Environmental toxicology and pharmacology

Rapid detection of ciprofloxacin effects on Fusarium graminearum and F. avenaceum cells in modulating environmental pH using a reactive, non-toxic food-dye indicator.

PMID 21843805


The objective of the study was to assess the effect of ciprofloxacin antibiotic on the physiological or phenotypic characteristics of food-borne toxigenic Fusarium graminearum and F. avenaceum molds under in vitro conditions. In the presence of ciprofloxacin, Fusarium mycelia growth and morphology were altered based on the antibiotic concentration range used. Results showed that ciprofloxacin in concentrations ≥40μg/mL induced chlamydospore formation in Fusaria and as such, this antibiotic should be considered as an important abiotic stress factor and growth inhibitor. A novel method was investigated to correlate chlamydospore formation with the colour changes observed in FD&C Green Number 3, a common water soluble food dye. The antibiotic-treated F. graminearum and F. avenaceum isolates produced chamydospores, which in turn altered environmental pH with concomitant changes in the colour and intensity of the dye. The colour changes observed as a function of environmental pH were supported by instrumental methods (pH meter and spectroscopy), and a commercial pH indicator (thymol blue) results. In conclusion, we propose that FD&C Green Number 3 can be used as an accurate indicator for the rapid assessment of Fusarium molds when grown on ciprofloxacin antibiotic-containing substrate. Special emphasis should be given to an indirect risk assessment of antibiotic effects on toxic molds.

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