Air contamination with Aspergillus species at an indoor rehabilitation centre for sea animals
AbstractAspergillosis in captivity seabirds is often associated with elevated rates of mortality. The infection is usually acquired by inhalation of airborne fungal conidia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of Aspergillus species in the indoor environment of a rehabilitation centre for marine animals in Southern Brazil. This centre continuously receives injured penguins, seagulls, albatrosses and petrels. Petri dishes plates with Agar Sabouraud dextrose and chloramphenicol were left open for 15 minutes in 3 distinct points in the rehabilitation centre and then incubated at 25ºC. During a period of two years the indoor air was sampled in 81 occasions. A total of 43 isolates belonging to 7 different Aspergillus species were recovered. Aspegillus fumigatus was the predominant species (27.9%), followed by A. niger (25.6%), and A. flavus (16.3%). Four other Aspergillus species were isolated. This study demonstrates that seabirds were exposed to pathogenic Aspergillus species in our rehabilitation centre, reinforcing the need for a strict microbiology control of the indoor air in the captivity environment.
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