First reported case of Gilbertella persicaria in human stool: outcome of a community study from Segamat, Johor, Malaysia


Species of fungi belonging to the order Mucorales can be found everywhere in the environment. Gilbertella persicaria, which belongs to this order, have often been isolated from fruits and in water systems. However, there has been no report of isolation of this fungus from human samples. During a gut mycobiome study, from the Segamat community, Gilbertella persicaria was isolated from a human fecal sample and was characterized through a series of morphological assessment, biochemical tests, and molecular techniques. The isolate produced a white velvety surface that turned grayish after 24 h. Although no biofilm production was observed, the results indicated that the isolate could form calcium oxalate crystals, produced urease, and was resistant to low pH. The isolate was sensitive to amphotericin but resistant to voriconazole and itraconazole. The features of this fungus that could help in its survival in the human gut are also discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. 1.

    Das Mehrotra M (1964) Fruit rot of tomato caused by Gilbertella persicaria. Sydowia 17:17–19

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Ginting C, Zehr E, Westcott S (1996) Inoculum sources and characterization of isolates of Gilbertella persicaria from peach fruit in South Carolina. Plant Dis 80:1129–1134

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    I. Cruz-Lachica, I. Marquez-Zequera, R. S. Garcia-Estrada, J. A. Carillo-Fasio, J. Leon-Felix, and R. Allende-Molar, “First Report of Gilbertella persicaria Causing Papaya Fruit Rot,” Plant Dis., vol. 100, no. 1, p. 227, 2015.

  4. 4.

    Guo LW, Wu YX, Mao ZC, Ho HH, He YQ (2012) Storage Rot of Dragon Fruit Caused by Gilbertella persicaria. Plant Dis 96(12):1826

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Pinho DB, Pereira OL, Soares DJ (2014) First report of Gilbertella persicaria as the cause of soft rot of fruit of Syzygium cumini. Australas Plant Dis Notes 9(1):14–17

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Vieira JCB, Camara MPS, Bezerra JDP, Motta CMS, Machado AR (2018) First Report of Gilbertella persicaria Causing Soft Rot in Eggplant Fruit in Brazil. Plant Dis 102(6):1172

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Eddy ED (1925) A storage rot of peaches caused by new species of Choanephora. Phytopath 15:607–610

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Hesseltine CW (1960) Gilbertella gen. Nov. (Mucorales). Bot Club 87(1):21–30

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Lee SH, Nguyen TTT, Lee HB (2018) Isolation and characterization of two rare Mucoralean species with specific habitats. Mycobiology 46(3):205–214

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Schulze J, Sonnenborn U (2009) Yeasts in the gut: from commensals to infectious agents. Dtsch Arztebl 106(51–52):837–842

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Xu J, Gordon JI (2003) Honor thy symbionts. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 100(18):10452–10459

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Qin J et al (2010) Europe PMC funders group Europe PMC funders author manuscripts a human gut microbial gene catalog established by metagenomic sequencing. Nature 464(7285):59–65

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Hallen-Adams HE, Kachman SD, Kim J, Legge RM, Martínez I (2015) Fungi inhabiting the healthy human gastrointestinal tract: a diverse and dynamic community. Fungal Ecol 15:9–17

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Hallen-Adams HE, Suhr MJ (2017) Fungi in the healthy human gastrointestinal tract. Virulence 8(3):352–358

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    E. Ksiezopolska and T. Gabaldón, “Evolutionary emergence of drug resistance in candida opportunistic pathogens,” Genes (Basel)., vol. 9, no. 9, 2018

  16. 16.

    WMA and World Medical Association, 2013“WMA DECLARATION OF HELSINKI – ETHICAL PRINCIPLES FOR Scientific Requirements and Research Protocols,” World Med. Assoc., no. June 1964, pp. 29–32

  17. 17.

    Siqueira VM, Lima N (2013) Biofilm formation by filamentous Fungi recovered from a water system. J Mycol 2013:1–9

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, 2002“Reference method for broth dilution antifungal susceptibility testing of filamentous fungi. Approved standard. NCCLS document M38-A,” Villanova, Pa,

  19. 19.

    Cantón E, Espinel-Ingroff A, Pemán J (2009) Trends in antifungal susceptibility testing using CLSI reference and commercial methods. Expert Rev Anti-Infect Ther 7(1):107–119

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Jin J, Wickes BL (2004) Simple chemical extraction method for DNA isolation from. Society 42(9):4293–4296

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Whitney KD, Arnott HJ (1986) Morphology and development of calcium oxalate deposits in Gilbertella persicaria(Mucorales). Mycologia 78(1):42–51

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Uloth MB, Clode PL, You MP, Barbetti MJ (2015) Calcium oxalate crystals: an integral component of the Sclerotinia sclerotiorum/Brassica carinata pathosystem. PLoS One 10(3):1–15

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Whitney KD, Arnott HJ (1988) The effect of calcium on Mycelial growth and calcium oxalate crystal formation in Gilbertella persicaria (Mucorales). Mycologia 80(5):707–715

    Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Dutton MV, Evans CS, Atkey PT, Wood DA (1993) Oxalate production by Basidiomycetes, including the white-rot species Coriolus versicolor and Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 39(1):5–10

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Yang J, Tewari JP, Verma PR (1993) Calcium oxalate crystal formation in Rhizoctonia solani AG 2-1 culture and infected crucifer tissue: relationship between host calcium and resistance. Mycol Res 97(12):1516–1522

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Nakata PA (2003) Advances in our understanding of calcium oxalate crystal formation and function in plants. Plant Sci 164(6):901–909

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Hess D, Coker D, Loutsch JM, Russ J (2008) Production of oxalates in vitro by microbes isolated from rock surfaces with prehistoric paints in the lower Pecos region, Texas. Geoarchaeology 23(1):3–11

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    H. J. Arnott, “Calcium oxalate in fungi. In: Khan SR, ed. Calcium oxalate in biological systems,” Boca Raton, Florida, 1995

  29. 29.

    Menon RR et al (2019) Screening of Fungi for potential application of self-healing concrete. Sci Rep 9(1):1–12

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Takó M, Kotogán A, Krisch J, Vágvölgyi C, Mondal KC, Papp T (2015) Enhanced production of industrial enzymes in Mucoromycotina fungi during solid-state fermentation of agricultural wastes/by-products. Acta Biol Hung 66(3):348–360

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    M. Tako, 2011“Analysis of Beta-glucosidases from Zygomycetes Fungi: purification and characterization of the enzyme, molecular and functional analysis of the coding genes,”

  32. 32.

    Rutherford JC (2014) The emerging role of urease as a general microbial virulence factor. PLoS Pathog 10(5):1–3

    Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Cox GM, Mukherjee J, Cole GT, Casadevall A, Perfect JR (2000) Urease as a virulence factor in experimental cryptococcosis. Infect Immun 68(2):443–448

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Mirbod-Donovan F, Schaller R, Hung CY, Xue J, Reichard U, Cole GT (2006) Urease produced by Coccidioides posadasii contributes to the virulence of this respiratory pathogen. Infect Immun 74(1):504–515

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Dannaoui E, Mouton JW, Meis JF, Verweij PE, Eurofung Network (2002) Efficacy of antifungal therapy in a nonneutropenic murine model of zygomycosis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 46(6):1953–1959

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Sabatelli F, Patel R, Mann PA, Mendrick CA, Norris CC, Hare R, Loebenberg D, Black TA, McNicholas PM (2006) In vitro activities of posaconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, and amphotericin B against a large collection of clinically important molds and yeasts. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 50(6):2009–2015

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Almyroudis NG, Sutton DA, Fothergill AW, Rinaldi MG, Kusne S (2007) In vitro susceptibilities of 217 clinical isolates of zygomycetes to conventional and new antifungal agents. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 51(7):2587–2590

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Alastruey-Izquierdo A, Victoria Castelli M, Cuesta I, Monzón AH, Cuenca-Estrella M, Rodriguez-Tudela JL (2009) Activity of posaconazole and other antifungal agents against mucorales strains identified by sequencing of internal transcribed spacers. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 53(4):1686–1689

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Caetano LA, Faria T, Springer J, Loeffler J, Viegas C (2019) Antifungal-resistant Mucorales in different indoor environments. Mycology 10(2):75–83

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Caramalho R, Tyndall JDA, Monk BC, Larentis T, Lass-Flörl C, Lackner M (2017) Intrinsic short-tailed azole resistance in mucormycetes is due to an evolutionary conserved aminoacid substitution of the lanosterol 14α-demethylase. Sci Rep 7(1):3–12

    Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Singh R, Shivaprakash MR, Chakrabarti A (2011) Biofilm formation by zygomycetes: quantification, structure and matrix composition. Microbiology 157(9):2611–2618

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors wish to thank Monash University Malaysia, Tropical Medicine and Biology Multidisciplinary Platform and the South East Asia Community Observatory for their support.


This work was supported by Monash University Malaysia multidisciplinary project funding [LG-2017-01-SCI], Monash University Australia funding [SCI/MUA/02–2019/001], the School of Science Monash University Malaysia, and discretionary funding from Tropical Medicine and Biology Multidisciplinary Platform.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joash Ban Lee Tan.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval was given by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC, Project ID/Approval no.: 1516) which is per the WMA Declaration of Helsinki [16] and complied with international and institutional standards.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Responsible Editor: Celia Maria de Almeida Soares.

Electronic supplementary material


(DOCX 36 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Huët, M.A.L., Wong, L.W., Goh, C.B.S. et al. First reported case of Gilbertella persicaria in human stool: outcome of a community study from Segamat, Johor, Malaysia. Braz J Microbiol (2020).

Download citation


  • Mucorales
  • Gilbertella persicaria
  • Human gut
  • Fecal sample
  • Malaysia