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Sample records for aspergillus fumigatus infection

  1. Targeting zinc homeostasis to combat Aspergillus fumigatus infections

    PubMed Central

    Vicentefranqueira, Rocío; Amich, Jorge; Laskaris, Paris; Ibrahim-Granet, Oumaima; Latgé, Jean P.; Toledo, Héctor; Leal, Fernando; Calera, José A.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is able to invade and grow in the lungs of immunosuppressed individuals and causes invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. The concentration of free zinc in living tissues is much lower than that required for optimal fungal growth in vitro because most of it is tightly bound to proteins. To obtain efficiently zinc from a living host A. fumigatus uses the zinc transporters ZrfA, ZrfB, and ZrfC. The ZafA transcriptional regulator induces the expression of all these transporters and is essential for virulence. Thus, ZafA could be targeted therapeutically to inhibit fungal growth. The ZrfC transporter plays the major role in zinc acquisition from the host whereas ZrfA and ZrfB rather have a supplementary role to that of ZrfC. In addition, only ZrfC enables A. fumigatus to overcome the inhibitory effect of calprotectin, which is an antimicrobial Zn/Mn-chelating protein synthesized and released by neutrophils within the fungal abscesses of immunosuppressed non-leucopenic animals. Hence, fungal survival in these animals would be undermined upon blocking therapeutically the function of ZrfC. Therefore, both ZafA and ZrfC have emerged as promising targets for the discovery of new antifungals to treat Aspergillus infections. PMID:25774155

  2. Targeting zinc homeostasis to combat Aspergillus fumigatus infections.

    PubMed

    Vicentefranqueira, Rocío; Amich, Jorge; Laskaris, Paris; Ibrahim-Granet, Oumaima; Latgé, Jean P; Toledo, Héctor; Leal, Fernando; Calera, José A

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is able to invade and grow in the lungs of immunosuppressed individuals and causes invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. The concentration of free zinc in living tissues is much lower than that required for optimal fungal growth in vitro because most of it is tightly bound to proteins. To obtain efficiently zinc from a living host A. fumigatus uses the zinc transporters ZrfA, ZrfB, and ZrfC. The ZafA transcriptional regulator induces the expression of all these transporters and is essential for virulence. Thus, ZafA could be targeted therapeutically to inhibit fungal growth. The ZrfC transporter plays the major role in zinc acquisition from the host whereas ZrfA and ZrfB rather have a supplementary role to that of ZrfC. In addition, only ZrfC enables A. fumigatus to overcome the inhibitory effect of calprotectin, which is an antimicrobial Zn/Mn-chelating protein synthesized and released by neutrophils within the fungal abscesses of immunosuppressed non-leucopenic animals. Hence, fungal survival in these animals would be undermined upon blocking therapeutically the function of ZrfC. Therefore, both ZafA and ZrfC have emerged as promising targets for the discovery of new antifungals to treat Aspergillus infections. PMID:25774155

  3. Aspergillus fumigatus in Poultry

    PubMed Central

    Arné, Pascal; Thierry, Simon; Wang, Dongying; Deville, Manjula; Le Loc'h, Guillaume; Desoutter, Anaïs; Féménia, Françoise; Nieguitsila, Adélaïde; Huang, Weiyi; Chermette, René; Guillot, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus remains a major respiratory pathogen in birds. In poultry, infection by A. fumigatus may induce significant economic losses particularly in turkey production. A. fumigatus develops and sporulates easily in poor quality bedding or contaminated feedstuffs in indoor farm environments. Inadequate ventilation and dusty conditions increase the risk of bird exposure to aerosolized spores. Acute cases are seen in young animals following inhalation of spores, causing high morbidity and mortality. The chronic form affects older birds and looks more sporadic. The respiratory tract is the primary site of A. fumigatus development leading to severe respiratory distress and associated granulomatous airsacculitis and pneumonia. Treatments for infected poultry are nonexistent; therefore, prevention is the only way to protect poultry. Development of avian models of aspergillosis may improve our understanding of its pathogenesis, which remains poorly understood. PMID:21826144

  4. Metabolomics of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Frisvad, Jens C; Rank, Christian; Nielsen, Kristian F; Larsen, Thomas O

    2009-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important species in Aspergillus causing infective lung diseases. This species has been reported to produce a large number of extrolites, including secondary metabolites, acids, and proteins such as hydrophobins and extracellular enzymes. At least 226 potentially bioactive secondary metabolites have been reported from A. fumigatus that can be ordered into 24 biosynthetic families. Of these families we have detected representatives from the following families of secondary metabolites: fumigatins, fumigaclavines, fumiquinazolines, trypacidin and monomethylsulochrin, fumagillins, gliotoxins, pseurotins, chloroanthraquinones, fumitremorgins, verruculogen, helvolic acids, and pyripyropenes by HPLC with diode array detection and mass spectrometric detection. There is still doubt whether A. fumigatus can produce tryptoquivalins, but all isolates produce the related fumiquinazolines. We also tentatively detected sphingofungins in A. fumigatus Af293 and in an isolate of A. lentulus. The sphingofungins may have a similar role as the toxic fumonisins, found in A. niger. A further number of mycotoxins, including ochratoxin A, and other secondary metabolites have been reported from A. fumigatus, but in those cases either the fungus or its metabolite appear to be misidentified. PMID:18763205

  5. Pharmacodynamics of Isavuconazole in an Aspergillus fumigatus Mouse Infection Model

    PubMed Central

    Brüggemann, Roger J. M.; Meis, Jacques F.; Melchers, Willem J. G.; Verweij, Paul E.

    2015-01-01

    Azole resistance is an emerging problem in Aspergillus fumigatus which translates into treatment failure. Alternative treatments with new azoles may improve therapeutic outcome in invasive aspergillosis (IA) even for strains with decreased susceptibility to current azoles. The in vivo efficacy of 0.25, 1, 4, 16, 64, 128, 256, and 512 mg/kg of body weight/day prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate (BAL8557) (isavuconazole [ISA]-equivalent doses of 0.12, 0.48, 1.92, 7.68, 30.7, 61.4, 122.9, and 245.8 mg/kg/day, respectively) administered by oral gavage was assessed in an immunocompetent murine model of IA against four clinical A. fumigatus isolates: a wild-type isolate (ISA MICEUCAST, 0.5 mg/liter) and three azole-resistant isolates harboring substitutions in the cyp51A gene: G54W (ISA MICEUCAST, 0.5 mg/liter), M220I (ISA MICEUCAST, 4 mg/liter), and TR34/L98H (ISA MICEUCAST, 8 mg/liter). The maximum effect (100% survival) was reached at a prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate dose of 64 mg/kg for the wild-type isolate, 128 mg/kg for the G54W mutant, and 256 mg/kg two times per day (q12) for the M220I mutant. A maximum response was not achieved with the TR34/L98H isolates with the highest dose of prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate (256 mg/kg q12). For a survival rate of 50%, the effective AUC0–24/MICEUCAST ratio for ISA total drug was 24.73 (95% confidence interval, 22.50 to 27.18). The efficacy of isavuconazole depended on both the drug exposure and the isavuconazole MIC of the isolates. The quantitative relationship between exposure and effect (AUC0–24/MIC) can be used to optimize the treatment of human infections by A. fumigatus, including strains with decreased susceptibility. PMID:25753636

  6. Dynamic Immune Cell Recruitment After Murine Pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus Infection under Different Immunosuppressive Regimens

    PubMed Central

    Kalleda, Natarajaswamy; Amich, Jorge; Arslan, Berkan; Poreddy, Spoorthi; Mattenheimer, Katharina; Mokhtari, Zeinab; Einsele, Hermann; Brock, Matthias; Heinze, Katrin Gertrud; Beilhack, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Humans are continuously exposed to airborne spores of the saprophytic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. However, in healthy individuals pulmonary host defense mechanisms efficiently eliminate the fungus. In contrast, A. fumigatus causes devastating infections in immunocompromised patients. Host immune responses against A. fumigatus lung infections in immunocompromised conditions have remained largely elusive. Given the dynamic changes in immune cell subsets within tissues upon immunosuppressive therapy, we dissected the spatiotemporal pulmonary immune response after A. fumigatus infection to reveal basic immunological events that fail to effectively control invasive fungal disease. In different immunocompromised murine models, myeloid, notably neutrophils, and macrophages, but not lymphoid cells were strongly recruited to the lungs upon infection. Other myeloid cells, particularly dendritic cells and monocytes, were only recruited to lungs of corticosteroid treated mice, which developed a strong pulmonary inflammation after infection. Lymphoid cells, particularly CD4+ or CD8+ T-cells and NK cells were highly reduced upon immunosuppression and not recruited after A. fumigatus infection. Moreover, adoptive CD11b+ myeloid cell transfer rescued cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed mice from lethal A. fumigatus infection but not cortisone and cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed mice. Our findings illustrate that CD11b+ myeloid cells are critical for anti-A. fumigatus defense under cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed conditions. PMID:27468286

  7. Dynamic Immune Cell Recruitment After Murine Pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus Infection under Different Immunosuppressive Regimens.

    PubMed

    Kalleda, Natarajaswamy; Amich, Jorge; Arslan, Berkan; Poreddy, Spoorthi; Mattenheimer, Katharina; Mokhtari, Zeinab; Einsele, Hermann; Brock, Matthias; Heinze, Katrin Gertrud; Beilhack, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Humans are continuously exposed to airborne spores of the saprophytic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. However, in healthy individuals pulmonary host defense mechanisms efficiently eliminate the fungus. In contrast, A. fumigatus causes devastating infections in immunocompromised patients. Host immune responses against A. fumigatus lung infections in immunocompromised conditions have remained largely elusive. Given the dynamic changes in immune cell subsets within tissues upon immunosuppressive therapy, we dissected the spatiotemporal pulmonary immune response after A. fumigatus infection to reveal basic immunological events that fail to effectively control invasive fungal disease. In different immunocompromised murine models, myeloid, notably neutrophils, and macrophages, but not lymphoid cells were strongly recruited to the lungs upon infection. Other myeloid cells, particularly dendritic cells and monocytes, were only recruited to lungs of corticosteroid treated mice, which developed a strong pulmonary inflammation after infection. Lymphoid cells, particularly CD4(+) or CD8(+) T-cells and NK cells were highly reduced upon immunosuppression and not recruited after A. fumigatus infection. Moreover, adoptive CD11b(+) myeloid cell transfer rescued cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed mice from lethal A. fumigatus infection but not cortisone and cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed mice. Our findings illustrate that CD11b(+) myeloid cells are critical for anti-A. fumigatus defense under cyclophosphamide immunosuppressed conditions. PMID:27468286

  8. Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Latgé, Jean-Paul

    1999-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most ubiquitous of the airborne saprophytic fungi. Humans and animals constantly inhale numerous conidia of this fungus. The conidia are normally eliminated in the immunocompetent host by innate immune mechanisms, and aspergilloma and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, uncommon clinical syndromes, are the only infections observed in such hosts. Thus, A. fumigatus was considered for years to be a weak pathogen. With increases in the number of immunosuppressed patients, however, there has been a dramatic increase in severe and usually fatal invasive aspergillosis, now the most common mold infection worldwide. In this review, the focus is on the biology of A. fumigatus and the diseases it causes. Included are discussions of (i) genomic and molecular characterization of the organism, (ii) clinical and laboratory methods available for the diagnosis of aspergillosis in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts, (iii) identification of host and fungal factors that play a role in the establishment of the fungus in vivo, and (iv) problems associated with antifungal therapy. PMID:10194462

  9. FleA Expression in Aspergillus fumigatus Is Recognized by Fucosylated Structures on Mucins and Macrophages to Prevent Lung Infection.

    PubMed

    Kerr, Sheena C; Fischer, Gregory J; Sinha, Meenal; McCabe, Orla; Palmer, Jonathan M; Choera, Tsokyi; Lim, Fang Yun; Wimmerova, Michaela; Carrington, Stephen D; Yuan, Shaopeng; Lowell, Clifford A; Oscarson, Stefan; Keller, Nancy P; Fahy, John V

    2016-04-01

    The immune mechanisms that recognize inhaled Aspergillus fumigatus conidia to promote their elimination from the lungs are incompletely understood. FleA is a lectin expressed by Aspergillus fumigatus that has twelve binding sites for fucosylated structures that are abundant in the glycan coats of multiple plant and animal proteins. The role of FleA is unknown: it could bind fucose in decomposed plant matter to allow Aspergillus fumigatus to thrive in soil, or it may be a virulence factor that binds fucose in lung glycoproteins to cause Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. Our studies show that FleA protein and Aspergillus fumigatus conidia bind avidly to purified lung mucin glycoproteins in a fucose-dependent manner. In addition, FleA binds strongly to macrophage cell surface proteins, and macrophages bind and phagocytose fleA-deficient (∆fleA) conidia much less efficiently than wild type (WT) conidia. Furthermore, a potent fucopyranoside glycomimetic inhibitor of FleA inhibits binding and phagocytosis of WT conidia by macrophages, confirming the specific role of fucose binding in macrophage recognition of WT conidia. Finally, mice infected with ΔfleA conidia had more severe pneumonia and invasive aspergillosis than mice infected with WT conidia. These findings demonstrate that FleA is not a virulence factor for Aspergillus fumigatus. Instead, host recognition of FleA is a critical step in mechanisms of mucin binding, mucociliary clearance, and macrophage killing that prevent Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. PMID:27058347

  10. FleA Expression in Aspergillus fumigatus Is Recognized by Fucosylated Structures on Mucins and Macrophages to Prevent Lung Infection

    PubMed Central

    Sinha, Meenal; McCabe, Orla; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Choera, Tsokyi; Yun Lim, Fang; Wimmerova, Michaela; Carrington, Stephen D.; Yuan, Shaopeng; Lowell, Clifford A.; Oscarson, Stefan; Keller, Nancy P.; Fahy, John V.

