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Background: Aspergillosis has been identified as one of the hospital acquired infections but the contribution of water and inhouse air as possible sources of Aspergillus infection in immunocompromised individuals like HIV-TB patients have not been studied in any hospital setting in Nigeria.
Objective: To identify and investigate genetic relationship between clinical and environmental Aspergillus sp. associated with HIV-TB co infected patients.
Methods: DNA extraction, purification, amplification and sequencing of Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) genes were performed using standard protocols. Similarity search using BLAST on NCBI was used for species identification and MEGA 5.0 was used for phylogenetic analysis.
Results: Analyses of sequenced ITS genes of selected fourteen (14) Aspergillus isolates identified in the GenBank database revealed Aspergillus niger (28.57%), A. tubingensis (7.14%), A. flavus (7.14%) and A. fumigatus (57.14%). Aspergillus in sputum of HIV patients were Aspergillus niger, A. fumigatus, A. tubingensis and A. flavus. Also, A. niger and A. fumigatus were identified from water and open-air. Phylogenetic analysis of sequences yielded genetic relatedness between clinical and environmental isolates.
Conclusion: Water and air in health care settings in Nigeria are important sources of Aspergillus sp. for HIV-TB patients.
Keywords: Internal transcribed spacer genes, phylogenetic, genetic relationship, clinical and environmental fungi, HIV-TB