Special Issue "Human Pathogenic Filamentous Fungi from Food/Water and Mycotoxins from Water"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Professor R. Russell M. Paterson

Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia
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Interests: mycotoxins in food and water, mycotoxigenic fungi, human fungal diseases
Guest Editor
Professor Nelson Lima

CEB—Centre of Biological Engineering,University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4700-057 Braga, Portugal
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Interests: Food and environmental mycology; Fungal polyphasic identification; Fungi ex situ preservation; Fungal culture collections; Science and environmental education
Guest Editor
Dr. Ida Skaar

Section of Mycology, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Oslo, Norway
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Filamentous fungi (FF) are causing increasing levels of disease in humans, which is often under appreciated. These organisms cause severe mycoses in immunosuppressed individuals, such as those (a) with AIDS, (b) having undergone transplantation, and/or (c) undergoing chemotherapy. Immunocompetent people can become infected. A paper (Paterson and Lima 2017 [1]) by the current editors lists foods as potential carriers of FF infection of humans, providing a data base of human pathogenic FF (HPFF) isolated from food, which can be updated. We are interested in receiving papers which update this information from approximately 2014 until present. Individual authors and co-authors can provide a paper on their specialist group of HPFF. For example, a single paper may be all human pathogenic Aspergillus species isolated from all foods from 2014 until present. Papers may be combined with others, if agreed, if there is insufficient data for a single fungal genus. Original research papers are of great interest.

Some FF produce mycotoxins which cause human disease and death in rare cases. We are interested in papers concerning mycotoxigenic fungi from drinking water of all countries or continents, including USA, Latin America, Africa and Asia. These are required as this information is currently limited or dispersed. Papers will be limited to the principal mycotoxins (ca. 10) rather than all potential mycotoxins (ca. 300). The water could be of any type that ultimately could lead to it being drunk, e.g., water in distribution system, stored water, tap water, well water, hospital water, etc. A review similar to that of Paterson and Lima (2017 [1]) except for water is required. Papers concerning mycotoxins per se in all water as models of what could, or does, occur in drinking water would be very interesting. A review of this area would be useful. We encourage original research, opinion pieces, reviews, etc.

We are not soliciting papers concerning mycotoxigenic fungi or mycotoxins from food on this occasion. To summarise:

A. papers are sought on:

HPFF in all food 2014 to present;

HPFF from drinking water worldwide;

Mycotoxigenic fungi from water;

Mycotoxins in water.

B. papers are not sought on:

Mycotoxigenic fungi in food;

Mycotoxins in food.

Reference:

[1] Paterson, R.R.M.; Lima, N. Filamentous Fungal Human Pathogens from Food Emphasising Aspergillus, Fusarium and Mucor. Microorganisms 2017, 5, 44. 