    2016-01-01

    The immune mechanisms that recognize inhaled Aspergillus fumigatus conidia to promote their elimination from the lungs are incompletely understood. FleA is a lectin expressed by Aspergillus fumigatus that has twelve binding sites for fucosylated structures that are abundant in the glycan coats of multiple plant and animal proteins. The role of FleA is unknown: it could bind fucose in decomposed plant matter to allow Aspergillus fumigatus to thrive in soil, or it may be a virulence factor that binds fucose in lung glycoproteins to cause Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. Our studies show that FleA protein and Aspergillus fumigatus conidia bind avidly to purified lung mucin glycoproteins in a fucose-dependent manner. In addition, FleA binds strongly to macrophage cell surface proteins, and macrophages bind and phagocytose fleA-deficient (∆fleA) conidia much less efficiently than wild type (WT) conidia. Furthermore, a potent fucopyranoside glycomimetic inhibitor of FleA inhibits binding and phagocytosis of WT conidia by macrophages, confirming the specific role of fucose binding in macrophage recognition of WT conidia. Finally, mice infected with ΔfleA conidia had more severe pneumonia and invasive aspergillosis than mice infected with WT conidia. These findings demonstrate that FleA is not a virulence factor for Aspergillus fumigatus. Instead, host recognition of FleA is a critical step in mechanisms of mucin binding, mucociliary clearance, and macrophage killing that prevent Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. PMID:27058347

  11. Infection-Mediated Priming of Phagocytes Protects against Lethal Secondary Aspergillus fumigatus Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Savers, Amélie; Rasid, Orhan; Parlato, Marianna; Brock, Matthias; Jouvion, Gregory; Ryffel, Bernhard; Cavaillon, Jean-Marc; Eberl, Gerard; Ibrahim-Granet, Oumaïma

    2016-01-01

    Phagocytes restrict the germination of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and prevent the establishment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in immunecompetent mice. Here we report that immunecompetent mice recovering from a primary A. fumigatus challenge are protected against a secondary lethal challenge. Using RAGγc knock-out mice we show that this protection is independent of T, B and NK cells. In protected mice, lung phagocytes are recruited more rapidly and are more efficient in conidial phagocytosis and killing. Protection was also associated with an enhanced expression of CXCR2 and Dectin-1 on bone marrow phagocytes. We also show that protective lung cytokine and chemokine responses are induced more rapidly and with enhanced dynamics in protected mice. Our findings support the hypothesis that following a first encounter with a non-lethal dose of A. fumigatus conidia, the innate immune system is primed and can mediate protection against a secondary lethal infection. PMID:27078879

  12. Infection-Mediated Priming of Phagocytes Protects against Lethal Secondary Aspergillus fumigatus Challenge.

    PubMed

    Savers, Amélie; Rasid, Orhan; Parlato, Marianna; Brock, Matthias; Jouvion, Gregory; Ryffel, Bernhard; Cavaillon, Jean-Marc; Eberl, Gerard; Ibrahim-Granet, Oumaïma

    2016-01-01

    Phagocytes restrict the germination of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and prevent the establishment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in immunecompetent mice. Here we report that immunecompetent mice recovering from a primary A. fumigatus challenge are protected against a secondary lethal challenge. Using RAGγc knock-out mice we show that this protection is independent of T, B and NK cells. In protected mice, lung phagocytes are recruited more rapidly and are more efficient in conidial phagocytosis and killing. Protection was also associated with an enhanced expression of CXCR2 and Dectin-1 on bone marrow phagocytes. We also show that protective lung cytokine and chemokine responses are induced more rapidly and with enhanced dynamics in protected mice. Our findings support the hypothesis that following a first encounter with a non-lethal dose of A. fumigatus conidia, the innate immune system is primed and can mediate protection against a secondary lethal infection. PMID:27078879

  13. Concurrent pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus and mucor infection in a cardiac transplant recipient: a case report.

    PubMed

    Webb, B J; Blair, J E; Kusne, S; Scott, R L; Steidley, D E; Arabia, F A; Vikram, H R

    2013-03-01

    Invasive fungal infections are a significant complication of solid organ transplantation. Here we report the first case of concurrent invasive pulmonary fungal infection caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Mucor species in a heart transplant recipient. Polymicrobial mold infection is rare but should be considered in solid organ transplant recipients who fail to respond to initial antifungal therapy targeting a single organism. It is also of interest that in addition to potent immunosuppression and prolonged voriconazole therapy, possible airway fungal colonization following hurricane Katrina cleaning efforts might have contributed to this dual invasive mold infection. PMID:23267784

  14. ImmunoPET/MR imaging allows specific detection of Aspergillus fumigatus lung infection in vivo.

    PubMed

    Rolle, Anna-Maria; Hasenberg, Mike; Thornton, Christopher R; Solouk-Saran, Djamschid; Männ, Linda; Weski, Juliane; Maurer, Andreas; Fischer, Eliane; Spycher, Philipp R; Schibli, Roger; Boschetti, Frederic; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Bruder, Dunja; Severin, Gregory W; Autenrieth, Stella E; Krappmann, Sven; Davies, Genna; Pichler, Bernd J; Gunzer, Matthias; Wiehr, Stefan

    2016-02-23

    Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a life-threatening lung disease caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, and is a leading cause of invasive fungal infection-related mortality and morbidity in patients with hematological malignancies and bone marrow transplants. We developed and tested a novel probe for noninvasive detection of A. fumigatus lung infection based on antibody-guided positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance (immunoPET/MR) imaging. Administration of a [(64)Cu]DOTA-labeled A. fumigatus-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), JF5, to neutrophil-depleted A. fumigatus-infected mice allowed specific localization of lung infection when combined with PET. Optical imaging with a fluorochrome-labeled version of the mAb showed colocalization with invasive hyphae. The mAb-based newly developed PET tracer [(64)Cu]DOTA-JF5 distinguished IPA from bacterial lung infections and, in contrast to [(18)F]FDG-PET, discriminated IPA from a general increase in metabolic activity associated with lung inflammation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that antibody-guided in vivo imaging has been used for noninvasive diagnosis of a fungal lung disease (IPA) of humans, an approach with enormous potential for diagnosis of infectious diseases and with potential for clinical translation. PMID:26787852

  15. ImmunoPET/MR imaging allows specific detection of Aspergillus fumigatus lung infection in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Rolle, Anna-Maria; Hasenberg, Mike; Thornton, Christopher R.; Solouk-Saran, Djamschid; Männ, Linda; Weski, Juliane; Maurer, Andreas; Fischer, Eliane; Spycher, Philipp R.; Schibli, Roger; Boschetti, Frederic; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Bruder, Dunja; Severin, Gregory W.; Autenrieth, Stella E.; Krappmann, Sven; Davies, Genna; Pichler, Bernd J.; Gunzer, Matthias; Wiehr, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a life-threatening lung disease caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, and is a leading cause of invasive fungal infection-related mortality and morbidity in patients with hematological malignancies and bone marrow transplants. We developed and tested a novel probe for noninvasive detection of A. fumigatus lung infection based on antibody-guided positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance (immunoPET/MR) imaging. Administration of a [64Cu]DOTA-labeled A. fumigatus-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), JF5, to neutrophil-depleted A. fumigatus-infected mice allowed specific localization of lung infection when combined with PET. Optical imaging with a fluorochrome-labeled version of the mAb showed colocalization with invasive hyphae. The mAb-based newly developed PET tracer [64Cu]DOTA-JF5 distinguished IPA from bacterial lung infections and, in contrast to [18F]FDG-PET, discriminated IPA from a general increase in metabolic activity associated with lung inflammation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that antibody-guided in vivo imaging has been used for noninvasive diagnosis of a fungal lung disease (IPA) of humans, an approach with enormous potential for diagnosis of infectious diseases and with potential for clinical translation. PMID:26787852

  16. The Volatome of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Calvo, A. M.; Latgé, J. P.

    2014-01-01

    Early detection of invasive aspergillosis is absolutely required for efficient therapy of this fungal infection. The identification of fungal volatiles in patient breath can be an alternative for the detection of Aspergillus fumigatus that still remains problematic. In this work, we investigated the production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by A. fumigatus in vitro, and we show that volatile production depends on the nutritional environment. A. fumigatus produces a multiplicity of VOCs, predominantly terpenes and related compounds. The production of sesquiterpenoid compounds was found to be strongly induced by increased iron concentrations and certain drugs, i.e., pravastatin. Terpenes that were always detectable in large amounts were α-pinene, camphene, and limonene, as well as sesquiterpenes, identified as α-bergamotene and β-trans-bergamotene. Other substance classes that were found to be present in the volatome, such as 1-octen-3-ol, 3-octanone, and pyrazines, were found only under specific growth conditions. Drugs that interfere with the terpene biosynthesis pathway influenced the composition of the fungal volatome, and most notably, a block of sesquiterpene biosynthesis by the bisphosphonate alendronate fundamentally changed the VOC composition. Using deletion mutants, we also show that a terpene cyclase and a putative kaurene synthase are essential for the synthesis of volatile terpenes by A. fumigatus. The present analysis of in vitro volatile production by A. fumigatus suggests that VOCs may be used in the diagnosis of infections caused by this fungus. PMID:24906414

  17. Deciphering the Counterplay of Aspergillus fumigatus Infection and Host Inflammation by Evolutionary Games on Graphs.

    PubMed

    Pollmächer, Johannes; Timme, Sandra; Schuster, Stefan; Brakhage, Axel A; Zipfel, Peter F; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2016-01-01

    Microbial invaders are ubiquitously present and pose the constant risk of infections that are opposed by various defence mechanisms of the human immune system. A tight regulation of the immune response ensures clearance of microbial invaders and concomitantly limits host damage that is crucial for host viability. To investigate the counterplay of infection and inflammation, we simulated the invasion of the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus in lung alveoli by evolutionary games on graphs. The layered structure of the innate immune system is represented by a sequence of games in the virtual model. We show that the inflammatory cascade of the immune response is essential for microbial clearance and that the inflammation level correlates with the infection-dose. At low infection-doses, corresponding to daily inhalation of conidia, the resident alveolar macrophages may be sufficient to clear infections, however, at higher infection-doses their primary task shifts towards recruitment of neutrophils to infection sites. PMID:27291424

  18. Deciphering the Counterplay of Aspergillus fumigatus Infection and Host Inflammation by Evolutionary Games on Graphs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollmächer, Johannes; Timme, Sandra; Schuster, Stefan; Brakhage, Axel A.; Zipfel, Peter F.; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2016-06-01

    Microbial invaders are ubiquitously present and pose the constant risk of infections that are opposed by various defence mechanisms of the human immune system. A tight regulation of the immune response ensures clearance of microbial invaders and concomitantly limits host damage that is crucial for host viability. To investigate the counterplay of infection and inflammation, we simulated the invasion of the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus in lung alveoli by evolutionary games on graphs. The layered structure of the innate immune system is represented by a sequence of games in the virtual model. We show that the inflammatory cascade of the immune response is essential for microbial clearance and that the inflammation level correlates with the infection-dose. At low infection-doses, corresponding to daily inhalation of conidia, the resident alveolar macrophages may be sufficient to clear infections, however, at higher infection-doses their primary task shifts towards recruitment of neutrophils to infection sites.

  19. Deciphering the Counterplay of Aspergillus fumigatus Infection and Host Inflammation by Evolutionary Games on Graphs

    PubMed Central

    Pollmächer, Johannes; Timme, Sandra; Schuster, Stefan; Brakhage, Axel A.; Zipfel, Peter F.; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2016-01-01

    Microbial invaders are ubiquitously present and pose the constant risk of infections that are opposed by various defence mechanisms of the human immune system. A tight regulation of the immune response ensures clearance of microbial invaders and concomitantly limits host damage that is crucial for host viability. To investigate the counterplay of infection and inflammation, we simulated the invasion of the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus in lung alveoli by evolutionary games on graphs. The layered structure of the innate immune system is represented by a sequence of games in the virtual model. We show that the inflammatory cascade of the immune response is essential for microbial clearance and that the inflammation level correlates with the infection-dose. At low infection-doses, corresponding to daily inhalation of conidia, the resident alveolar macrophages may be sufficient to clear infections, however, at higher infection-doses their primary task shifts towards recruitment of neutrophils to infection sites. PMID:27291424

  20. Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase Is Involved in the Inflammation Response of Corneal Epithelial Cells to Aspergillus fumigatus Infections

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Nan; Zhao, Guiqiu; Lin, Jing; Hu, Liting; Che, Chengye; Li, Cui; Wang, Qian; Xu, Qiang; Peng, Xudong

    2015-01-01

    Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), which is mainly expressed in activated dendritic cells, is known as a regulator of immune responses. However, the role of IDO in immune responses against fungal corneal infection has not been investigated. To evaluate the regulatory mechanisms of IDO in fungal inflammation, we resorted to human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs), known as the first barrier of cornea against pathogenic microorganisms. We found that IDO was significantly up-regulated in corneal epithelium infected with Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) and HCECs incubated with spores of A. fumigatus. Furthermore, IDO inhibitor (1-methyltryptophan, 1-MT) enhanced inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 expression which were up-regulated by A. fumigatus spores infection. Dectin-1, as one of the important C-type lectin receptors, can identify β-glucan, and mediate fungal innate immune responses. In the present study, pre-treatment with curdlan, a Dectin-1 agonist, further enhanced IDO expression compared with A. fumigatus stimulation. While laminarin, the Dectin-1 specific inhibitor, partially inhibited IDO expression stimulated by A. fumigatus. Further studies demonstrated inhibition of IDO activity amplified the expressions of inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 induced by activation of Dectin-1. These results suggested that IDO was involved in the immune responses of fungal keratitis. The activation of Dectin-1 may contribute to A. fumigatus spores-induced up-regulation of IDO. PMID:26361229

  1. Developmental regulators in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Park, Hee-Soo; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2016-03-01

    The filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent airborne fungal pathogen causing severe and usually fatal invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. This fungus produces a large number of small hydrophobic asexual spores called conidia as the primary means of reproduction, cell survival, propagation, and infectivity. The initiation, progression, and completion of asexual development (conidiation) is controlled by various regulators that govern expression of thousands of genes associated with formation of the asexual developmental structure conidiophore, and biogenesis of conidia. In this review, we summarize key regulators that directly or indirectly govern conidiation in this important pathogenic fungus. Better understanding these developmental regulators may provide insights into the improvement in controlling both beneficial and detrimental aspects of various Aspergillus species. PMID:26920882

  2. Toxicity and efficacy differences between liposomal amphotericin B formulations in uninfected and Aspergillus fumigatus infected mice.

