Black Aspergilli (Aspergillus section Nigri) are widely distributed in various habitats. They act as food spoilage organisms, human pathogens, and mycotoxin producers and are frequently encountered in indoor environments. Black Aspergilli, specifically A. niger, A. welwitschiae, and A. carbonarius, produce different ochratoxins and fumonisins. Ochratoxins are known to induce renal disorders following inhalation, which necessitates the determination of potential mycotoxin-producing species in our environment. This paper aimed to compare the diversity and species distribution of black Aspergilli in the indoor environments of six different countries using morphological and molecular methods. A total of 178 black Aspergillus isolates were identified from six countries. In contrast with results from previous studies, A. niger was not the only black Aspergillus detected in indoor air. Species distribution differed among countries, although the distribution in European countries (Croatia, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Turkey) with a temperate climate was considerably similar. The highest species diversity was observed in indoor samples from Thailand, while the lowest was found in Algeria. Potentially ochratoxin- and fumonisin-producing fungi were detected in the indoor air of all six countries. Further studies need to clarify the effect of these fungi and their mycotoxins on human and animal health.
1. Samson RA, Houbraken J, Thrane U, Frisvad JC, Andersen B. Food and indoor fungi. Utrecht: CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre; 2010.
2. Jarvis BB, Miller JD. Mycotoxins as harmful indoor air contaminants. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2005; 66:367-72.
3. Schwab CJ, Straus DC. The roles of Penicillium and Aspergillus in sick building syndrome. Adv Appl Microbiol 2004; 55:215-38.
4. Samson RA, Noonim P, Meijer M, Houbraken J, Frisvad JC, Varga J. Diagnostic tools to identify black Aspergilli. Stud Mycol 2007; 59:129-45.
5. Varga J, Kocsubé S, Szigeti G, Man V, Tóth B, Vágvölgyi C, Bartók T. Black Aspergilli and fumonisin contamination of onions purchased in Hungary. Acta Aliment 2012; 41:414-23.
6. Nielsen KF, Mogensen JM, Johansen M, Larsen TO, Frisvad JC. Review of secondary metabolites and mycotoxins from the Aspergillus niger group. Anal Bioanal Chem 2009; 395:1225-46.
7. Frisvad JC, Larsen TO, Thrane U, Meijer M, Varga J, Samson RA, Nielssen KF. Fumonisin and ochratoxin production in industrial Aspergillus niger strains. PLoS ONE 2011; 6:e23496.
8. Šegvić Klarić M. Adverse effects of combined mycotoxins. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2012; 63:519-30.
9. Piecková E. Adverse health effects of indoor moulds. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2012; 63:545-9.
10. European Commission. Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on fusarium toxins part 3: Fumonisin B1 (FB1). European Commission Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General, Brussels, Belgium; 2000. Varga J, et al. DISTRIBUTION OF BLACK ASPERGILLI IN INDOOR AIR Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2014;65:219-223
11. Di Paolo N, Guarnieri A, Garosi G, Sacchi G, Mangiarotti AM, Di Paolo M. Inhaled mycotoxins lead to acute renal failure. Nephrol Dial Transplant 1994; 9(Suppl 4):116-20.
12. Samson RA, Houbraken JAMP, Kuijpers AFA, Frank JM, Frisvad JC. New ochratoxin or sclerotium producing species in Aspergillus section Nigri. Stud Mycol 2004; 50:45-61.
13. Varga J, Frisvad JC, Kocsubé S, Brankovics B, Tóth B, Szigeti G, Samson RA. New and revisited species in Aspergillus section Nigri. Stud Mycol 2011; 69:1-17.
14. Jurjević Z, Peterson SW, Stea G, Solfrizzo M, Varga J, Hubka V, Perrone G. Two novel species of Aspergillus section Nigri from indoor air. IMA Fungus 2012; 3:159-73.
15. Perrone G, Stea G, Epifani F, Varga J, Frisvad JC, Samson RA. Aspergillus niger contains the cryptic phylogenetic species A. awamori. Fungal Biol 2001; 115:1138-50.
16. Hong SB, Lee M, Kim DH, Varga J, Frisvad JC, Perrone G, Gomi K, Yamada O, Machida M, Houbraken J, Samson RA. Aspergillus luchuensis, an industrially important black Aspergillus in East Asia. PLoS ONE 2013; 8:e63769.
17. Varga J, Kocsubé S, Suri K, Szigeti Gy, Szekeres A, Varga M, Tóth B, Bartók T. Fumonisin contamination and fumonisin producing black Aspergilli in dried vine fruits of different origin. Int J Food Microbiol 2010; 143:143-9.
18. Piecková E. Aspergillus sp. in dwellings and health implications of indoor fungi. [Displayed 29 September 2013]. Available at http://www.aspergillus.org.uk/indexhome.htm?secure/articles/./pieckova.html~main
19. Scott JA. Studies on indoor fungi. Ph D Thesis. Toronto: University of Toronto; 2001.
20. Amend SA, Seifert KA, Samson RA, Bruns TD. Indoor fungal composition is geographically patterned and more diverse in temperate zones than in the tropics. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2010; 107:13748-53.
21. Raper KB, Fennell DI. The genus Aspergillus. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins; 1965.
23. Sørensen A, Lübeck PS, Lübeck M, Nielsen KF, Ahring BK, Teller PJ, Frisvad JC. Aspergillus saccharolyticus sp. nov., a black Aspergillus species isolated in Denmark. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2011; 61:3077-83.
24. Varga J, Kozakiewicz Z. Ochratoxin A in grapes and grapederived products. Trends Food Sci Technol 2006; 17:72-81.