Professor R. Russell M. Paterson
Professor Nelson Lima
Dr. Ida Skaar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Editorial for the Special Issue: Human Pathogenic Filamentous Fungi from Food/Water and Mycotoxins from Water
Microorganisms 2019, 7(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7010021
Received: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
This special issue was conceived due to the success of the book by Paterson and Lima [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle The Protean Acremonium. A. sclerotigenum/egyptiacum: Revision, Food Contaminant, and Human Disease
Microorganisms 2018, 6(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms6030088
Received: 2 June 2018 / Revised: 12 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6505 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Acremonium is known to be regularly isolated from food and also to be a cause of human disease. Herein, we resolve some sources of confusion that have strongly hampered the accurate interpretation of these and other isolations. The recently designated type species of [...] Read more.
Acremonium is known to be regularly isolated from food and also to be a cause of human disease. Herein, we resolve some sources of confusion that have strongly hampered the accurate interpretation of these and other isolations. The recently designated type species of the genus Acremonium, A. alternatum, is known only from a single isolate, but it is the closest known relative of what may be one of the planet’s most successful organisms, Acremonium sclerotigenum/egyptianum, shown herein to be best called by its earliest valid name, A. egyptiacum. The sequencing of ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions, actin genes, or both for 72 study isolates within this group allowed the full range of morphotypes and ITS barcode types to be elucidated, along with information on temperature tolerance and habitat. The results showed that nomenclatural confusion and frequent misidentifications facilitated by morphotaxonomy, along with misidentified early sequence deposits, have obscured the reality that this species is, in many ways, the definitive match of the historical concept of Acremonium: a pale orange or dull greenish-coloured monophialidic hyphomycete, forming cylindrical, ellipsoidal, or obovoid conidia in sticky heads or obovoid conidia in dry chains, and acting ecologically as a soil organism, marine organism, plant pathogen, plant endophyte, probable insect pathogen, human opportunistic pathogen, food contaminant, probable dermatological communicable disease agent, and heat-tolerant spoilage organism. Industrially, it is already in exploratory use as a producer of the antibiotic ascofuranone, active against trypanosomes, cryptosporidia, and microsporidia, and additional applications are in development. The genus-level clarification of the phylogeny of A. egyptiacum shows other historic acremonia belong to separate genera, and two are here described, Parasarocladium for the Acremonium radiatum complex and Kiflimonium for the Acremonium curvulum complex. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Exposure to Aspergillus in Home and Healthcare Facilities’ Water Environments: Focus on Biofilms
Microorganisms 2019, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7010007
Received: 12 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 5 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (970 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aspergillus conida are ubiquitous in the environment, including freshwater, water for bathing, and in drinking water. Vulnerable patients and those suffering from allergic diseases are susceptible to aspergillosis. Avoidance of Aspergillus is of paramount importance. Potential outbreaks of aspergillosis in hospital facilities have [...] Read more.
Aspergillus conida are ubiquitous in the environment, including freshwater, water for bathing, and in drinking water. Vulnerable patients and those suffering from allergic diseases are susceptible to aspergillosis. Avoidance of Aspergillus is of paramount importance. Potential outbreaks of aspergillosis in hospital facilities have been described where the water supply has been implicated. Little is known regarding the risk of exposure to Aspergillus in water. How does Aspergillus survive in water? This review explores the biofilm state of Aspergillus growth based on recent literature and suggests that biofilms are responsible for the persistence of Aspergillus in domestic and healthcare facilities’ water supplies. Full article
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Open AccessReview Opportunistic Water-Borne Human Pathogenic Filamentous Fungi Unreported from Food
Microorganisms 2018, 6(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms6030079
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (240 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Clean drinking water and sanitation are fundamental human rights recognized by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and the Human Rights Council in 2010 (Resolution 64/292). In modern societies, water is not related only to drinking, it is also widely used for personal [...] Read more.
Clean drinking water and sanitation are fundamental human rights recognized by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and the Human Rights Council in 2010 (Resolution 64/292). In modern societies, water is not related only to drinking, it is also widely used for personal and home hygiene, and leisure. Ongoing human population and subsequent environmental stressors challenge the current standards on safe drinking and recreational water, requiring regular updating. Also, a changing Earth and its increasingly frequent extreme weather events and climatic changes underpin the necessity to adjust regulation to a risk-based approach. Although fungi were never introduced to water quality regulations, the incidence of fungal infections worldwide is growing, and changes in antimicrobial resistance patterns are taking place. The presence of fungi in different types of water has been thoroughly investigated during the past 30 years only in Europe, and more than 400 different species were reported from ground-, surface-, and tap-water. The most frequently reported fungi, however, were not waterborne, but are frequently related to soil, air, and food. This review focuses on waterborne filamentous fungi, unreported from food, that offer a pathogenic potential. Full article
Open AccessReview Human Pathogenic Paecilomyces from Food
Microorganisms 2018, 6(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms6030064