    PubMed

    Olson, J A; Schwartz, J A; Hahka, D; Nguyen, N; Bunch, T; Jensen, G M; Adler-Moore, J P

    2015-02-01

    Because of the reduced toxicity associated with liposomal amphotericin B preparations, different amphotericin B liposome products have been made. In the present study, we compared the amphotericin B liposomal formulations, AmBisome(®) (AmBi) and Lambin(®) (Lbn), in uninfected and Aspergillus fumigatus infected mice, using several in vitro and in vivo toxicity and efficacy assays. The results showed that the formulations were significantly different, with Lbn 1.6-fold larger than AmBi. Lbn was also more toxic than AmBi based on the RBC potassium release assay and intravenous dosing in uninfected mice given a single 50 mg/kg dose (80% mortality for Lbn vs. 0% for AmBi). Renal tubular changes after intravenous daily dosing for 14 days were seen in uninfected mice given 5 mg/kg Lbn but not with AmBi. Survival following A. fumigatus challenge was 30% for 10 mg/kg Lbn and 60% for 10 mg/kg AmBi. When the BAL and lungs were collected 24 h after the second treatment, AmBi at 10 or 15 mg/kg or 15 mg/kg Lbn lowered the BAL fungal burden significantly vs. the controls (P ≤ 0.05), while there was no difference in lung fungal burden amongst the groups. In contrast, lung histopathology at this same early timepoint showed that AmBi was associated with markedly fewer fungal elements and less lung tissue damage than Lbn. In conclusion, given the differences in size, toxicity, and efficacy, AmBi and Lbn were not physically or functionally comparable, and these differences underscore the need for adequate testing when comparing amphotericin B liposome formulations. PMID:25550388

  3. In vivo efficacy of voriconazole and posaconazole therapy in a novel invertebrate model of Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Forastiero, A; Bernal-Martínez, L; Mellado, E; Cendejas, E; Gomez-Lopez, A

    2015-11-01

    The emergence of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is a clinically important issue in the management of invasive aspergillosis as it could limit therapeutic options. Accurate measurement of in vitro antifungal activity in terms of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) is considered of clinical relevance and often gives useful therapeutic information for physicians. However, the lack of in vitro-in vivo correlation is frequent and the observed in vitro phenotype does not always correlate with the in vivo response. In this regard, a wild-type strain and five A. fumigatus cyp51A mutated strains showing different azole susceptibility profiles were used to investigate whether the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella) is an alternative model to assess the in vivo efficacy of voriconazole and posaconazole. Administration of both azoles improved the survival of larvae infected with susceptible strains. However, those larvae infected with resistant strains did not respond to treatment. The phenotype observed in vitro was found to correlate with the efficacy observed in vivo. Moreover, using this in vivo model, the pharmacodynamic target predicting therapeutic success (AUC(0-24)/MIC) was in the same range as previously described, allowing the use of the G. mellonella model to predict the azole susceptibility profile of A. fumigatus strains. PMID:26358971

  4. Development of monoclonal antibody-based galactomannoprotein antigen-capture ELISAs to detect Aspergillus fumigatus infection in the invasive aspergillosis rabbit models.

    PubMed

    Wang, Z-Y; Cai, J-P; Qiu, L-W; Hao, W; Pan, Y-X; Tung, E T K; Lau, C C Y; Woo, P C Y; Lau, S K P; Yuen, K-Y; Che, X-Y

    2012-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most prominent opportunistic fungal pathogens in immunocompromised hosts. Early recognition of this infection along with prompt antifungal therapy may increase the survival rate. We expressed two potential bio-markers of A. fumigatus infection-galactomannoprotein Afmp1p and Afmp4p in Pichia pastoris. We generated 33 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), 20 against recombinant Afmp1p (rAfmp1p) and the other 13 against recombinant Afmp4p (rAfmp4p). Subsequently, we developed two antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) which employed MAbs as both the capture and the detection antibodies for rAfmp1p and rAfmp4p. The two antigen-capture ELISAs specifically detected Afmp1p/Afmp4p in cultures of A. fumigatus and had no cross-reaction with other tested pathogenic fungi, including Penicillium marneffei and other pathogenic Aspergillus species. The Afmp1p-captured ELISA would be positive even when the culture supernatant of A. fumigatus had been diluted to 128-fold of its original concentration. The two antigen ELISAs could capture circulating or excreted antigens during the acute phase of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in the animal model, and had no cross-reactivity to other Aspergillus-challenged animal models. We developed two antigen-capture ELISAs for the laboratory diagnosis of A. fumigatus infection. These two antigen-capture ELISAs may be useful in the clinical diagnosis of aspergillosis. PMID:22669560

  5. Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus-specific DNA, (1-3)-beta-D-glucan and galactomannan in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage specimens of experimentally infected rats.

    PubMed

    Khan, Z U; Ahmad, S; Theyyathel, A M

    2008-03-01

    The aim of this study was to detect Aspergillus fumigatus-specific DNA by nested PCR (nPCR) in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens of experimentally infected rats and compare the results with (1-3)-beta-D-glucan (BDG) and galactomannan (GM) detection. Sixty Wistar rats, immunosuppressed with an intraperitoneal injection of cyclophosphamide (70 mg kg(-1)) were infected with 1 x 10(6)A. fumigatus conidia. The rats were killed on days 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 postinfection in groups of six each and their BAL, blood and lungs were cultured. The A. fumigatus-specific DNA, BDG and GM in serum and BAL were detected by nPCR, Fungitell kit and Aspergillus Platelia kit respectively. Base line values were obtained by using sera from six healthy rats. Except the lungs, blood and BAL specimens of all the infected rats were negative for A. fumigatus culture. The BDG, GM and nPCR positivity in serum specimens was 80%, 77% and 63% respectively. The sensitivity of GM and nPCR tests in BAL specimens was 77% and 70% respectively. The data suggest that BDG and GM appear early in the course of infection, and have similar kinetics (r = 0.483, P = 0.007). Hence, their combined detection could be useful in the early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis. PMID:18254749

  6. Agent-based model of human alveoli predicts chemotactic signaling by epithelial cells during early Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Pollmächer, Johannes; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most important human fungal pathogens, causing life-threatening diseases. Since humans inhale hundreds to thousands of fungal conidia every day, the lower respiratory tract is the primary site of infection. Current interaction networks of the innate immune response attribute fungal recognition and detection to alveolar macrophages, which are thought to be the first cells to get in contact with the fungus. At present, these networks are derived from in vitro or in situ assays, as the peculiar physiology of the human lung makes in vivo experiments, including imaging on the cell-level, hard to realize. We implemented a spatio-temporal agent-based model of a human alveolus in order to perform in silico experiments of a virtual infection scenario, for an alveolus infected with A. fumigatus under physiological conditions. The virtual analog captures the three-dimensional alveolar morphology consisting of the two major alveolar epithelial cell types and the pores of Kohn as well as the dynamic process of respiration. To the best of our knowledge this is the first agent-based model of a dynamic human alveolus in the presence of respiration. A key readout of our simulations is the first-passage-time of alveolar macrophages, which is the period of time that elapses until the first physical macrophage-conidium contact is established. We tested for random and chemotactic migration modes of alveolar macrophages and varied their corresponding parameter sets. The resulting first-passage-time distributions imply that randomly migrating macrophages fail to find the conidium before the start of germination, whereas guidance by chemotactic signals derived from the alveolar epithelial cell associated with the fungus enables a secure and successful discovery of the pathogen in time. PMID:25360787

  7. Deciphering chemokine properties by a hybrid agent-based model of Aspergillus fumigatus infection in human alveoli

    PubMed Central

    Pollmächer, Johannes; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2015-01-01

    The ubiquitous airborne fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is inhaled by humans every day. In the lung, it is able to quickly adapt to the humid environment and, if not removed within a time frame of 4–8 h, the pathogen may cause damage by germination and invasive growth. Applying a to-scale agent-based model of human alveoli to simulate early A. fumigatus infection under physiological conditions, we recently demonstrated that alveolar macrophages require chemotactic cues to accomplish the task of pathogen detection within the aforementioned time frame. The objective of this study is to specify our general prediction on the as yet unidentified chemokine by a quantitative analysis of its expected properties, such as the diffusion coefficient and the rates of secretion and degradation. To this end, the rule-based implementation of chemokine diffusion in the initial agent-based model is revised by numerically solving the spatio-temporal reaction-diffusion equation in the complex structure of the alveolus. In this hybrid agent-based model, alveolar macrophages are represented as migrating agents that are coupled to the interactive layer of diffusing molecule concentrations by the kinetics of chemokine receptor binding, internalization and re-expression. Performing simulations for more than a million virtual infection scenarios, we find that the ratio of secretion rate to the diffusion coefficient is the main indicator for the success of pathogen detection. Moreover, a subdivision of the parameter space into regimes of successful and unsuccessful parameter combination by this ratio is specific for values of the migration speed and the directional persistence time of alveolar macrophages, but depends only weakly on chemokine degradation rates. PMID:26074897

  8. Activity and Safety of Inhaled Itraconazole Nanosuspension in a Model Pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus Infection in Inoculated Young Quails.

    PubMed

    Wlaź, Piotr; Knaga, Sebastian; Kasperek, Kornel; Wlaź, Aleksandra; Poleszak, Ewa; Jeżewska-Witkowska, Grażyna; Winiarczyk, Stanisław; Wyska, Elżbieta; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Rundfeldt, Chris

    2015-08-01

    Pulmonary aspergillosis is frequently reported in parrots, falcons, and other birds held in captivity. Inhalation is the main route of infection for Aspergillus fumigatus, resulting in both acute and chronic disease conditions. Itraconazole (ITRA) is an antifungal commonly used in birds, but its administration requires repeated oral dosing, and the safety margin is narrow. To investigate the efficacy of inhaled ITRA, six groups of ten young quails (Coturnix japonica) were inoculated intratracheally with 5 × 10(6) spores (3 groups) or 5 × 10(7) spores (3 groups). Animals were exposed to nebulized ITRA nanosuspension as 10 % suspension or 4 % suspension, once daily for 30 min, starting 2 h after inoculation for 6 days. Control groups were exposed to nebulized saline for the same period of time. Survival and clinical scores were evaluated, and animals were subjected to gross pathology. In control animals, aspergillosis resulted in systemic disease without pulmonary or air sac granulomas. Animals died from multiple organ failure. Inhalation of 10 % ITRA nanosuspension blocked lethality and prevented disease-related symptoms in the quails exposed to the low dose of spores, while the disease course in quails inoculated with the high-spore dose was retarded. Inhalation of 4 % ITRA nanosuspension was less effective. Both inhalations were well tolerated, and gross pathology did not reveal signs of local toxicity. The data indicate that inhaled administration of 10 % ITRA nanosuspension is capable of alleviating an acute A. fumigatus infection in quails. A lower ITRA concentration may be only active in chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. PMID:25790942

  9. Pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus in Invasive Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Dagenais, Taylor R. T.; Keller, Nancy P.

    2009-01-01

    Summary: Aspergillus species are globally ubiquitous saprophytes found in a variety of ecological niches. Almost 200 species of aspergilli have been identified, less than 20 of which are known to cause human disease. Among them, Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent and is largely responsible for the increased incidence of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in the immunocompromised patient population. IA is a devastating illness, with mortality rates in some patient groups reaching as high as 90%. Studies identifying and assessing the roles of specific factors of A. fumigatus that contribute to the pathogenesis of IA have traditionally focused on single-gene deletion and mutant characterization. In combination with recent large-scale approaches analyzing global fungal responses to distinct environmental or host conditions, these studies have identified many factors that contribute to the overall pathogenic potential of A. fumigatus. Here, we provide an overview of the significant findings regarding A. fumigatus pathogenesis as it pertains to invasive disease. PMID:19597008

  10. 4-Ethylphenol metabolism by Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, K.H.; Trudgill, P.W.; Hopper, D.J.

    1994-06-01

    Many industrial pollutants are phenolic, and the degradation these compounds is important in the carbon cycle. Aspergillus fumigatus ATCC 28282 can grow on p-cresol. However 4-Ethylphenol, the higher homolog of p-cresol, presents different possibilities for putative metabolic pathways. This study shows that A. fumigatus is able to grow and 4-ethylphenol and the pathway is described. 17 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  11. Targeting Iron Acquisition Blocks Infection with the Fungal Pathogens Aspergillus fumigatus and Fusarium oxysporum

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Sixto M.; Roy, Sanhita; Vareechon, Chairut; Carrion, Steven deJesus; Clark, Heather; Lopez-Berges, Manuel S.; diPietro, Antonio; Schrettl, Marcus; Beckmann, Nicola; Redl, Bernhard; Haas, Hubertus; Pearlman, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Filamentous fungi are an important cause of pulmonary and systemic morbidity and mortality, and also cause corneal blindness and visual impairment worldwide. Utilizing in vitro neutrophil killing assays and a model of fungal infection of the cornea, we demonstrated that Dectin-1 dependent IL-6 production regulates expression of iron chelators, heme and siderophore binding proteins and hepcidin in infected mice. In addition, we show that human neutrophils synthesize lipocalin-1, which sequesters fungal siderophores, and that topical lipocalin-1 or lactoferrin restricts fungal growth in vivo. Conversely, we show that exogenous iron or the xenosiderophore deferroxamine enhances fungal growth in infected mice. By examining mutant Aspergillus and Fusarium strains, we found that fungal transcriptional responses to low iron levels and extracellular siderophores are essential for fungal growth during infection. Further, we showed that targeting fungal iron acquisition or siderophore biosynthesis by topical application of iron chelators or statins reduces fungal growth in the cornea by 60% and that dual therapy with the iron chelator deferiprone and statins further restricts fungal growth by 75%. Together, these studies identify specific host iron-chelating and fungal iron-acquisition mediators that regulate fungal growth, and demonstrate that therapeutic inhibition of fungal iron acquisition can be utilized to treat topical fungal infections. PMID:23853581

  12. Evaluation of plasma (1-->3) beta-D-glucan concentrations in birds naturally and experimentally infected with aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Burco, Julia D; Ziccardi, Michael H; Clemons, Karl V; Tell, Lisa A

    2012-03-01

    Avian aspergillosis, most often caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, is a common and devastating disease affecting a range of bird species. Early diagnosis is difficult and often unreliable. The current study evaluated the utility of measuring (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan (BG) concentrations in avian plasma samples to aid in the diagnosis of aspergillosis. We evaluated a commercially available BG assay (Fungitell, Beacon Diagnostics) using 178 plasma samples from naturally infected, experimentally infected, and aspergillosis-free birds. Although there was variation in BG concentration, as reflected by high standard deviations, seabirds with confirmed aspergillosis had the highest mean BG concentrations (M = 3098.7 pg/dl, SD = 5022.6, n = 22) followed by companion avian species and raptors with confirmed aspergillosis (M = 1033.8 pg/dl, SD = 1531.6, n = 19) and experimentally infected Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica; M = 1066.5 pg/dl, SD = 1348.2, n = 17). Variation in severity of disease, differences among species of birds with and without disease, and also different levels in environmental exposure likely contribute to the differences among avian groups. The overall sensitivity and specificity of the BG test for diagnosis of aspergillosis in birds was 60.0 and 92.7%, respectively, with an overall optimized avian cut-offvalue of > or = 461 pg/dl for positive disease. Our findings suggest that, although BG concentrations are highly variable between and within different avian groups, it could serve as a useful adjunctive diagnostic test for aspergillosis that is applicable to multiple avian species in some settings, particularly as a negative predictor of infection. PMID:22545545

  13. Zinc and Manganese Chelation by Neutrophil S100A8/A9 (Calprotectin) Limits Extracellular Aspergillus fumigatus Hyphal Growth and Corneal Infection.

