Haemolytic fungi isolated from sago starch in Papua New Guinea

Greenhill, Andrew R., Blaney, Barry J., Shipton, Warren A., Pue, Aisak, Fletcher, Mary T., and Warner, Jeffrey M. (2010) Haemolytic fungi isolated from sago starch in Papua New Guinea. Mycopathologia, 169 (2). pp. 107-115.

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Sago haemolytic disease (SHD) is a rare but often fatal illness linked to consumption of stale sago starch in Papua New Guinea. Although the aetiology of SHD remains unknown, mycotoxins are suspected. This study investigated whether fungi isolated from Papua New Guinean sago starch were haemolytic. Filamentous fungi and yeasts from sago starch were grown on sheep blood agar and some on human blood agar. Clear haemolytic activity was demonstrated by 55% of filamentous fungal isolates, but not by yeasts. A semi-quantitative bioassay was developed involving incubation of human erythrocytes with fungal extracts. Extracts of cultures of Penicillium, Aspergillus and Fusarium all caused rapid haemolysis in the bioassay. Partial fractionation of extracts suggested that both polar and non-polar haemolytic components had haemolytic activity in vitro. Further work is warranted to identify these metabolites and determine if they play a role in SHD.

Item ID: 15010
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-0832
Keywords: sago starch, mycotoxin, haemolysis, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Trichoderma
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2010 02:30
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110303 Clinical Microbiology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060505 Mycology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920406 Food Safety @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 30%
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