Azole Resistance in Veterinary Clinical Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates in the Netherlands

Marloes A M van Dijk*, Jochem B Buil, Marlou Tehupeiory-Kooreman, Marian J Broekhuizen, Els M Broens, Jaap A Wagenaar, Paul E Verweij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprophytic fungal pathogen that causes opportunistic infections in animals and humans. Azole resistance has been reported globally in human A. fumigatus isolates, but the prevalence of resistance in isolates from animals is largely unknown. A retrospective resistance surveillance study was performed using a collection of clinical A. fumigatus isolates from various animal species collected between 2015 and 2020. Agar-based azole resistance screening of all isolates was followed by in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing and cyp51A gene sequencing of the azole-resistant isolates. Over the 5 year period 16 (11.3%) of 142 A. fumigatus culture-positive animals harbored an azole-resistant isolate. Resistant isolates were found in birds (15%; 2/13), cats (21%; 6/28), dogs (8%; 6/75) and free-ranging harbor porpoise (33%; 2/6). Azole-resistance was cyp51A mediated in all isolates: 81.3% (T-67G/)TR 34/L98H, 12.5% TR 46/Y121F/T289A. In one azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolate a combination of C(-70)T/F46Y/C(intron7)T/C(intron66)T/M172V/E427K single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the cyp51A gene was found. Of the animals with an azole-resistant isolate and known azole exposure status 71.4% (10/14) were azole naive. Azole resistance in A. fumigatus isolates from animals in the Netherlands is present and predominantly cyp51A TR-mediated, supporting an environmental route of resistance selection. Our data supports the need to include veterinary isolates in resistance surveillance programs. Veterinarians should consider azole resistance as a reason for therapy failure when treating aspergillosis and consider resistance testing of relevant isolates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2024


  • Animals
  • Aspergillosis
  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Azole resistance
  • Fungi


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