Emerging Insights into the Occupational Mycobiome
Purpose of Review
The evolution of molecular-based methods over the last two decades has provided new approaches to identify and characterize fungal communities or “mycobiomes” at resolutions previously not possible using traditional hazard identification methods. The recent focus on fungal community assemblages within indoor environments has provided renewed insight into overlooked sources of fungal exposure. In occupational studies, internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region sequencing has recently been utilized in a variety of environments ranging from indoor office buildings to agricultural commodity and harvesting operations.
Fungal communities identified in occupational environments have been primarily placed in the phylum Ascomycota and included classes typically identified using traditional fungal exposure methods such as the Eurotiomycetes, Dothideomycetes, Sordariomycetes, and Saccharomycetes. The phylum Basidiomycota has also been reported to be more prevalent than previously estimated and ITS region sequences have been primarily derived from the classes Agaricomycetes and Ustilaginomycetes. These studies have also resolved sequences placed in the Basidiomycota classes Tremellomycetes and Exobasidiomycetes that include environmental and endogenous yeast species.
These collective datasets have shown that occupational fungal exposures include a much broader diversity of fungi than once thought. Although the clinical implications for occupational allergy are an emerging field of research, establishing the mycobiome in occupational environments will be critical for future studies to determine the complete spectrum of worker exposures to fungal bioaerosols and their impact on worker health.
KeywordsAllergy Fungi Sequencing Occupational Mycobiome
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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