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 September 1, 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 September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) 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