    PubMed

    Clark, Heather L; Jhingran, Anupam; Sun, Yan; Vareechon, Chairut; de Jesus Carrion, Steven; Skaar, Eric P; Chazin, Walter J; Calera, José Antonio; Hohl, Tobias M; Pearlman, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Calprotectin, a heterodimer of S100A8 and S100A9, is an abundant neutrophil protein that possesses antimicrobial activity primarily because of its ability to chelate zinc and manganese. In the current study, we showed that neutrophils from calprotectin-deficient S100A9(-/-) mice have an impaired ability to inhibit Aspergillus fumigatus hyphal growth in vitro and in infected corneas in a murine model of fungal keratitis; however, the ability to inhibit hyphal growth was restored in S100A9(-/-) mice by injecting recombinant calprotectin. Furthermore, using recombinant calprotectin with mutations in either the Zn and Mn binding sites or the Mn binding site alone, we show that both zinc and manganese binding are necessary for calprotectin's antihyphal activity. In contrast to hyphae, we found no role for neutrophil calprotectin in uptake or killing of intracellular A. fumigatus conidia either in vitro or in a murine model of pulmonary aspergillosis. We also found that an A. fumigatus ∆zafA mutant, which demonstrates deficient zinc transport, exhibits impaired growth in infected corneas and following incubation with neutrophils or calprotectin in vitro as compared with wild-type. Collectively, these studies demonstrate a novel stage-specific susceptibility of A. fumigatus to zinc and manganese chelation by neutrophil-derived calprotectin. PMID:26582948

  14. Functional Characterization of an Aspergillus fumigatus Calcium Transporter (PmcA) that Is Essential for Fungal Infection

    PubMed Central

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Freitas, Fernanda Zanolli; Almeida, Ricardo S.; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S.; Bertolini, Maria Célia; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a primary and opportunistic pathogen, as well as a major allergen, of mammals. The Ca+2-calcineurin pathway affects virulence, morphogenesis and antifungal drug action in A. fumigatus. Here, we investigated three components of the A. fumigatus Ca+2-calcineurin pathway, pmcA,-B, and -C, which encode calcium transporters. We demonstrated that CrzA can directly control the mRNA accumulation of the pmcA-C genes by binding to their promoter regions. CrzA-binding experiments suggested that the 5′-CACAGCCAC-3′ and 5′-CCCTGCCCC-3′ sequences upstream of pmcA and pmcC genes, respectively, are possible calcineurin-dependent response elements (CDREs)-like consensus motifs. Null mutants were constructed for pmcA and -B and a conditional mutant for pmcC demonstrating pmcC is an essential gene. The ΔpmcA and ΔpmcB mutants were more sensitive to calcium and resistant to manganese and cyclosporin was able to modulate the sensitivity or resistance of these mutants to these salts, supporting the interaction between calcineurin and the function of these transporters. The pmcA-C genes have decreased mRNA abundance into the alveoli in the ΔcalA and ΔcrzA mutant strains. However, only the A. fumigatus ΔpmcA was avirulent in the murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. PMID:22649543

  15. International expert opinion on the management of infection caused by azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Verweij, Paul E; Ananda-Rajah, Michelle; Andes, David; Arendrup, Maiken C; Brüggemann, Roger J; Chowdhary, Anuradha; Cornely, Oliver A; Denning, David W; Groll, Andreas H; Izumikawa, Koichi; Kullberg, Bart Jan; Lagrou, Katrien; Maertens, Johan; Meis, Jacques F; Newton, Pippa; Page, Iain; Seyedmousavi, Seyedmojtaba; Sheppard, Donald C; Viscoli, Claudio; Warris, Adilia; Donnelly, J Peter

    2015-01-01

    An international expert panel was convened to deliberate the management of azole-resistant aspergillosis. In culture-positive cases, in vitro susceptibility testing should always be performed if antifungal therapy is intended. Different patterns of resistance are seen, with multi-azole and pan-azole resistance more common than resistance to a single triazole. In confirmed invasive pulmonary aspergillosis due to an azole-resistant Aspergillus, the experts recommended a switch from voriconazole to liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB; Ambisome(®)). In regions with environmental resistance rates of ≥10%, a voriconazole-echinocandin combination or L-AmB were favoured as initial therapy. All experts recommended L-AmB as core therapy for central nervous system aspergillosis suspected to be due to an azole-resistant Aspergillus, and considered the addition of a second agent with the majority favouring flucytosine. Intravenous therapy with either micafungin or L-AmB given as either intermittent or continuous therapy was recommended for chronic pulmonary aspergillosis due to a pan-azole-resistant Aspergillus. Local and national surveillance with identification of clinical and environmental resistance patterns, rapid diagnostics, better quality clinical outcome data, and a greater understanding of the factors driving or minimising environmental resistance are areas where research is urgently needed, as well as the development of new oral agents outside the azole drug class. PMID:26282594

  16. Mycotic aneurysm of the thoracic aorta caused by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Rose, H D; Stuart, J L

    1976-07-01

    A 54-year-old diabetic patient had unexplained fever and embolic occlusion of the splenic, right renal, right hypogastric, right superficial femoral, and left popliteal arteries. Aspergillus fumigatus was recovered from a femoral clot. An aortogram revealed a mycotic aneurysm of the thoracic aorta to be the source of the infected emboli. Surgical excision of the aneurysm and therapy with amphotericin B were unsuccessful. PMID:776547

  17. Secondary metabolite profiles and antifungal drug susceptibility of Aspergillus fumigatus and closely related species, Aspergillus lentulus, Aspergillus udagawae, and Aspergillus viridinutans.

    PubMed

    Tamiya, Hiroyuki; Ochiai, Eri; Kikuchi, Kazuyo; Yahiro, Maki; Toyotome, Takahito; Watanabe, Akira; Yaguchi, Takashi; Kamei, Katsuhiko

    2015-05-01

    The incidence of Aspergillus infection has been increasing in the past few years. Also, new Aspergillus fumigatus-related species, namely Aspergillus lentulus, Aspergillus udagawae, and Aspergillus viridinutans, were shown to infect humans. These fungi exhibit marked morphological similarities to A. fumigatus, albeit with different clinical courses and antifungal drug susceptibilities. The present study used liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry to identify the secondary metabolites secreted as virulence factors by these Aspergillus species and compared their antifungal susceptibility. The metabolite profiles varied widely among A. fumigatus, A. lentulus, A. udagawae, and A. viridinutans, producing 27, 13, 8, and 11 substances, respectively. Among the mycotoxins, fumifungin, fumiquinazoline A/B and D, fumitremorgin B, gliotoxin, sphingofungins, pseurotins, and verruculogen were only found in A. fumigatus, whereas auranthine was only found in A. lentulus. The amount of gliotoxin, one of the most abundant mycotoxins in A. fumigatus, was negligible in these related species. In addition, they had decreased susceptibility to antifungal agents such as itraconazole and voriconazole, even though metabolites that were shared in the isolates showing higher minimum inhibitory concentrations than epidemiological cutoff values were not detected. These strikingly different secondary metabolite profiles may lead to the development of more discriminative identification protocols for such closely related Aspergillus species as well as improved treatment outcomes. PMID:25737146

  18. Molecular sub-typing suggests that the environment of rehabilitation centers may be a potential source of Aspergillus fumigatus infecting rehabilitating seabirds.

    PubMed

    Burco, Julia D; Etienne, Kizee A; Massey, J Gregory; Ziccardi, Michael H; Balajee, S Arunmozhi

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillosis remains a major cause of infection-related avian mortality in birds that are debilitated and undergoing rehabilitation for release into the wild. This study was designed to understand the source of avian aspergillosis in seabirds undergoing rehabilitation at selected northern California aquatic bird rehabilitation centers. Air, surface and water sampling was performed between August 2007 and July 2008 in three such centers and selected natural seabird loafing sites. Average air Aspergillus fumigatus counts were at least nine times higher in samples obtained from the rehabilitation sites (M = 7.34, SD = 9.78 CFU/m(3)), when compared to those found at natural sites (M = 0.76, SD = 2.24 CFU/m(3)), t (205) = -5.99, P < 0.001. A total of 37 A. fumigatus isolates from birds with confirmed aspergillosis and 42 isolates from environmental samples were identified using both morphological and molecular methods, and subsequently sub-typed using an eight-locus microsatellite panel with the neighbor joining algorithm. Results of the study demonstrated the presence of five clonal groups, 13 genotypically related clusters, and 59 distinct genotypes. Six of the 13 genotypically related clusters contained matching genotypes between clinical isolates and local environmental isolates from the rehabilitation center in which these birds were housed. We present evidence that the environment of rehabilitation centers may be a source for A. fumigatus infection in rehabilitated seabirds. PMID:21756021

  19. Essential gene identification and drug target prioritization in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Hu, Wenqi; Sillaots, Susan; Lemieux, Sebastien; Davison, John; Kauffman, Sarah; Breton, Anouk; Linteau, Annie; Xin, Chunlin; Bowman, Joel; Becker, Jeff; Jiang, Bo; Roemer, Terry

    2007-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent airborne filamentous fungal pathogen in humans, causing severe and often fatal invasive infections in immunocompromised patients. Currently available antifungal drugs to treat invasive aspergillosis have limited modes of action, and few are safe and effective. To identify and prioritize antifungal drug targets, we have developed a conditional promoter replacement (CPR) strategy using the nitrogen-regulated A. fumigatus NiiA promoter (pNiiA). The gene essentiality for 35 A. fumigatus genes was directly demonstrated by this pNiiA-CPR strategy from a set of 54 genes representing broad biological functions whose orthologs are confirmed to be essential for growth in Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Extending this approach, we show that the ERG11 gene family (ERG11A and ERG11B) is essential in A. fumigatus despite neither member being essential individually. In addition, we demonstrate the pNiiA-CPR strategy is suitable for in vivo phenotypic analyses, as a number of conditional mutants, including an ERG11 double mutant (erg11BDelta, pNiiA-ERG11A), failed to establish a terminal infection in an immunocompromised mouse model of systemic aspergillosis. Collectively, the pNiiA-CPR strategy enables a rapid and reliable means to directly identify, phenotypically characterize, and facilitate target-based whole cell assays to screen A. fumigatus essential genes for cognate antifungal inhibitors. PMID:17352532

  20. Fatal coinfection with Legionella pneumophila serogroup 8 and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Guillouzouic, Aurélie; Bemer, Pascale; Gay-Andrieu, Françoise; Bretonnière, Cédric; Lepelletier, Didier; Mahé, Pierre-Joachim; Villers, Daniel; Jarraud, Sophie; Reynaud, Alain; Corvec, Stéphane

    2008-02-01

    Legionella pneumophila is an important cause of community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonia. We report on a patient who simultaneously developed L. pneumophila serogroup 8 pneumonia and Aspergillus fumigatus lung abscesses. Despite appropriate treatments, Aspergillus disease progressed with metastasis. Coinfections caused by L. pneumophila and A. fumigatus remain exceptional. In apparently immunocompetent patients, corticosteroid therapy is a key risk factor for aspergillosis. PMID:17945454

  1. A patient with allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Wardhana; Datau, E A

    2012-10-01

    Allergic Bronchopulmonary Mycosis (ABPM) is an exagregated immunologic response to fungal colonization in the lower airways. It may cause by many kinds of fungal, but Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common cause of ABPM, although other Aspergillus and other fungal organisms, like Candida albicans, have been implicated. Aspergllus fumigatus and Candida albicans may be found as outdoor and indoor fungi, and cause the sensitization, elicitation of the disease pathology, and its clinical manifestations. Several diagnostic procedurs may be impicated to support the diagnosis of ABPM caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans. A case of allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans in a 48 year old man was discussed. The patient was treated with antifungal, corticosteroids, and antibiotic for the secondary bacterial infection. The patient's condition is improved without any significant side effects. PMID:23314973

  2. Important factors mediates the adhesion of aspergillus fumigatus to alveolar epithelial cells with E-cadherin

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiao-Yong; Chen, Fei; Sun, He; Chen, Chen; Zhao, Bei-Lei

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus is widely distributed in the Earth’s biosphere. It has strong adaptive capacity, and lives as saprophytic or parasitic life. This study aims to investigate the role of E-cadherin for adhesion of Aspergillus fumigatus blastospores in a human epithelial cell line (A549) and search the correlated molecule in aspergillus. A. fumigatus blastospores were incubated with the total protein of A549 to investigate the binding of E-cadherin and blastospores followed by an affinity purification procedure. After establishing the adhesion model, the adhesion of A. fumigatus blastospores by A549 cells was evaluated by down-regulating E-cadherin of A549 cells with small interfering RNA (siRNA). FVB mice constructed with E-cadherin down-regulation were infected with aspergillus fumigatus. Preliminary exploration of E-cadherin interacting protein on the surface of aspergillus fumigates by immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry analysis. E-cadherin was adhered to the surface of A. fumigatus blastospore. Adhesion of the blastospores was reduced by blocking or down-regulating E-cadherin in A549 cells. E-cadherin showed limited significance in the process of mice against aspergillus fumigates. Mass spectrometry (MS) analysis indicated the following proteins AFUA_8G07080, AfA24A6.130c, XP_747789 can bind to E-cadherin. In conclusion, E-cadherin is a receptor for adhesion of A. fumigatus blastospores in epithelial cells. This may open a new approach to treat this fungal infection. PMID:27347350

  3. Important factors mediates the adhesion of aspergillus fumigatus to alveolar epithelial cells with E-cadherin.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiao-Yong; Chen, Fei; Sun, He; Chen, Chen; Zhao, Bei-Lei

