Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fungicides for crops: Worrying link to fungal drug resistance in UK, warns scientists

Date:
July 14, 2014
Source:
Manchester University
Summary:
Aspergillus -- a common fungus that attacks the lungs and is found in soil and other organic matter -- has become resistant to life-saving drugs in parts of rural Yorkshire, researchers report. Although the link has been made before in the Netherlands, it’s the first time its been made in the UK between drug resistance in Aspergillus and fungicides used on crops. Experts warn their findings, now published, are significant and raise serious implications for transplant patients, those with leukemia and people who suffer from severe asthma.

Crop spraying on British farms could be aiding a life-threatening fungus suffered by tens of thousand of people in the UK each year.

New research by British and Dutch scientists has found that Aspergillus -- a common fungus that attacks the lungs and is found in soil and other organic matter -- has become resistant to life -- saving drugs in parts of rural Yorkshire.

Although the link has been made before in the Netherlands, it's the first time its been made in the UK between drug resistance in Aspergillus and fungicides used on crops. Experts warn their findings, now published, are significant and raise serious implications for transplant patients, those with leukemia and people who suffer from severe asthma.

In the three-year study, researchers from Radboud University Medical Centre and The University of Manchester compared resistance profiles in 230 fungal samples, collected from rural areas in West Yorkshire which were treated with fungicides, to 290 air and soil samples from inner city sites across Greater Manchester.

They found no resistance from the sites in Greater Manchester compared to 1.7% resistance detected in West Yorkshire, implicating fungicide use in agriculture. Guus van Muijlwijk, of the Department of Medical Microbiology at Radboud University is a final year medical student who contributed to the research during an exchange visit to Manchester.

He believes merging antifungal resistance in human pathogenic fungi is causing a huge threat to patients, especially to those with weaken immune systems, and this study emphasises that there may be even a greater problem in treating such diseases.

He explained: "Previously, such resistance has been observed in a few other countries -Denmark, Belgium, Germany, France, India, China, Iran, Tanzania and here at home in the Netherlands -- and it is raising great concerns among clinicians as no new classes of antifungal agent are currently in clinical development. "

Dr Michael Bromley, Lecturer at The University of Manchester and study leader commented: "Given the frequent finding of resistance across northern Europe, it is not a surprise to see resistance in the UK. However, the clear association with triazole fungicide usage is very worrisome, as some unlucky people at risk will breathe in untreatable Aspergillus, with potentially dire consequences."

Diseases caused by Aspergillus affect millions of people worldwide, causing high morbidity and mortality. The only oral antifungal agents (triazoles) for human use are similar in structure to certain fungicides. The use of certain compounds in agriculture, notably difenoconazole, propiconazole, epoxiconazole, bromuconazole and tebuconazol are particularly likely to lead to resistance, yet are freely used in agriculture. There is a very limited range of antifungal compounds to treat fungal diseases, and some fungi are multi-resistant.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Manchester University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael J. Bromley, Guus van Muijlwujk, Marcin G. Fraczek, Geoff Robson, Paul E. Verweij, David W. Denning, Paul Bowyer. Occurrence of azole-resistant species of Aspergillus in the UK environment. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jgar.2014.05.004

Cite This Page:

Manchester University. "Fungicides for crops: Worrying link to fungal drug resistance in UK, warns scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714213449.htm>.
Manchester University. (2014, July 14). Fungicides for crops: Worrying link to fungal drug resistance in UK, warns scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714213449.htm
Manchester University. "Fungicides for crops: Worrying link to fungal drug resistance in UK, warns scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714213449.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins