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Triazole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is a growing public health concern. In addition to its emergence in the therapy of invasive aspergillosis by triazole medicines, it has been frequently detected in agricultural fields all over the world. Here, we explore the potential link between residues of azole fungicides with similar chemical structure to triazole medicines in soil and the emergence of resistant A. fumigatus (RAF) through 855 500 km2 monitoring survey in Eastern China covering 6 provinces. In total, 67.3%, 15.2%, 12.3%, 2.9%, 1.5%, 0.4%, and 0.3% of the soil samples contained these five fungicides (tebuconazole, difenoconazole, propiconazole, hexaconazole, and prochloraz) of 0-100, 100-200, 200-400, 400-600, 600-800, 800-1000, and >1000 ng/g, respectively. The fractions of samples containing RAF isolates were 2.4%, 5.2%, 6.4%, 7.7%, 7.4%, 14.3%, and 20.0% of the samples with total azole fungicide residues of 0-100, 100-200, 200-400, 400-600, 600-800, 800-1000, and >1000 ng/g, respectively. We find that the prevalence of RAFs is positively (P < 0.0001) correlated with residual levels of azole fungicides in soils. Our results suggest that the use of azole fungicides in agriculture should be minimized and the intervals between treatments expanded to reduce the selective pressure toward the development of resistance in A. fumigatus in agricultural fields.


Duantao Cao, Feiyan Wang, Sumei Yu, Suxia Dong, Ruilin Wu, Ning Cui, Jingbei Ren, Tianheng Xu, Saige Wang, Mengcen Wang, Hua Fang, Yunlong Yu. Prevalence of Azole-Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus is Highly Associated with Azole Fungicide Residues in the Fields. Environmental science & technology. 2021 Mar 02;55(5):3041-3049

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PMID: 33544588

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