Aims: To determine the pattern and the genetic basis of resistance to terbinafine, a drug extensively used for the treatment of fungal infections in humans.
Methods and results: Four resistant mutants from Aspergillus nidulans isolated after irradiation with ultraviolet light were crossed with the master strain F (MSF). Genetic analysis revealed that a single gene, located on chromosome IV, is responsible for resistance to terbinafine and that the alleles responsible for this resistance in these mutants are of a codominant or dominant nature at high terbinafine concentrations. Furthermore, the interaction of this mutation with another one identified on chromosome II causes the double mutant to be highly resistant.
Conclusions: Periodic surveillance of antimycotic susceptibility would be an important measure in detecting the emergence and spread of resistance. Mutation in a single gene could be responsible for resistance to terbinafine and a genic interaction may be responsible for a higher level of antimycotic resistance.
Significance and impact of the study: The understanding of the mechanisms that lead to changes in the sensitivity of a fungus to a given antifungal agent is important both in order to define strategies for the use of such agent and to guide the development of new antifungal agents.