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus is widely distributed in the Earth's biosphere. It has strong adaptive capacity, and lives as saprophytic or parasitic life. This study aims to investigate the role of E-cadherin for adhesion of Aspergillus fumigatus blastospores in a human epithelial cell line (A549) and search the correlated molecule in aspergillus. A. fumigatus blastospores were incubated with the total protein of A549 to investigate the binding of E-cadherin and blastospores followed by an affinity purification procedure. After establishing the adhesion model, the adhesion of A. fumigatus blastospores by A549 cells was evaluated by down-regulating E-cadherin of A549 cells with small interfering RNA (siRNA). FVB mice constructed with E-cadherin down-regulation were infected with aspergillus fumigatus. Preliminary exploration of E-cadherin interacting protein on the surface of aspergillus fumigates by immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry analysis. E-cadherin was adhered to the surface of A. fumigatus blastospore. Adhesion of the blastospores was reduced by blocking or down-regulating E-cadherin in A549 cells. E-cadherin showed limited significance in the process of mice against aspergillus fumigates. Mass spectrometry (MS) analysis indicated the following proteins AFUA_8G07080, AfA24A6.130c, XP_747789 can bind to E-cadherin. In conclusion, E-cadherin is a receptor for adhesion of A. fumigatus blastospores in epithelial cells. This may open a new approach to treat this fungal infection. PMID:27347350

  4. Fungal siderophore metabolism with a focus on Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Covering: up to 2014 Siderophores are chelators synthesized by microbes to sequester iron. This article summarizes the knowledge on the fungal siderophore metabolism with a focus on Aspergillus fumigatus. In recent years, A. fumigatus became a role model for fungal biosynthesis, uptake and degradation of siderophores as well as regulation of siderophore-mediated iron handling and the elucidation of siderophore functions. Siderophore functions comprise uptake, intracellular transport and storage of iron. This proved to be crucial not only for adaptation to iron starvation conditions but also for germination, asexual and sexual propagation, antioxidative defense, mutual interaction, microbial competition as well as virulence in plant and animal hosts. Recent studies also indicate the high potential of siderophores and its biosynthetic pathway to improve diagnosis and therapy of fungal infections. PMID:25140791

  5. Mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from silage.

    PubMed

    Cole, R J; Kirksey, J W; Dorner, J W; Wilson, D M; Johnson, J; Bedell, D; Springer, J P; Chexal, K K; Clardy, J; Cox, R H

    1977-01-01

    Results are presented which show that Aspergillus fumigatus was one of the predominant fungi contaminating moldy silage. Growth of A. fumigatus on silage appeared to depend on a preliminary aerobic fermentation by other natural microflora in silage. The clavine alkaloid, fumigaclavine A, and a new clavine alkaloid designated fumigaclavine C were produced by A. fumigatus. The LD50 of fumigaclavine C was approximately 150 mg/kg oral dose in day-old cockerels. PMID:350117

  6. Degradation of melanin by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Luther, J P; Lipke, H

    1980-01-01

    A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus from composted coffee and garden wastes utilized natural deproteinized insect, banana, hair, octopus, and synthetic tyrosine and dopa melanins as sole sources of carbon. With a sucrose supplement, degradation was essentially complete after 50 days in Czapek medium pH 6.5 at 30 degrees C. The catabolic rate differed for each substrate pigment, as did the molecular weight distribution of products accumulating in the medium. After incubation with L-[U-14C]melanin, over 50% was recovered in a dark fungal pigment, the remainder appearing as cell protein, chitin, lipid, CO2, and polar metabolites. When grown on melanin, the normally pale mycelia darkened with the production of a fungal allomelanin, with infrared spectrum and alkali fusion products differing from those of the substrate pigment. Isotope distribution in amino acids for A. fumigatus grown on labeled melanin supplemented with sucrose suggested separate pools for synthesis of cell proteins and melanoproteins. Deposition of allomelanin increased resistance of conidia, sterigma, and conidiophores to lytic carbohydrases as judged by scanning electron microscopy. Images PMID:6996615

  7. Azole Drug Import into the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Esquivel, Brooke D.; Smith, Adam R.; Zavrel, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus causes serious illness and often death when it invades tissues, especially in immunocompromised individuals. The azole class of drugs is the most commonly prescribed treatment for many fungal infections and acts on the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway. One common mechanism of acquired azole drug resistance in fungi is the prevention of drug accumulation to toxic levels in the cell. While drug efflux is a well-known resistance strategy, reduced azole import would be another strategy to maintain low intracellular azole levels. Recently, azole uptake in Candida albicans and other yeasts was analyzed using [3H]fluconazole. Defective drug import was suggested to be a potential mechanism of drug resistance in several pathogenic fungi, including Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida krusei, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have adapted and developed an assay to measure azole accumulation in A. fumigatus using radioactively labeled azole drugs, based on previous work done with C. albicans. We used this assay to study the differences in azole uptake in A. fumigatus isolates under a variety of drug treatment conditions, with different morphologies and with a select mutant strain with deficiencies in the sterol uptake and biosynthesis pathway. We conclude that azole drugs are specifically selected and imported into the fungal cell by a pH- and ATP-independent facilitated diffusion mechanism, not by passive diffusion. This method of drug transport is likely to be conserved across most fungal species. PMID:25824209

  8. Genomic Islands in Pathogenic Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We present the genome sequences of a new clinical isolate, CEA10, of an important human pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, and two closely related, but rarely pathogenic species, Neosartorya fischeri NRRL181 and Aspergillus clavatus NRRL1. Comparative genomic analysis of CEA10 with the recently sequen...

  9. Prospective multicenter international surveillance of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    van der Linden, J W M; Arendrup, M C; Warris, A; Lagrou, K; Pelloux, H; Hauser, P M; Chryssanthou, E; Mellado, E; Kidd, S E; Tortorano, A M; Dannaoui, E; Gaustad, P; Baddley, J W; Uekötter, A; Lass-Flörl, C; Klimko, N; Moore, C B; Denning, D W; Pasqualotto, A C; Kibbler, C; Arikan-Akdagli, S; Andes, D; Meletiadis, J; Naumiuk, L; Nucci, M; Melchers, W J G; Verweij, P E

    2015-06-01

    To investigate azole resistance in clinical Aspergillus isolates, we conducted prospective multicenter international surveillance. A total of 3,788 Aspergillus isolates were screened in 22 centers from 19 countries. Azole-resistant A. fumigatus was more frequently found (3.2% prevalence) than previously acknowledged, causing resistant invasive and noninvasive aspergillosis and severely compromising clinical use of azoles. PMID:25988348

  10. Galactosaminogalactan, a New Immunosuppressive Polysaccharide of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Simenel, Catherine; Coddeville, Bernadette; van Vliet, Sandra J.; van Kooyk, Yvette; Bozza, Silvia; Moretti, Silvia; Schwarz, Flavio; Trichot, Coline; Aebi, Markus; Delepierre, Muriel; Elbim, Carole; Romani, Luigina; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2011-01-01

    A new polysaccharide secreted by the human opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus has been characterized. Carbohydrate analysis using specific chemical degradations, mass spectrometry, 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance showed that this polysaccharide is a linear heterogeneous galactosaminogalactan composed of α1-4 linked galactose and α1-4 linked N-acetylgalactosamine residues where both monosacharides are randomly distributed and where the percentage of galactose per chain varied from 15 to 60%. This polysaccharide is antigenic and is recognized by a majority of the human population irrespectively of the occurrence of an Aspergillus infection. GalNAc oligosaccharides are an essential epitope of the galactosaminogalactan that explains the universal antibody reaction due to cross reactivity with other antigenic molecules containing GalNAc stretches such as the N-glycans of Campylobacter jejuni. The galactosaminogalactan has no protective effect during Aspergillus infections. Most importantly, the polysaccharide promotes fungal development in immunocompetent mice due to its immunosuppressive activity associated with disminished neutrophil infiltrates. PMID:22102815

  11. Multiple mechanisms contribute to the development of clinically significant azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Moye-Rowley, W. S.

    2015-01-01

    Infections caused by the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus are a significant clinical issue and represent the second most-common form of fungal infection. Azole drugs are effective against this pathogen but resistant isolates are being found more frequently. Infections associated with azole resistant A. fumigatus have a significantly increased mortality making understanding drug resistance in this organism a priority. The target of azole drugs is the lanosterol α-14 demethylase enzyme encoded by the cyp51A gene in A. fumigatus. Mutations in cyp51A have been described that give rise to azole resistance and been argued to be the primary, if not sole, contributor to azole resistance. Here, I discuss recent developments that indicate multiple mechanisms, including increased expression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins, contribute to azole resistance. ABC transporters are well-established determinants of drug resistance in other fungal pathogens and seem likely to play a similar role in A. fumigatus. PMID:25713565

  12. Mediastinitis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus with ruptured aortic pseudoaneurysm in a heart transplant recipient: case study.

    PubMed

    Byl, B; Jacobs, F; Antoine, M; Depierreux, M; Serruys, E; Primo, G; Thys, J P

    1993-01-01

    The case of a heart transplant recipient with a ruptured aortic pseudoaneurysm caused by an Aspergillus fumigatus mediastinitis is reported. Contamination of surgical fields occurring by air seeding during surgery appears to be the most probable source of infection. Subtle infectious signs of the wound and subacute course are remarkable features of this case. PMID:8449757

  13. Metabolism of p-cresol by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, K.H.; Trudgill, P.W.; Hopper, D.J. )

    1993-04-01

    Cresols are phenolic compounds that are industrial pollutants. Degradation of p-cresol by several species of fungus has been reported. Aspergillus fumigatus ATCC 28282 metabolizes both phenylacetic and homogentisic acids. This study shows that A. fumigatus ATCC 28282 also is capable of growth on p-cresol as its sole carbon source. Two metabolic routes for p-cresol degradation are described in the paper, but the relative contributions of each pathway is not evaluated. 21 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  14. Fitness Studies of Azole-Resistant Strains of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Valsecchi, Isabel; Mellado, Emilia; Beau, Rémi; Raj, Shriya

    2015-01-01

    Isogenic bar-coded strains of Aspergillus fumigatus carrying the G54W or M220K mutation in Cyp51A were constructed. In vitro, the growth and conidiation capacities of the mutants were similar to those of the parental strain. Competition studies in the absence of azoles showed that there was no adverse fitness cost for the azole-resistant A. fumigatus strains in vitro or in vivo compared to the parental strain. PMID:26416854

  15. Fitness Studies of Azole-Resistant Strains of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Valsecchi, Isabel; Mellado, Emilia; Beau, Rémi; Raj, Shriya; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2015-12-01

    Isogenic bar-coded strains of Aspergillus fumigatus carrying the G54W or M220K mutation in Cyp51A were constructed. In vitro, the growth and conidiation capacities of the mutants were similar to those of the parental strain. Competition studies in the absence of azoles showed that there was no adverse fitness cost for the azole-resistant A. fumigatus strains in vitro or in vivo compared to the parental strain. PMID:26416854

  16. Aspergillus fumigatus-Related Species in Clinical Practice

    PubMed Central

    Lamoth, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main etiologic agent of invasive aspergillosis (IA). Other Aspergillus species belonging to the section Fumigati (A. fumigatus complex) may occasionally be the cause of IA. These strains are often misidentified, as they cannot be distinguished from A. fumigatus by conventional morphological analysis and sequencing methods. This lack of recognition may have important consequences as these A. fumigatus-related species often display some level of intrinsic resistance to azoles and other antifungal drugs. A. lentulus, A. udagawae, A. viridinutans, and A. thermomutatus (Neosartorya pseudofischeri) have been associated with refractory cases of IA. Microbiologists should be able to suspect the presence of these cryptic species behind a putative A. fumigatus isolate on the basis of some simple characteristics, such as defect in sporulation and/or unusual antifungal susceptibility profile. However, definitive species identification requires specific sequencing analyses of the beta-tubulin or calmodulin genes, which are not available in most laboratories. Multiplex PCR assays or matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization – time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) gave promising results for rapid and accurate distinction between A. fumigatus and other Aspergillus spp. of the section Fumigati in clinical practice. Improved diagnostic procedures and antifungal susceptibility testing may be helpful for the early detection and management of these particular IA cases. PMID:27242710

  17. Update on antifungal drug resistance mechanisms of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Chamilos, G; Kontoyiannis, D P

    2005-12-01

    Although the arsenal of agents with anti-Aspergillus activity has expanded over the last decade, mortality due to invasive aspergillosis (IA) remains unacceptably high. Aspergillus fumigatus still accounts for the majority of cases of IA; however less susceptible to antifungals non-fumigatus aspergilli began to emerge. Antifungal drug resistance of Aspergillus might partially account for treatment failures. Recent advances in our understanding of mechanisms of antifungal drug action in Aspergillus, along with the standardization of in vitro susceptibility testing methods, has brought resistance testing to the forefront of clinical mycology. In addition, molecular biology has started to shed light on the mechanisms of resistance of A. fumigatus to azoles and the echinocandins, while genome-based assays show promise for high-throughput screening for genotypic antifungal resistance. Several problems remain, however, in the study of this complex area. Large multicenter clinical studies--point prevalence or longitudinal--to capture the incidence and prevalence of antifungal resistance in A. fumigatus isolates are lacking. Correlation of in vitro susceptibility with clinical outcome and susceptibility breakpoints has not been established. In addition, the issue of cross-resistance between the newer triazoles is of concern. Furthermore, in vitro resistance testing for polyenes and echinocandins is difficult, and their mechanisms of resistance are largely unknown. This review examines challenges in the diagnosis, epidemiology, and mechanisms of antifungal drug resistance in A. fumigatus. PMID:16488654

  18. Human Neutrophils Use Different Mechanisms To Kill Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia and Hyphae: Evidence from Phagocyte Defects.

