Isolation of potentially pathogenic fungi from selected pigeons' feeding sites in Karachi: a new dimension to health hazard.
Objective: To determine the presence of pathogenic fungal strains in areas where pigeons are present in a large number. Methods: This study was conducted at the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, Karachi, from February 2015 to March 2016, and comprised samples of soil contaminated with pigeons' excreta. The samples were collected from 20 different pigeon-feeding places in the city. These samples were processed for the isolation and identification of fungi by using standard conventional methods. The fungal strains isolated were also tested for their susceptibility to commonly used antifungal agents by disc diffusion technique. Results: There were 105 samples. A wide variety of fungal strains belonging to different genera of Aspergillus, Rhizopus, Penicillium, Fusarium and Candida were isolated and identified by using conventional methods. The antifungal resistance pattern of these strains also depicts emergence of resistance against commonly used antifungal agents such as amphotericin B and fluconazole. Conclusion: The soil and air of places densely populated with pigeons were found to be loaded with fungal spores and many of them were potential pathogens.