Immunochemical analysis of fumigaclavine mycotoxins in respiratory tissues and in blood serum of birds with confirmed aspergillosis
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The ergoline alkaloid fumigaclavine A (FuA) is one of the major mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus fumigatus, the main causative fungal agent of avian aspergillosis. To study in situ production of FuA, post-mortem respiratory tissues of various avian species, as well as blood samples of falcons (Falco sp.), were analysed by enzyme immunoassay (EIA). At a detection limit of 1.5 ng/ml, FuA EIA positive results were obtained for tissue samples from seven (64 %) out of 11 birds with confirmed aspergillosis, with a maximum concentration of 38 ng/g, while all controls (n = 7) were negative. No FuA could be detected in blood serum (detection limit 0.7 ng/ml) of 15 falcons, experimentally inoculated with A. fumigatus conidia. Fungal mycelium material from tissue of clinical aspergillosis cases, cultured on malt extract agar, was highly positive in the FuA EIA in milligrams per gram range. Chromatographic analysis of mycelium extracts revealed the co-presence of FuA and the structurally related fumigaclavine C (FuC). Alkaline hydrolysis of FuA and FuC yielded the corresponding deacetylation products, FuB and FuE. This is the first report showing that fumigaclavine alkaloids are produced by A. fumigatus in situ during the course of clinical aspergillosis in birds; however, the role of these compounds in the pathogenesis of this disease is still unknown.
KeywordsMycotoxin Ergot alkaloids Aspergillosis Falcon Respiratory tissue
H. Latif was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Conflict of interest
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