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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 93-97

Antimicrobial properties of basidiomycota macrofungi to Mycobacterium abscessus isolated from patients with cystic fibrosis

1 Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7AD; School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science, Centre for Experimental Medicine, Queen's University, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast; School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University, Cromore Road, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland, BT52 1SA, UK
2 Plant Pathology Research Division, Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Newforge Lane, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 5PX, UK
3 School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Correspondence Address:
John E Moore
Department of Bacteriology, Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast BT9 7AD, Northern Ireland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmy.ijmy_167_18

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Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has now emerged as a global public health crisis. Of particular concern is AMR associated with the genus Mycobacterium, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). Emergence of the NTM, in particular Mycobacterium abscessus, in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) represents both a diagnostic and a treatment dilemma. Such resistance drives the need to investigate novel sources of antimicrobials. Medicinal fungi have a well-documented history of use in traditional oriental therapies. Not only is this an ancient practice, but also still today, medical practice in Japan, China, Korea, and other Asian countries continue to rely on fungal-derived antibiotics. A study was, therefore, undertaken to examine the antimicrobial activity of 23 native macrofungal (mushrooms/toadstools) taxa, collected from woodlands in Northern Ireland against six clinical (CF) isolates of M. abscessus, as well as M. abscessus National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) Reference strain (NCTC 13031). Methods: Free-growing saprophytic and mycorrhizal macrofungi (n = 23) belonging to the phylum Basidiomycota were collected and were definitively identified employing Polymerase Chain reaction/ITS DNA sequencing. Macrofungal tissues were freeze-dried and reconstituted before employment in antibiotic susceptibility studies. Results: All macrofungi examined showed varying inhibition of the M. abscessus isolates examined with the exception Russula nigricans. The macrofungi displaying maximum antimycobacterial activity against the clinical isolates were (in descending order) M. giganteus (33.6 mg/ml), Hygrocybe nigrescens (38.5 mg/ml) and Hypholoma fasciculare (25.3 mg/ml). Conclusion: Macrofungi may represent a source of novel antimicrobials against M. abscessus, which have not yet been fully explored nor exploited clinically. This is the first report describing the antimycobacterial properties of extracts of M. giganteus against M. abscessus. Further work is now required to identify the constituents and mode of the inhibitory action of these macrofungi against the M. abscessus. Given the gravity of AMR in the NTMs, particularly M. abscessus and the clinical treatment dilemmas that such AMR present, antibiotic drug discovery efforts should now focus on investigating and developing antibacterial compounds from macrofungi, particularly M. giganteus, where there are no or limited current treatment options.

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