A Comparison of Biosurfactant Production Between Clinical and Environmental Exophiala Isolates

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Ergin C. , Aksoy L., Kaplan E., Ilkit M.

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, cilt.52, sa.3, ss.293-299, 2018 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 52 Konu: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2018
  • Doi Numarası: 10.5578/mb.66755
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.293-299


Black yeast in the genus Exophiala are able to grow in hydrocarbon-contaminated environments and are pathogenic in immunosuppressed hosts. The biosurfactant produced by Exophiala species may be associated with strain pathogenicity by changing the hydrophobicity. The aim of this study was to prove the hypothesis that biosurfactant production in Exophilia strains isolated from clinical samples is lower than the strains isolates from toxic (dishwasher and railway sleepers) environments. A total of 122 Exophiala isolates 108 environmental (isolated from 82 dishwashers and 36 railway sleepers) and 14 clinical isolates confirmed by molecular tests were included in the study. Biosurfactant activity was tested by the drop collapse method, in which the surface of a microtiter plate well was evaluated for the presence of a biosurfactant, and by the oil spreading technique on crude oil. An open source analyses program, Image](R), was used for crude oil spreading technique data. A clear surface zone that differs more than two standard deviations from the mean size was accepted as a positive result. Among the 122 Exophiala species, 11 (9.0%) and 10 (8.2%) strains showed biosurfactant activity by the drop collapse test and oil spreading method, respectively. An acceptable relation was found between the drop collapse test and oil spreading method (Cohen kappa coefficient= 0.30). Despite the presence of isolates showing biosurfactant activity, no statistically significant difference was detected between Exophiala strains (p= 0.72). The biosurfactant levels of environmental isolates were higher than the isolates obtained from the patients (p= 0.03). The highest biosurfactant level was observed in one Exophiala phaeomuriformis strain isolated from a dishwasher. There was no difference between the biosurfactant levels of the dishwasher and railway sleeper isolates (p= 0.66). Biosurfactant production may be a more important determinant of virulence in Exophiala species than expected. In this study, biosurfactant activity was higher in environmental isolates compared to the clinical isolates. Consensus of multiple biosurfactant screening protocols may clarify why environmental Exophiala species are less virulent. Further studies should evaluate biosurfactant activity in additional clinical Exophiala isolates. The biosurfactant activity of more Exophiala isolates obtained from patients should be investigated with further planned studies.