Document Detail

Arsenic methylation by micro-organisms isolated from sheepskin bedding materials.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12856955     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has been associated with the volatilization of arsenic, antimony or phosphorus compounds from infants' bedding material by micro-organisms, the so-called 'toxic gas hypothesis'. The volatilization of arsenic by aerobic micro-organisms isolated from new sheepskin bedding material, as well as on material used by a healthy infant and by an infant who perished of SIDS, was examined. Three fungi were isolated from a piece of sheepskin bedding material on which an infant perished of SIDS, which methylated arsenic to form trimethylarsenic(V) species, precursors to volatile trimethylarsine. These three fungi were identified as Scopulariopsis koningii, Fomitopsis pinicola and Penicillium gladioli by their 26S-ribosomal RNA polymerase chain reaction products. These fungi were not previously known to methylate arsenic. The volatilization of arsenic by these three fungi was then examined. Only P. gladioli volatilized arsenic and only under conditions such that the production of sufficient trimethylarsine to be acutely toxic to an infant is unlikely. S. brevicaulis grew on the sheepskin bedding material and evolved a trace amount of trimethylarsine. Known human pathogens such as Mycobacterium neoaurum and Acinetobacter junii were isolated from used bedding.
Corinne R Lehr; Elena Polishchuk; Marie-Chantal Delisle; Catherine Franz; William R Cullen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Human & experimental toxicology     Volume:  22     ISSN:  0960-3271     ISO Abbreviation:  Hum Exp Toxicol     Publication Date:  2003 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-07-14     Completed Date:  2003-10-23     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9004560     Medline TA:  Hum Exp Toxicol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  325-34     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Arsenic / metabolism,  toxicity*
Arsenicals / metabolism*
Ascomycota / metabolism
Bacillus / metabolism
Bedding and Linens / microbiology*
Penicillium / metabolism
Polyporaceae / metabolism
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Sudden Infant Death / etiology
Wool / microbiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Arsenicals; 593-88-4/trimethylarsine; 7440-38-2/Arsenic

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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