spectroscopy as a tool for rapid identification and intra-species
characterization of airborne filamentous fungi
Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital
RWTH Aachen, Pauwelsstrabetae 30, D-52057 Aachen, Germany.
Identification of microfungi is time-consuming due to cultivation and
microscopic examination and can be influenced by the interpretation of
the macro- and micro-morphological characters observed. Fungal conidia
contain mycotoxins that may be present in bioaerosols and thus the
capacity for production of mycotoxins (and allergens) needs to be
investigated to create a basis for reliable risk assessment in
environmental and occupational hygiene. The present investigation aimed
to create a simple but sophisticated method for the preparation of
samples and the identification of airborne fungi by FT-IR spectroscopy.
The method was suited to reproducibly differentiate Aspergillus and
Penicillium species on the generic, the species, and the strain level.
There are strong indications that strains of one taxon differing in
metabolite production can be reliably distinguished by FT-IR
spectroscopy (e.g. Aspergillus parasiticus). On the other hand, species
from different taxa being similar in secondary metabolite production
showed comparably higher similarities. The results obtained here can
serve as a basis for the development of a database for species
identification and strain characterization of microfungi. The method
presented here will improve and facilitate the risk assessment in case
of bioaerosol exposure, as strains with different physiological
properties (e.g. toxic, non-toxic) could be differentiated. Moreover, it
has the potential to significantly improve the identification of
microfungi in various fields of applied microbiological research, e.g.
high throughput screening in view of specific physiological properties,
biodiversity studies, inventories in environmental microbiology, and
quality control measures.
PMID: 16229914 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]