    PubMed

    Gazendam, Roel P; van Hamme, John L; Tool, Anton T J; Hoogenboezem, Mark; van den Berg, J Merlijn; Prins, Jan M; Vitkov, Ljubomir; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; van den Berg, Timo K; Roos, Dirk; Kuijpers, Taco W

    2016-02-01

    Neutrophils are known to play a pivotal role in the host defense against Aspergillus infections. This is illustrated by the prevalence of Aspergillus infections in patients with neutropenia or phagocyte functional defects, such as chronic granulomatous disease. However, the mechanisms by which human neutrophils recognize and kill Aspergillus are poorly understood. In this work, we have studied in detail which neutrophil functions, including neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation, are involved in the killing of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and hyphae, using neutrophils from patients with well-defined genetic immunodeficiencies. Recognition of conidia involves integrin CD11b/CD18 (and not dectin-1), which triggers a PI3K-dependent nonoxidative intracellular mechanism of killing. When the conidia escape from early killing and germinate, the extracellular destruction of the Aspergillus hyphae needs opsonization by Abs and involves predominantly recognition via Fcγ receptors, signaling via Syk, PI3K, and protein kinase C to trigger the production of toxic reactive oxygen metabolites by the NADPH oxidase and myeloperoxidase. A. fumigatus induces NET formation; however, NETs did not contribute to A. fumigatus killing. Thus, our findings reveal distinct killing mechanisms of Aspergillus conidia and hyphae by human neutrophils, leading to a comprehensive insight in the innate antifungal response. PMID:26718340

  19. Genetic control of asexual development in aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Alkhayyat, Fahad; Chang Kim, Sun; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common fungi found in the environment. It is an opportunistic human pathogen causing invasive pulmonary aspergillosis with a high mortality rate in immunocompromised patients. Conidia, the asexual spores, serve as the main dispersal and infection agent allowing entrance of the fungus into the host through the respiratory tract. Therefore, understanding the asexual developmental process that gives rise to the conidia is of great interest to the scientific community and is currently the focus of an immense load of research being conducted. We have been studying the genetic basis that controls asexual development and gliotoxin biosynthesis in A. fumigatus. In this review, we discuss the genetic regulatory system that dictates conidiation in this important fungus by covering the roles of crucial genetic factors from the upstream heterotrimeric G-protein signaling components to the more specific downstream central activators of the conidiation pathway. In addition, other key asexual regulators including the velvet regulators, the Flb proteins and their associated regulatory factors are discussed. PMID:25596030

  20. Distinct Innate Immune Phagocyte Responses to Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia and Hyphae in Zebrafish Larvae

    PubMed Central

    Knox, Benjamin P.; Deng, Qing; Rood, Mary; Eickhoff, Jens C.

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common filamentous fungal pathogen of immunocompromised hosts, resulting in invasive aspergillosis (IA) and high mortality rates. Innate immunity is known to be the predominant host defense against A. fumigatus; however, innate phagocyte responses to A. fumigatus in an intact host and their contributions to host survival remain unclear. Here, we describe a larval zebrafish A. fumigatus infection model amenable to real-time imaging of host-fungal interactions in live animals. Following infection with A. fumigatus, innate phagocyte populations exhibit clear preferences for different fungal morphologies: macrophages rapidly phagocytose conidia and form aggregates around hyphae, while the neutrophil response is dependent upon the presence of hyphae. Depletion of macrophages rendered host larvae susceptible to invasive disease. Moreover, a zebrafish model of human leukocyte adhesion deficiency with impaired neutrophil function also resulted in invasive disease and impaired host survival. In contrast, macrophage-deficient but not neutrophil-deficient larvae exhibited attenuated disease following challenge with a less virulent (ΔlaeA) strain of A. fumigatus, which has defects in secondary metabolite production. Taking these results together, we have established a new vertebrate model for studying innate immune responses to A. fumigatus that reveals distinct roles for neutrophils and macrophages in mediating host defense against IA. PMID:24879123

  1. Human Neutrophils Are Primed by Chemoattractant Gradients for Blocking the Growth of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Jones, Caroline N; Dimisko, Laurie; Forrest, Kevin; Judice, Kevin; Poznansky, Mark C; Markmann, James F; Vyas, Jatin M; Irimia, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    The contribution of human neutrophils to the protection against fungal infections by Aspergillus fumigatus is essential but not fully understood. Whereas healthy people can inhale spores of A. fumigatus without developing disease, neutropenic patients and those receiving immunosuppressive drugs have a higher incidence of invasive fungal infections. To study the role of neutrophils in protection against A. fumigatus infections, we developed an in vitro assay in which the interactions between human neutrophils and A. fumigatus were observed in real time, at single-cell resolution, in precisely controlled conditions. We measured the outcomes of neutrophil-fungus interactions and found that human neutrophils have a limited ability to migrate toward A. fumigatus and block the growth of A. fumigatus conidia (proportion with growth blocked, 69%). The blocking ability of human neutrophils increased to 85.1% when they were stimulated by uniform concentrations of fMLP and was enhanced further, to 99.4%, in the presence of chemoattractant gradients. Neutrophils from patients receiving immunosuppressive treatment after transplantation were less effective against the fungus than those from healthy donors, and broader heterogeneity exists between patients, compared with healthy individuals. Further studies using this microfluidic platform will help understand the relevance of innate immune deficiencies responsible for the higher risk of fungal infections in patients with immunosuppressive disease. PMID:26272935

  2. Chemosensitization prevents tolerance of Aspergillus fumigatus to antimycotic drugs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tolerance of human pathogenic fungi to antifungal drugs is an emerging medical problem. We show how strains of the causative agent of human aspergillosis, Aspergillus fumigatus, tolerant to cell wall-interfering antimycotic drugs become susceptible through chemosensitization by natural compounds. To...

  3. Expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase in a murine model of Aspergillus fumigatus keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Nan; Zhao, Gui-Qiu; Lin, Jing; Hu, Li-Ting; Che, Cheng-Ye; Li, Cui; Wang, Qian; Xu, Qiang; Zhang, Jie; Peng, Xu-Dong

    2016-01-01

    AIM To observe the presence and expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) during the corneal immunity to Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) in the murine models. METHODS The murine model of fungal keratitis was established by smearing with colonies of A. fumigatus after scraping central epithelium of cornea and covering with contact lenses in C57BL/6 mice. The mice were randomly divided into control group, sham group and A. fumigatus keratitis group. The cornea was monitored daily using a slit lamp and recorded disease score after infection. Corneal lesion was detected by immunofluorescence staining. IDO mRNA and protein were also detected by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot. RESULTS The disease score and slit lamp photography indicated that disease severity was consistent with corneal inflammation in the murine models, and the disease scores in A. fumigatus keratitis group were obviously higher than those in the sham group. By immunofluorescence staining, IDO was mainly localized in corneal epithelium and stroma in the murine corneal tissues with A. fumigatus keratitis. Compared with the sham group, IDO mRNA expression was significantly enhanced in corneal epithelium infected by A. fumigatus. Furthermore, IDO protein expression detected by Western blot was in accord with transcript levels of IDO mRNA measured by qRT-PCR. IDO protein expression was enhanced after A. fumigatus infection compared with the sham group. CONCLUSION IDO is detected in corneal epithelium and stroma locally, which indicates IDO takes part in the pathogenesis of A. fumigatus keratitis and plays a key role in immune regulation at the early stage. PMID:27162718

  4. JAK/STAT regulation of Aspergillus fumigatus corneal infections and IL-6/23-stimulated neutrophil, IL-17, elastase, and MMP9 activity.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Patricia R; Roy, Sanhita; Meszaros, Evan C; Sun, Yan; Howell, Scott J; Malemud, Charles J; Pearlman, Eric

    2016-07-01

    IL-6 and IL-23 (IL-6/23) induce IL-17A (IL-17) production by a subpopulation of murine and human neutrophils, resulting in autocrine IL-17 activation, enhanced production of reactive oxygen species, and increased fungal killing. As IL-6 and IL-23 receptors trigger JAK1, -3/STAT3 and JAK2/STAT3 phosphorylation, respectively, we examined the role of this pathway in a murine model of fungal keratitis and also examined neutrophil elastase and gelatinase (matrix metalloproteinase 9) activity by IL-6/23-stimulated human neutrophils in vitro. We found that STAT3 phosphorylation of neutrophils in Aspergillus fumigatus-infected corne as was inhibited by the JAK/STAT inhibitor Ruxolitinib, resulting in impaired fungal killing and decreased matrix metalloproteinase 9 activity. In vitro, we showed that fungal killing by IL-6/23-stimulated human peripheral blood neutrophils was impaired by JAK/STAT inhibitors Ruxolitinib and Stattic, and by the retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor γt inhibitor SR1001. This was also associated with decreased reactive oxygen species, IL-17A production, and retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor γt translocation to the nucleus. We also demonstrate that IL-6/23-activated neutrophils exhibit increased elastase and gelatinase (matrix metalloproteinase 9) activity, which is inhibited by Ruxolitinib and Stattic but not by SR1001. Taken together, these observations indicate that the regulation of activity of IL-17-producing neutrophils by JAK/STAT inhibitors impairs reactive oxygen species production and fungal killing activity but also blocks elastase and gelatinase activity that can cause tissue damage. PMID:27034404

  5. [Aspergillus fumigatus mediastinitis in an immunocompetent pediatric patient after heart surgery].

    PubMed

    Acuña, Mirta; Farfán, Felipe; Cofré, Fernanda; Benadof, Dona

    2016-02-01

    Postsurgical aspergillosis occurs primarily in immunocompetent patients whose main predisposing factor is the loss of skin and mucosal integrity during surgery. Local infection tends to be destructive and refractory to treatment and relapses are common. It is important to consider aspergillosis in the differential diagnosis of slowly progressive and destructive surgical site infections with negative bacterial cultures. We present the case of a child who developed Aspergillus fumigatus mediastinitis months after heart surgery. PMID:26965883

  6. Hide, Keep Quiet, and Keep Low: Properties That Make Aspergillus fumigatus a Successful Lung Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Escobar, Natalia; Ordonez, Soledad R.; Wösten, Han A. B.; Haas, Pieter-Jan A.; de Cock, Hans; Haagsman, Henk P.

    2016-01-01

    Representatives of the genus Aspergillus are opportunistic fungal pathogens. Their conidia can reach the alveoli by inhalation and can give rise to infections in immunocompromised individuals. Aspergillus fumigatus is the causal agent of invasive aspergillosis in nearly 90% of the cases. It is not yet well-established what makes this fungus more pathogenic than other aspergilli such as A. niger. Here, we show that A. fumigatus and A. niger conidia adhere with similar efficiency to lung epithelial A549 cells but A. fumigatus conidia internalized 17% more efficiently. Conidia of both aspergilli were taken up in phagolysosomes 8 h after the challenge. These organelles only acidified in the case of A. niger, which is probably due to the type of melanin coating of the conidia. Viability of both types of conidia was not affected after uptake in the phagolysosomes. Germination of A. fumigatus and A. niger conidia in the presence of epithelial cells was delayed when compared to conidia in the medium. However, germination of A. niger conidia was still higher than that of A. fumigatus 10 h after exposure to A549 cells. Remarkably, A. fumigatus hyphae grew mainly parallel to the epithelium, while growth direction of A. niger hyphae was predominantly perpendicular to the plane of the cells. Neutrophils reduced germination and hyphal growth of A. niger, but not of A fumigatus, in presence of epithelial cells. Taken together, efficient internalization, delayed germination, and hyphal growth parallel to the epithelium gives a new insight into what could be the causes for the success of A. fumigatus compared to A. niger as an opportunistic pathogen in the lung. PMID:27092115

  7. Analysis of the Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilm Extracellular Matrix by Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Reichhardt, Courtney; Ferreira, Jose A. G.; Joubert, Lydia-Marie; Clemons, Karl V.; Stevens, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is commonly responsible for lethal fungal infections among immunosuppressed individuals. A. fumigatus forms biofilm communities that are of increasing biomedical interest due to the association of biofilms with chronic infections and their increased resistance to antifungal agents and host immune factors. Understanding the composition of microbial biofilms and the extracellular matrix is important to understanding function and, ultimately, to developing strategies to inhibit biofilm formation. We implemented a solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) approach to define compositional parameters of the A. fumigatus extracellular matrix (ECM) when biofilms are formed in RPMI 1640 nutrient medium. Whole biofilm and isolated matrix networks were also characterized by electron microscopy, and matrix proteins were identified through protein gel analysis. The 13C NMR results defined and quantified the carbon contributions in the insoluble ECM, including carbonyls, aromatic carbons, polysaccharide carbons (anomeric and nonanomerics), aliphatics, etc. Additional 15N and 31P NMR spectra permitted more specific annotation of the carbon pools according to C-N and C-P couplings. Together these data show that the A. fumigatus ECM produced under these growth conditions contains approximately 40% protein, 43% polysaccharide, 3% aromatic-containing components, and up to 14% lipid. These fundamental chemical parameters are needed to consider the relationships between composition and function in the A. fumigatus ECM and will enable future comparisons with other organisms and with A. fumigatus grown under alternate conditions. PMID:26163318

  8. Isolation and toxigenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus from moldy silage.

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Valentina Melo; Dorner, Joe W; Carreira, Fátima

    2003-01-01

    Thirty-nine silage samples were collected from various silos on Terceira Island in the Azores. Samples were examined for the presence of total fungi, and isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus were analyzed for their ability to produce fumitremorgens B and C, fumigaclavines B and C, and gliotoxin. Thirty-four silage samples (87%) were contaminated with fungi, and A. fumigatus was isolated from 27 samples (69%). Samples that were taken from the surface of silos had significantly higher populations of both total fungi and A. fumigatus than did samples taken from the middle of silos. Analysis of 27 A. fumigatus isolates (one representing each positive sample) showed that 59.3% produced fumitremorgen B; 33.3% produced fumitremorgen C; 29.6% produced fumigaclavine B; 7.4% produced fumigaclavine C; and 11.1% produced gliotoxin. Fifty-two percent of the isolates produced multiple toxins, and 25.9% did not produce any of these toxins. Gliotoxin and fumigaclavine C were always produced in combination with other toxins. Because of the demonstrated potential of these A. fumigatus isolates to produce mycotoxins, it is important to properly construct and manage silos to prevent their contamination with A. fumigatus. PMID:12733634

  9. Aspergillus fumigatus mycovirus causes mild hypervirulent effect on pathogenicity when tested on Galleria mellonella.

    PubMed

    Özkan, Selin; Coutts, Robert H A

    2015-03-01

    Mycoviruses are a specific group of viruses that naturally infect and replicate in fungi. The importance of mycoviruses was revealed after their effects were identified not only in economically important fungi but also in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The latter was shown recently to harbor at least three different types of mycoviruses including a chrysovirus, a partitivirus and an as yet uncharacterized virus. Assessment of virulence in the presence and absence of mycoviruses in A. fumigatus is pivotal to understanding its pathogenicity. Here, we have investigated, for the first time, the effects of mycoviruses on the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus as assessed using larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella. In order to observe the effects of mycoviruses on pathogenicity, G. mellonella were injected with virus-free and virus-infected isolates of A. fumigatus and post-infection survival times were analyzed along with the fungal burden. Neither chrysovirus nor partitivirus infection affected fungal pathogenicity when survival rates were assessed which, for the chrysovirus, agreed with a previous study on murine pathogenicity. However statistically significant differences were observed in survival rates and fungal burden in the presence of the uncharacterized A78 virus. Here we show, for the first time, the effects of a partitivirus and an uncharacterized A78 virus on the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus. PMID:25626171

  10. Disseminated Trichosporon mycotoxinivorans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Scedosporium apiospermum Coinfection after Lung and Liver Transplantation in a Cystic Fibrosis Patient

