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Chemosphere. 1999 Apr;38(8):1745-55.

Mycotoxins of Aspergillus fumigatus in pure culture and in native bioaerosols from compost facilities.

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Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital, RWTH Aachen, Germany.


Exposure to secondary metabolites of airborne fungi in waste handling facilities is discussed in regard to potential toxic impacts on human health. The relevance of mycotoxins has been intensely studied in connection with contamination of food and feed. Toxic secondary metabolites are expected to be present in airborne spores, but exposure to mycotoxins in bioaerosols has not been studied sufficiently. Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most frequent species in the air of compost plants. A wide range of secondary metabolites was found in pure cultures of freshly isolated strains of A. fumigatus. Tryptoquivaline, a compound with tremorgenic properties, and trypacidin, for which no toxic properties are described, were found in native bioaerosols in a compost facility. The highly toxic metabolites gliotoxin and verruculogen were not found in the bioaerosols.

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