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1337 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Paecilomyces spp. and Byssochlamys spp. are heat-resistant fungi important to industry because they can cause food and beverage spoilage, incurring economic loss. The consequences of food or beverage fungal colonization is the loss of nutritional value, structure and taste, and the possibility of [...] Read more.
Paecilomyces spp. and Byssochlamys spp. are heat-resistant fungi important to industry because they can cause food and beverage spoilage, incurring economic loss. The consequences of food or beverage fungal colonization is the loss of nutritional value, structure and taste, and the possibility of producing toxic secondary metabolites that may result in medical problems. Furthermore, these fungi can infect animals and humans and it is unknown if contaminated foods may be fomites. P. variotii is the principal agent of food spoilage or contamination and it is most frequently associated with human hyalohyphomycosis with clinical manifestations including peritonitis, cutaneous and disseminated infections, among others. Byssochlamys spp. had not been identified as a cause of systemic infection until the case of a dog with a fungal infection, after immunosuppressive therapy. P. variotii has clinical importance because it causes severe infection in immunosuppressed patients and also because the number of immunocompetent infected patients is increasing. This review draws attention to the ability of these species to grow at high temperatures, to colonize food products, and to cause human disease. Full article
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Open AccessReview Phoma Infections: Classification, Potential Food Sources, and Their Clinical Impact
Microorganisms 2018, 6(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms6030058
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (779 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phoma species are phytopathogens that are widely distributed in the environment, most commonly found in aquatic systems and soil. Phoma spp. have the potential to be pathogenic in plants, animals and humans; the latter is a rare occurrence. However, as our immunocompromised population [...] Read more.
Phoma species are phytopathogens that are widely distributed in the environment, most commonly found in aquatic systems and soil. Phoma spp. have the potential to be pathogenic in plants, animals and humans; the latter is a rare occurrence. However, as our immunocompromised population increases, so do the reports of these infections. Medical advances have allowed for the increase in solid organ transplantation; chemotherapies to treat malignancies; and the use of other immunosuppressive agents, which have resulted in a greater population at risk when exposed to diverse fungi including Phoma spp. These fungi have been isolated from water sources, food, and crops; thus acting as opportunistic pathogens when the right host is exposed. Phoma spp. contaminates common food sources such as potatoes and maize, a common species isolated being Phoma sorghina. Though there is potential for causing infection via consumption of contaminated foods, there is insufficient data detailing what levels of organism can lead to an infection, and a regulated process for detecting the organism. The spectrum of disease is wide, depending on the host, ranging from cutaneous infections to invasive diseases. Mortality, however, remains low. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Genus Wallemia—From Contamination of Food to Health Threat
Microorganisms 2018, 6(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms6020046
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fungal genus Wallemia of the order Wallemiales (Wallemiomycotina, Basidiomycota) comprises the most xerotolerant, xerophilic and also halophilic species worldwide. Wallemia spp. are found in various osmotically challenged environments, such as dry, salted, or highly sugared foods, dry feed, hypersaline waters of solar [...] Read more.
The fungal genus Wallemia of the order Wallemiales (Wallemiomycotina, Basidiomycota) comprises the most xerotolerant, xerophilic and also halophilic species worldwide. Wallemia spp. are found in various osmotically challenged environments, such as dry, salted, or highly sugared foods, dry feed, hypersaline waters of solar salterns, salt crystals, indoor and outdoor air, and agriculture aerosols. Recently, eight species were recognized for the genus Wallemia, among which four are commonly associated with foods: W. sebi, W. mellicola, W. muriae and W. ichthyophaga. To date, only strains of W. sebi, W. mellicola and W. muriae have been reported to be related to human health problems, as either allergological conditions (e.g., farmer’s lung disease) or rare subcutaneous/cutaneous infections. Therefore, this allergological and infective potential, together with the toxins that the majority of Wallemia spp. produce even under saline conditions, defines these fungi as filamentous food-borne pathogenic fungi. Full article
Open AccessReview Risk Mitigation for Immunocompromised Consumers of Mucormycete Spoiled and Fermented Foods: Germane Guidance and Remaining Needs
Microorganisms 2018, 6(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms6020045
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mucoralean invasive fungal infections, while unusual among the general population, have a high mortality rate among immunocompromised individuals who become infected. They are also common spoilage organisms in cultured dairy products, some fresh produce, and baked goods. Additionally, Mucor and Rhizopus spp. are [...] Read more.
Mucoralean invasive fungal infections, while unusual among the general population, have a high mortality rate among immunocompromised individuals who become infected. They are also common spoilage organisms in cultured dairy products, some fresh produce, and baked goods. Additionally, Mucor and Rhizopus spp. are utilized in the production of traditional fermented foods including mold ripened cheeses and fermented soy products. The risk that consumption of these foods poses to immunocompromised consumers has been previously identified. However, actionable guidance on implementation of appropriate dietary restrictions and microbial specification targets for food manufacturers serving these populations is scarce and is limited by insufficient data regarding traceback analysis in cases of invasive fungal infections where food is the suspected transmission vector. Culture-dependent and molecular subtyping methods, including whole genome sequencing, will improve identification of the point source. In turn, the empirically determined information on root-cause can best direct the development of appropriate food safety policies and programs. Full article
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