    PubMed Central

    Letscher-Bru, Valérie; Pottecher, Julien; Lannes, Béatrice; Jeung, Mi Young; Degot, Tristan; Santelmo, Nicola; Sabou, Alina Marcela; Herbrecht, Raoul; Kessler, Romain

    2012-01-01

    Trichosporon mycotoxinivorans is a novel pathogen recently found in cystic fibrosis patients. We report the first case of a disseminated fatal infection with T. mycotoxinivorans associated with invasive Aspergillus fumigatus and Scedosporium apiospermum infection after lung and liver transplantation in a cystic fibrosis patient. PMID:23035187

  11. Hypoxia attenuates anti-Aspergillus fumigatus immune responses initiated by human dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Fliesser, Mirjam; Wallstein, Marion; Kurzai, Oliver; Einsele, Hermann; Löffler, Jürgen

    2016-08-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic mould that causes invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA), a life-threatening infection in immunocompromised patients. During the course of IPA, localised areas of tissue hypoxia occur. Bacterial infection models revealed that hypoxic microenvironments modulate the function of host immune cells. However, the influence of hypoxia on anti-fungal immunity has been largely unknown. We evaluated the impact of hypoxia on the human anti-A. fumigatus immune response. Human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) were stimulated in vitro with germ tubes of A. fumigatus under normoxia or hypoxia (1% O2 ), followed by analysis of DC viability, maturation and cytokine release. While DC viability was unaffected, hypoxia attenuated cytokine release from DCs and maturation of DCs upon stimulation with A. fumigatus. These data suggest that hypoxia at the site of A. fumigatus infection inhibits full activation and function of human DCs. Thereby, this study identified hypoxia as a crucial immune-modulating factor in the human anti-fungal immune response that might influence the course and outcome of IPA in immunocompromised patients. PMID:27005862

  12. Activation of NF-κB and respiratory burst following Aspergillus fumigatus stimulation of macrophages.

    PubMed

    Sun, He; Xu, Xiao-yong; Tian, Xiao-li; Shao, Hong-tao; Wu, Xiao-dong; Wang, Quan; Su, Xin; Shi, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Dectin-2, a C-type lectin receptor (CLR), plays an essential role in mediating nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activation and anti-fungal immunity in response to Candida albicans infection. However, the molecular mechanisms and function of Dectin-2 signaling in response to infection by the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus have not been characterized. In order to characterize Dectin-2 signaling in response to A. fumigatus infection, activation of Dectin-2 was analyzed at both transcriptional and translational levels. Spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) phosphorylation, NF-κB activation and cytokine production downstream of Dectin-2 activation were also investigated. In addition, Dectin-2-Syk function and its ability to mediate reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and elimination of A. fumigatus conidia was examined. We demonstrate that Syk is involved in Dectin-2-induced IκBα (inhibitor of kappa B protein) phosphorylation and NF-κB activation following A. fumigatus stimulation in a time dependent manner. Silencing of Dectin-2 and Syk as well as Syk inhibition blocks NF-κB activation and cytokine secretion. Furthermore, the killing of A. fumigatus conidia and ROS production are significantly affected by Dectin-2 or Syk silencing as well as Syk inhibition. Swelling and germination of the fungus followed by hyphae formation and not the resting and heat-inactivated form of A. fumigatus mediate the activation of Dectin-2 signaling. In conclusion, Syk plays an essential role in IκBα kinase phosphorylation, NF-κB activation, and ROS production mediated by Dectin-2 activation in response to A. fumigatus infection. PMID:23886693

  13. Concurrent sensitization to Aspergillus Fumigatus in tropical pulmonary eosinophilia.

    PubMed

    Chhabra, Sunil K; Dash, Devi Jyoti

    2016-01-01

    Tropical pulmonary eosinophilia (TPE) is characterized by lung tissue and peripheral blood eosinophilia. Serum total IgE is also markedly increased in TPE. However, an association with asthma or other hypersensitivity conditions has not been described. During the diagnostic workup of three patients eventually confirmed to have TPE, hypersensitivity to the fungus, Aspergillus Fumigatus was found. However, there was no evidence of diseases of aspergillus hypersensitivity such as severe asthma with fungal sensitization (SAFS) and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). This association however raises the possibility of a future risk of these potentially serious allergic respiratory manifestations. PMID:27374215

  14. Voriconazole for the treatment of refractory Aspergillus fumigatus keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Hitendra B; Garg, Prashant; Kodial, Harish

    2008-01-01

    We report a case of Aspergillus fumigatus keratitis in a 53-year-old, well-controlled diabetic female who did not respond to standard antifungal treatment. She was started on topical natamycin eye drops, but the infiltrate continued to progress. Topical amphotericin B and systemic ketoconazole was added, however, there was no response and the infiltrate increased further. She was then switched to topical and systemic voriconazole. Steady resolution of the infiltrate was noted within 2 weeks of therapy. PMID:18417831

  15. The 18-kilodalton antigen secreted by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Latgé, J P; Moutaouakil, M; Debeaupuis, J P; Bouchara, J P; Haynes, K; Prévost, M C

    1991-01-01

    One of the major antigens secreted in vitro by Aspergillus fumigatus is an 18-kDa basic protein which has been purified by cation-exchange chromatography. It is recognized by sera from aspergilloma patients. It is also the major circulating antigen found in urine of patients with invasive aspergillosis. Our results indicated that this antigen has potential for the diagnosis of both aspergilloma and invasive aspergillosis. Images PMID:1855978

  16. Isolate-Dependent Growth, Virulence, and Cell Wall Composition in the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Amarsaikhan, Nansalmaa; O’Dea, Evan M.; Tsoggerel, Angar; Owegi, Henry; Gillenwater, Jordan; Templeton, Steven P.

    2014-01-01

    The ubiquitous fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is a mediator of allergic sensitization and invasive disease in susceptible individuals. The significant genetic and phenotypic variability between and among clinical and environmental isolates are important considerations in host-pathogen studies of A. fumigatus-mediated disease. We observed decreased radial growth, rate of germination, and ability to establish colony growth in a single environmental isolate of A. fumigatus, Af5517, when compared to other clinical and environmental isolates. Af5517 also exhibited increased hyphal diameter and cell wall β-glucan and chitin content, with chitin most significantly increased. Morbidity, mortality, lung fungal burden, and tissue pathology were decreased in neutropenic Af5517-infected mice when compared to the clinical isolate Af293. Our results support previous findings that suggest a correlation between in vitro growth rates and in vivo virulence, and we propose that changes in cell wall composition may contribute to this phenotype. PMID:24945802

  17. Volatile Compounds Emitted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Stimulate Growth of the Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Briard, Benoit; Heddergott, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Chronic lung infections with opportunistic bacterial and fungal pathogens are a major cause of morbidity and mortality especially in patients with cystic fibrosis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most frequently colonizing bacterium in these patients, and it is often found in association with the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. P. aeruginosa is known to inhibit the growth of A. fumigatus in situations of direct contact, suggesting the existence of interspecies communication that may influence disease outcome. Our study shows that the lung pathogens P. aeruginosa and A. fumigatus can interact at a distance via volatile-mediated communication and expands our understanding of interspecific signaling in microbial communities. PMID:26980832

  18. Bimodular Peptide Synthetase SidE Produces Fumarylalanine in the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Steinchen, Wieland; Lackner, Gerald; Yasmin, Sabiha; Schrettl, Markus; Dahse, Hans-Martin

    2013-01-01

    The filamentous mold Aspergillus fumigatus causes invasive aspergillosis, a potentially life-threatening infectious disease, in humans. The sidE gene encodes a bimodular peptide synthetase and was shown previously to be strongly upregulated during initiation of murine lung infection. In this study, we characterized the two adenylation domains of SidE with the ATP-[32P]pyrophosphate exchange assay in vitro, which identified fumarate and l-alanine, respectively, as the preferred substrates. Using full-length holo-SidE, fumarylalanine (FA) formation was observed in vitro. Furthermore, FA was identified in A. fumigatus culture supernatants under inducing conditions, unless sidE was genetically inactivated. As FA is structurally related to established pharmaceutical products exerting immunomodulatory activity, this work may contribute to our understanding of the virulence of A. fumigatus. PMID:23974138

  19. Pathway of Glycine Betaine Biosynthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Lambou, Karine; Pennati, Andrea; Valsecchi, Isabel; Tada, Rui; Sherman, Stephen; Sato, Hajime; Beau, Remi

    2013-01-01

    The choline oxidase (CHOA) and betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BADH) genes identified in Aspergillus fumigatus are present as a cluster specific for fungal genomes. Biochemical and molecular analyses of this cluster showed that it has very specific biochemical and functional features that make it unique and different from its plant and bacterial homologs. A. fumigatus ChoAp catalyzed the oxidation of choline to glycine betaine with betaine aldehyde as an intermediate and reduced molecular oxygen to hydrogen peroxide using FAD as a cofactor. A. fumigatus Badhp oxidized betaine aldehyde to glycine betaine with reduction of NAD+ to NADH. Analysis of the AfchoAΔ::HPH and AfbadAΔ::HPH single mutants and the AfchoAΔAfbadAΔ::HPH double mutant showed that AfChoAp is essential for the use of choline as the sole nitrogen, carbon, or carbon and nitrogen source during the germination process. AfChoAp and AfBadAp were localized in the cytosol of germinating conidia and mycelia but were absent from resting conidia. Characterization of the mutant phenotypes showed that glycine betaine in A. fumigatus functions exclusively as a metabolic intermediate in the catabolism of choline and not as a stress protectant. This study in A. fumigatus is the first molecular, cellular, and biochemical characterization of the glycine betaine biosynthetic pathway in the fungal kingdom. PMID:23563483

  20. Inhaled corticosteroids and Aspergillus fumigatus isolation in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Noni, Maria; Katelari, Anna; Dimopoulos, George; Kourlaba, Georgia; Spoulou, Vana; Alexandrou-Athanassoulis, Helen; Doudounakis, Stavros-Eleftherios; Tzoumaka-Bakoula, Chryssa

    2014-10-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus isolation in cultures from respiratory specimens of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is quite common; however, the role of A. fumigatus as a pathogen and whether its presence is associated with progression of pulmonary disease remain unclear. We investigated the association between inhaled corticosteroids and the recovery of A. fumigatus by performing a retrospective cohort study of CF patients born between 1988 and 1996. The patients' medical records from their first visit to the CF Center until December 2010 were reviewed. Outcomes were the occurrence of A. fumigatus first isolation, chronic colonization, or the last visit at the CF Center. A number of possible confounders were included in the multivariate logistic regression analysis in order to identify an independent association between inhaled corticosteroids and colonization status. A total of 121 patients were included in the study. Thirty-nine patients (32.2%) had at least one positive culture and 14 (11.6%) developed chronic colonization. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the independent effect of inhaled corticosteroids on the odds of first isolation (odds ratio [OR], 1.165; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.015-1.337; P = 0.029) and chronic colonization (OR, 1.180; 95% CI, 1.029-1.353; P = 0.018). In conclusion, A. fumigatus first isolation and chronic colonization are associated with the duration of inhaled corticosteroid treatment. PMID:25056962

  1. Extensive proteomic remodeling is induced by eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1Bγ deletion in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    O'Keeffe, Grainne; Jöchl, Christoph; Kavanagh, Kevin; Doyle, Sean

    2013-11-01

    The opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is ubiquitous in the environment and predominantly infects immunocompromised patients. The functions of many genes remain unknown despite sequencing of the fungal genome. A putative translation elongation factor 1Bγ (eEF1Bγ, termed elfA; 750 bp) is expressed, and exhibits glutathione S-transferase activity, in A. fumigatus. Here, we demonstrate the role of ElfA in the oxidative stress response, as well as a possible involvement in translation and actin cytoskeleton organization, respectively. Comparative proteomics, in addition to phenotypic analysis, under basal and oxidative stress conditions, demonstrated a role for A. fumigatus elfA in the oxidative stress response. An elfA-deficient strain (A. fumigatus ΔelfA) was significantly more sensitive to the oxidants H2O2, diamide, and 4,4'-dipyridyl disulfide (DPS) than the wild-type. This was further supported with the identification of differentially expressed proteins of the oxidative stress response, including; mitochondrial peroxiredoxin Prx1, molecular chaperone Hsp70 and mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Phenotypic analysis also revealed that A. fumigatus ΔelfA was significantly more tolerant to voriconazole than the wild-type. The differential expression of two aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases suggests a role for A. fumigatus elfA in translation, while the identification of actin-bundling protein Sac6 and vacuolar dynamin-like GTPase VpsA link A. fumigatus elfA to the actin cytoskeleton. Overall, this work highlights the diverse roles of A. fumigatus elfA, with respect to translation, oxidative stress and actin cytoskeleton organization. In addition to this, the strategy of combining targeted gene deletion with comparative proteomics for elucidating the role of proteins of unknown function is further revealed. PMID:24023013

  2. The Aspergillus fumigatus pkcAG579R Mutant Is Defective in the Activation of the Cell Wall Integrity Pathway but Is Dispensable for Virulence in a Neutropenic Mouse Infection Model

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Marina Campos; de Godoy, Krissia Franco; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Hori, Juliana Issa; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; Brown, Neil Andrew; da Cunha, Anderson Ferreira; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique; Malavazi, Iran

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic human pathogen, which causes the life-threatening disease, invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. In fungi, cell wall homeostasis is controlled by the conserved Cell Wall Integrity (CWI) pathway. In A. fumigatus this signaling cascade is partially characterized, but the mechanisms by which it is activated are not fully elucidated. In this study we investigated the role of protein kinase C (PkcA) in this signaling cascade. Our results suggest that pkcA is an essential gene and is activated in response to cell wall stress. Subsequently, we constructed and analyzed a non-essential A. fumigatus pkcAG579R mutant, carrying a Gly579Arg substitution in the PkcA C1B regulatory domain. The pkcAG579R mutation has a reduced activation of the downstream Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase, MpkA, resulting in the altered expression of genes encoding cell wall-related proteins, markers of endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response. Furthermore, PkcAG579R is involved in the formation of proper conidial architecture and protection to oxidative damage. The pkcAG579R mutant elicits increased production of TNF-α and phagocytosis but it has no impact on virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. These results highlight the importance of PkcA to the CWI pathway but also indicated that additional regulatory circuits may be involved in the biosynthesis and/or reinforcement of the A. fumigatus cell wall during infection. PMID:26295576

