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Deciphering the Environmental Sources and Genetic Basis of Antifungal Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus


Antifungal resistance (AFR) in Aspergillus fumigatus is a global human health problem. Aspergillus spp. including A. fumigatus are important ecologically as decomposers of organic matter and are widespread in the environment. Triazole fungicides used for crop protection are structurally like azole antifungal drugs used in humans and cross-resistance is documented. Intensive use of triazoles on certain horticultural crops is linked to an increased risk of azole resistance development in environmental isolates of A. fumigatus causing aspergillosis. The role of azole usage in non-food crop production in development of azole resistance is not well documented. Components of fungicide stewardship and integrated pest management that reduce the risk of AFR development in Aspergillus spp. are not yet elucidated.Thelong-term goalof our research is to enhance plant and human health through the prevention or slowing of antifungal resistance in the environment. Theshort-termgoal of our research is to decipher the environmental sources and genetic basis of azole resistantA. fumigatus.Elucidation of the production practices that increase the risk of antifungal resistance development in crop production systems will lead to the development of effective strategies to maintain a healthy and economically viable crop while improving public health through the reduction of AMR in the environment. The specific objectives of this integrated proposal are to:1.Determine the prevalence and mechanisms of azole resistantAspergillus fumigatusin agricultural, urban, commercial, and naturalized systems. (Research)2.Determine if agricultural azoles exert fungicide resistance selection pressure onAspergillus fumigatuspopulations in vegetable and fruit production systems. (Research)3. Provide a Knowledge Exchange to allow in-person and virtual information sharing by researchers, industry members, and government on antifungal resistance and fungicide stewardship.(Extension)

Ivey, Melanie L
Ohio State University
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