the same indoor places, using a 10 by 10 cm square stencil disinfecteci with 70% alcohol solution between samples according to the Inteniational Standard ISO 18593 2004. The obtained swabs were then platted onto MEA. Ali the collected sampies were incubated at 27 °C for 5 to 7 days. Afier iaboratory processing and incubation of the coilected sampies, quantitative (colony forniing units/m3and coiony forming units/cm2- CFU/m3 and CFU/cm2) and qualitative results were obtained, with the identification of the isolated flingal species (Hoog ei ai. 2000). —.

3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Twelve different Aspergilius species were identified among te 62 coilection points from where Aspergillus isolates were coliected. In te studied settings, A. versicoior presents the highest airborne spore counts (3210 ufc/m3) and the highest overail prevalence (41.9%), foilowed by A. flavus and A. fumigatus (8.1%). From the analyzed surfaces, A. versicoior was also detected in higher values (>300 cfiulcm2). Due to their easier detection, fingi are often used as an indirect indicator of mycotoxins presence both in agricultural and occupationai settings, and because of that we must consider the eventual exposure not oniy to fungai partidos, but also to the hepatotoxic and carcinogenic mycotoxin sterigmatocystin (Thrane et ai., 2004). These mycotoxin is closely reiated to aflatoxin mycotoxins as a precursor of aflatoxin biosynthesis (Barnes et ai., 1994) and is classified as an Intemationai Agency for Research on Cancer class 2B cardinogen (i.e., as possibly carcinogenic to humans) (Intemationai Agency for Research on Cancer, 1987). 4. CONCLUSIONS It was possibie to characterize the contamination caused by A. versicoior in te seven swine units. This study raises the concem of occupational treat duo not only to the detected fungal ioad, but also to the toxigenic potential of these species. Exposure to sterigmatocystin by inhaiation of air and dust shouid be consider a route of exposure iii this setting. 5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The study would not have been possibie without te assistance of the Portuguese Ministry of Agricuiture, Portuguese Ministry of Flealth and aiso swines farmers. This work was supported by Portuguese Authority for Work Conditions. 6. REFERENCES Barnes, 8., Dola, T., Bennett, J. & Bhatnagar, O. (1994). Synthesis of sterigmatocystjn on a chemicaliy defined medium by species of Aspergii!lus and Chaelomium. Mycopathoiogia, 125,173—178 Cliang, C., Chung, H., Huang, C. & Su, H. Exposure of Workers to Airborne Microorganisnis in Open-Air Swine Houses. Appi Environ Microbial, 67(l), 155-l61. Connior, Y., Tremblay, O., Merjaux, A., Brochu, O. & Lavoie, J. (1990). Airborne Microbial Content in Two Types of Swine Coníinement Buiidings in Quebec. A,n IndHygAssoc, 5 1(6), 304-309. Donham, K. ( 2000)The concentration of swine production: effects on swine health, productivity, human health, and the environment. Toxicoiogy, 16(3), 559-597. Engelhart, 5., Loock, A., Skutlarek, D., Sagunski, H., Lommel, A., Haraid, F. & Exner, M. (2002) Occurrence of Toxigenic Aspergillus versicolor Isolates and Sterigmatocystin in Carpet Dust from Oamp Indoor Environments. Applied and Environmental Micro biology, 68 (8), 3886—3890.

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Hoog, C., Guarro, 3., Gené, G. & Figueiras, M. (2000) Atlas of Clinical Fungi. (2th cd). Centraalburcau voor Schimmelcultures. International Agency for Research on Cancer. 1987. Some naturally occurring substances. Monographs, vol. 10, Suppl. 7, p. 72. International Agency for Researeh on Cancer, Lyon, France. Kim K., Ko H., Kim Y. & Kim C. (2008). Assessment ofKorean farmer’s exposure levei to dust in pig buildings. Ann Agric Environ Mcd, 15, 51—58. Portengen, L., Prelier, L., Tielen, M., Doekes, G. & Heederik, O. (2005). Endotoxin exposure and atopic sensitization in adult pig farmers. JAllergy Clin Imrnunol, 115, 797-802. Radon, K., Danuser, E., Iversen, M., Monso, E., Weber, C., Hartung, 3., Donham, K., Palmgren, U. & Nowak, D. (2002). Air Contaminants in Different European Farrning Environments. Anti Agric Environ Mcd, 9, 41-48. Simpson, 3., Mc Niven, R., Pickering, C., Oldharn, L., Fletcher, A. & Francis, H. (1999) Comparative Personal Exposures to Organic Dusts and Endotoxin. Ann Qccup Hyg 1999, 320), 107-115. Thrane, IJ., Adier, A., Clasen, P., E., Galvano, F., Langseth, W., Lew, H., Logrieco, A., Nielsen, K.,F. & Ritieni, A. (2004). Diversity in metabolite production by Fusarium langsethiae, Fusarium poae, and Fusarium sporotrichioides. liii. J. Food MIcrobial, 95,257-266.

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