Biodiversity of Keratinophilic Fungal Flora in University Campus, Jaipur, India

Article excerpt

Abstract

Background: Soil is well known to support the transient or ongoing existence of keratinophilic fungi and potential source of infection for human and animals

Methods: Samples were collected from 67 sites of university campus like PG study centers, playgrounds, gardens, hostels, administrative blocks, library, bank, canteen and road side for the estimation of keratinophilic fungi using the hair baiting technique.

Results: Totally, 192 isolates belonging to 14 genera and 21 species were reported. Soil pH range varies from 6.5 to 9.0 pH. Most of the fungi isolated from neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Chrysosporium tropicum (20.83%) was the most predominant fungi reported from all sites. Trichophyton mentagrophytes (15.10%) was the second most commonly reported fungi. Chrysosporium indicum (11.45%), T. simii (9.37%), C.evolceanui (8.83%) T. terrestre (4.68%) and Cephaliophora irregularies (4.68%) were frequently reported. Microsporum audouinii, Paceliomyces sp., Cladosporium sp. and Sporothrix schenckii were isolated for the first time from Jaipur.

Conclusion: Road sides were found most suitable for the occurrence of all most all keratinophilic fungi. Higher incidence of keratinophilic fungi was found in hostel sides followed by road sides, PG study centers and play grounds.

Keywords: Keratinophilic fungi, Playground, Soil, India

Introduction

Keratinophilic fungi include a variety of filamentous fungi mainly comprising hypomycetes and several other taxonomic groups. Hypomycetes include dermatophytes and a great variety of nondermatophytic filamentous fungi. These fungi occurred abundantly in the superficial soil layer of landfills and surrounding and distributed worldwide (1-7). Keratinophilic fungi are present in the environment with variable distribution patterns that depend on different factors, such as human and or animal presence, which are of fundamental importance.

They occur on cornfield debris in the soil and degrade hard keratin and keratinous material. Therefore they play an important ecological role in decomposing such residue (8, 9). Keratinophilic fungi are generally considered as soil saprophytes (10). Soil that is rich in keratinous material is most conducive for the growth and occurrence of keratinophilic fungi. The species of keratinophilic fungal group have been divided into three categories according to their natural habitats. Anthropophilic, when human being are the natural hosts: Zoophilic, when a variety of animals act as natural hosts; Geophilic, when the soil is the natural habitat. Most of the keratinophilic fungi are not dermatophytes but soil inhabitants. Keratin decomposition in soil leads to an increase in carbon, and nitrogen ratio in soil. They are therefore fast growing nonpathogenic keratinophilic fungi which it is proposed, should be utilized for the recycling of keratin in soil and may be exploited for their biotechnological potential in industry. Many of them are closely related to the dermatophytes having properties in common with them and cause human and animal infection (11-14). In our previous work (15) we carried out a survey of keratinophilic fungal flora of Jaipur district with particular reference to soil pH and found that road side and garden soil were the most suitable sites for the almost all keratinophilic fungi. During that study we took few samples from PG study center.

These studies promoted us to explore biodiversity distribution of keratinophilic and dermatophytic fungal flora from world famous Rajasthan University Campus, Jaipur District in order to promote the knowledge of students and people to observe health regulations to control and prevent fungal disease.

Material and Methods

University of Rajasthan is the oldest university in Indian state of Rajasthan. It was set up on 8th Jan 1947 as the University of Rajputana and was renamed to its current name in 1956. University campus is situated in the heart of Jaipur City which is popularly known as Pink city. …