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Tremorgenic mycotoxins from Aspergillus fumigatus as a possible occupational health problem in sawmills


, : Tremorgenic mycotoxins from Aspergillus fumigatus as a possible occupational health problem in sawmills. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 53(4): 787-790

Wood-trimmers' disease, generally called extrinsic allergic alveolitis, which affects workers in sawmills, is thought to be caused by fungal diaspores. The importance of Aspergillus fumigatus on the surface of wood dried in kilns is accentuated by its ability to produce tremorgenic mycotoxins. Eight strains of A. fumigatus from five different sawmills were isolated and cultivated on liquid media, and one of the strains was also cultivated on wood blocks. Extracts were prepared, and the tremorgenic reactions were induced by oral administration of extracts to rats. Extracts of the strain grown in liquid medium and on wood blocks induced very strong tremorgenic reactions when administered orally to rats. Four other strains induced mild tremorgenic reactions. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed two tremorgenic mycotoxins, verruculogen and fumitremorgen C, in the five toxic strains. One nontoxic strain produced detectable levels of verruculogen. These results, coupled with the known resemblance of the acutely toxic phase of wood-trimmers' disease to the symptoms produced by these tremorgens, imply that wood-trimmers' disease and similar occupational diseases are, at least in part, mycotoxicoses.

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Accession: 006839220

PMID: 3555338

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