  3. The Aspergillus fumigatus pkcA G579R Mutant Is Defective in the Activation of the Cell Wall Integrity Pathway but Is Dispensable for Virulence in a Neutropenic Mouse Infection Model.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Marina Campos; Godoy, Krissia Franco de; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Hori, Juliana Issa; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; Brown, Neil Andrew; Cunha, Anderson Ferreira da; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique; Malavazi, Iran

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic human pathogen, which causes the life-threatening disease, invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. In fungi, cell wall homeostasis is controlled by the conserved Cell Wall Integrity (CWI) pathway. In A. fumigatus this signaling cascade is partially characterized, but the mechanisms by which it is activated are not fully elucidated. In this study we investigated the role of protein kinase C (PkcA) in this signaling cascade. Our results suggest that pkcA is an essential gene and is activated in response to cell wall stress. Subsequently, we constructed and analyzed a non-essential A. fumigatus pkcAG579R mutant, carrying a Gly579Arg substitution in the PkcA C1B regulatory domain. The pkcAG579R mutation has a reduced activation of the downstream Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase, MpkA, resulting in the altered expression of genes encoding cell wall-related proteins, markers of endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response. Furthermore, PkcAG579R is involved in the formation of proper conidial architecture and protection to oxidative damage. The pkcAG579R mutant elicits increased production of TNF-α and phagocytosis but it has no impact on virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. These results highlight the importance of PkcA to the CWI pathway but also indicated that additional regulatory circuits may be involved in the biosynthesis and/or reinforcement of the A. fumigatus cell wall during infection. PMID:26295576

  4. Proteomic Profiling of Serological Responses to Aspergillus fumigatus Antigens in Patients with Invasive Aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Teutschbein, Janka; Simon, Svenja; Lother, Jasmin; Springer, Jan; Hortschansky, Peter; Morton, C Oliver; Löffler, Jürgen; Einsele, Hermann; Conneally, Eibhlin; Rogers, Thomas R; Guthke, Reinhard; Brakhage, Axel A; Kniemeyer, Olaf

    2016-05-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the species that most commonly causes the opportunistic infection invasive aspergillosis (IA) in patients being treated for hematological malignancies. Little is known about the A. fumigatus proteins that trigger the production of Aspergillus-specific IgG antibodies during the course of IA. To characterize the serological response to A. fumigatus protein antigens, mycelial proteins were separated by 2-D gel electrophoresis. The gels were immunoblotted with sera from patients with probable and proven IA and control patients without IA. We identified 49 different fungal proteins, which gave a positive IgG antibody signal. Most of these antigens play a role in primary metabolism and stress responses. Overall, our analysis identified 18 novel protein antigens from A. fumigatus. To determine whether these antigens can be used as diagnostic or prognostic markers or exhibit a protective activity, we employed supervised machine learning with decision trees. We identified two candidates for further analysis, the protein antigens CpcB and Shm2. Heterologously produced Shm2 induced a strongly proinflammatory response in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells after in vitro stimulation. In contrast, CpcB did not activate the immune response of PBMCs. These findings could serve as the basis for the development of an immunotherapy of IA. PMID:26974881

  5. Histidine biosynthesis plays a crucial role in metal homeostasis and virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dietl, Anna-Maria; Amich, Jorge; Leal, Sixto; Beckmann, Nicola; Binder, Ulrike; Beilhack, Andreas; Pearlman, Eric; Haas, Hubertus

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent airborne fungal pathogen causing invasive fungal infections in immunosuppressed individuals. The histidine biosynthetic pathway is found in bacteria, archaebacteria, lower eukaryotes, and plants, but is absent in mammals. Here we demonstrate that deletion of the gene encoding imidazoleglycerol-phosphate dehydratase (HisB) in A. fumigatus causes (i) histidine auxotrophy, (ii) decreased resistance to both starvation and excess of various heavy metals, including iron, copper and zinc, which play a pivotal role in antimicrobial host defense, (iii) attenuation of pathogenicity in 4 virulence models: murine pulmonary infection, murine systemic infection, murine corneal infection, and wax moth larvae. In agreement with the in vivo importance of histidine biosynthesis, the HisB inhibitor 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole reduced the virulence of the A. fumigatus wild type and histidine supplementation partially rescued virulence of the histidine-auxotrophic mutant in the wax moth model. Taken together, this study reveals limited histidine availability in diverse A. fumigatus host niches, a crucial role for histidine in metal homeostasis, and the histidine biosynthetic pathway as being an attractive target for development of novel antifungal therapy approaches. PMID:26854126

  6. Histidine biosynthesis plays a crucial role in metal homeostasis and virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Dietl, Anna-Maria; Amich, Jorge; Leal, Sixto; Beckmann, Nicola; Binder, Ulrike; Beilhack, Andreas; Pearlman, Eric; Haas, Hubertus

    2016-05-18

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent airborne fungal pathogen causing invasive fungal infections in immunosuppressed individuals. The histidine biosynthetic pathway is found in bacteria, archaebacteria, lower eukaryotes, and plants, but is absent in mammals. Here we demonstrate that deletion of the gene encoding imidazoleglycerol-phosphate dehydratase (HisB) in A. fumigatus causes (i) histidine auxotrophy, (ii) decreased resistance to both starvation and excess of various heavy metals, including iron, copper and zinc, which play a pivotal role in antimicrobial host defense, (iii) attenuation of pathogenicity in 4 virulence models: murine pulmonary infection, murine systemic infection, murine corneal infection, and wax moth larvae. In agreement with the in vivo importance of histidine biosynthesis, the HisB inhibitor 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole reduced the virulence of the A. fumigatus wild type and histidine supplementation partially rescued virulence of the histidine-auxotrophic mutant in the wax moth model. Taken together, this study reveals limited histidine availability in diverse A. fumigatus host niches, a crucial role for histidine in metal homeostasis, and the histidine biosynthetic pathway as being an attractive target for development of novel antifungal therapy approaches. PMID:26854126

  7. Diversity and origins of Indian multi-triazole resistant strains of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Chang, Howard; Ashu, Eta; Sharma, Cheshta; Kathuria, Shallu; Chowdhary, Anuradha; Xu, Jianping

    2016-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a widespread opportunistic fungal pathogen causing an alarmingly high mortality rate in immunocompromised patients. Nosocomial infections by drug-resistant A. fumigatus strains are of particular concern, and there is a pressing need to understand the origin, dispersal and long-term evolution of drug resistance in this organism. The objective of this study was to investigate the diversity and putative origins of triazole resistance of A. fumigatus from India. Eighty-nine isolates, including 51 multiple triazole resistant (MTR) isolates and 38 azole-susceptible isolates, were genotyped using multilocus sequence typing (MLST), mating typing and PCR fingerprinting. MLST resolved the 51 MTR isolates into three genotypes, two of which have susceptible counterparts, suggesting that MTR isolates originated multiple times in India. The multiple-origin hypothesis was further supported by the diversity of sequences at the triazole target gene CYP51A among the MTR isolates, and by PCR fingerprints. Interestingly, there is abundant evidence for mating and recombination in natural population of A. fumigatus in India, suggesting that sexual spread of TR34 /L98H, the dominant MTR allele, is possible. Our results call for greater attention to MTR in A. fumigatus and for better management of antifungal drug use. PMID:26931802

  8. A single aspergillus fumigatus intracranial abscess in an immunocompetent patient with parietal lobe tumorectomy

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillosis of the central nervous system is a rare fungal infection that is mainly reported in patients with immune deficiency, such as AIDS patients and organ transplant patients treated with immunosuppressive agents, and is uncommon among patients with intact immune function. We report here a rare case of intracranial aspergillosis in a patient who had previously undergone a parietal lobe tumorectomy. Aspergillus fumigatus was confirmed by histopathology, and susceptibility tests reported that this infection should respond to voriconazole. We believe the immunosuppression resulting from surgical trauma and glucocorticosteroid treatment may be contributing to the infection, and therefore management of these two factors may improve the prognosis. PMID:24906819

  9. Interaction of the pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus with lung epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Osherov, Nir

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic environmental mold that can cause severe allergic responses in atopic individuals and poses a life-threatening risk for severely immunocompromised patients. Infection is caused by inhalation of fungal spores (conidia) into the lungs. The initial point of contact between the fungus and the host is a monolayer of lung epithelial cells. Understanding how these cells react to fungal contact is crucial to elucidating the pathobiology of Aspergillus-related disease states. The experimental systems, both in vitro and in vivo, used to study these interactions, are described. Distinction is made between bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells. The experimental findings suggest that lung epithelial cells are more than just “innocent bystanders” or a purely physical barrier against infection. They can be better described as an active extension of our innate immune system, operating as a surveillance mechanism that can specifically identify fungal spores and activate an offensive response to block infection. This response includes the internalization of adherent conidia and the release of cytokines, antimicrobial peptides, and reactive oxygen species. In the case of allergy, lung epithelial cells can dampen an over-reactive immune response by releasing anti-inflammatory compounds such as kinurenine. This review summarizes our current knowledge regarding the interaction of A. fumigatus with lung epithelial cells. A better understanding of the interactions between A. fumigatus and lung epithelial cells has therapeutic implications, as stimulation or inhibition of the epithelial response may alter disease outcome. PMID:23055997

  10. Phagocytosis of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia by primary nasal epithelial cells in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Botterel, Françoise; Gross, Karine; Ibrahim-Granet, Oumaïma; Khoufache, Khaled; Escabasse, Virginie; Coste, André; Cordonnier, Catherine; Escudier, Estelle; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2008-01-01

    Background Invasive aspergillosis, which is mainly caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, is an increasing problem in immunocompromised patients. Infection occurs by inhalation of airborne conidia, which are first encountered by airway epithelial cells. Internalization of these conidia into the epithelial cells could serve as a portal of entry for this pathogenic fungus. Results We used an in vitro model of primary cultures of human nasal epithelial cells (HNEC) at an air-liquid interface. A. fumigatus conidia were compared to Penicillium chrysogenum conidia, a mould that is rarely responsible for invasive disease. Confocal microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and anti-LAMP1 antibody labeling studies showed that conidia of both species were phagocytosed and trafficked into a late endosomal-lysosomal compartment as early as 4 h post-infection. In double immunolabeling experiments, the mean percentage of A. fumigatus conidia undergoing phagocytosis 4 h post-infection was 21.8 ± 4.5%. Using combined staining with a fluorescence brightener and propidium iodide, the mean rate of phagocytosis was 18.7 ± 9.3% and the killing rate 16.7 ± 7.5% for A. fumigatus after 8 h. The phagocytosis rate did not differ between the two fungal species for a given primary culture. No germination of the conidia was observed until 20 h of observation. Conclusion HNEC can phagocytose fungal conidia but killing of phagocytosed conidia is low, although the spores do not germinate. This phagocytosis does not seem to be specific to A. fumigatus. Other immune cells or mechanisms are required to kill A. fumigatus conidia and to avoid further invasion. PMID:18564423

  11. Pseudallescheria boydii with Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus in a Critically Ill Hematopoietic Stem Cell Recipient with ARDS.

    PubMed

    Lahmer, Tobias; Messer, Marlena; Ehmer, Ursula; Eser, Stefan; Beitz, Analena; Fekecs, Lisa; Schmid, Roland M; Huber, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    Pseudallescheria boydii is a fungal organism known to affect immunocompromised patients. This organism is known to cause, in severe cases, invasive infection of various organs such as the central nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. We report an unusual case of pulmonary P. boydii pneumonia in an immunocompromised critically ill patient with a co-infection of Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus with ARDS. This case highlights the importance of a high index of suspicion for superimposed fungal infections in patients who are critically ill and immunocompromised. Uncommon fungal pathogens should be considered in the differential diagnosis of respiratory failure, especially if diagnostic markers such as galactomannan (from BAL and serum) or 1,3-beta-D-glucan are elevated. Further diagnostic interventions are warranted when insufficient clinical improvement is observed to prevent treatment failure and adverse outcomes. PMID:26455910

  12. Genomic Islands in the Pathogenic Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Fedorova, Natalie D.; Khaldi, Nora; Joardar, Vinita S.; Maiti, Rama; Amedeo, Paolo; Anderson, Michael J.; Crabtree, Jonathan; Silva, Joana C.; Badger, Jonathan H.; Albarraq, Ahmed; Angiuoli, Sam; Bussey, Howard; Bowyer, Paul; Cotty, Peter J.; Dyer, Paul S.; Egan, Amy; Galens, Kevin; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M.; Haas, Brian J.; Inman, Jason M.; Kent, Richard; Lemieux, Sebastien; Malavazi, Iran; Orvis, Joshua; Roemer, Terry; Ronning, Catherine M.; Sundaram, Jaideep P.; Sutton, Granger; Turner, Geoff; Venter, J. Craig; White, Owen R.; Whitty, Brett R.; Youngman, Phil; Wolfe, Kenneth H.; Goldman, Gustavo H.; Wortman, Jennifer R.; Jiang, Bo; Denning, David W.; Nierman, William C.

    2008-01-01

    We present the genome sequences of a new clinical isolate of the important human pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, A1163, and two closely related but rarely pathogenic species, Neosartorya fischeri NRRL181 and Aspergillus clavatus NRRL1. Comparative genomic analysis of A1163 with the recently sequenced A. fumigatus isolate Af293 has identified core, variable and up to 2% unique genes in each genome. While the core genes are 99.8% identical at the nucleotide level, identity for variable genes can be as low 40%. The most divergent loci appear to contain heterokaryon incompatibility (het) genes associated with fungal programmed cell death such as developmental regulator rosA. Cross-species comparison has revealed that 8.5%, 13.5% and 12.6%, respectively, of A. fumigatus, N. fischeri and A. clavatus genes are species-specific. These genes are significantly smaller in size than core genes, contain fewer exons and exhibit a subtelomeric bias. Most of them cluster together in 13 chromosomal islands, which are enriched for pseudogenes, transposons and other repetitive elements. At least 20% of A. fumigatus-specific genes appear to be functional and involved in carbohydrate and chitin catabolism, transport, detoxification, secondary metabolism and other functions that may facilitate the adaptation to heterogeneous environments such as soil or a mammalian host. Contrary to what was suggested previously, their origin cannot be attributed to horizontal gene transfer (HGT), but instead is likely to involve duplication, diversification and differential gene loss (DDL). The role of duplication in the origin of lineage-specific genes is further underlined by the discovery of genomic islands that seem to function as designated “gene dumps” and, perhaps, simultaneously, as “gene factories”. PMID:18404212

  13. Aspergillus fumigatus Endophthalmitis with Necrotizing Scleritis following Pars Plana Vitrectomy

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Felicity; Graham, Elizabeth M.

    2016-01-01

    We present a case of Aspergillus fumigatus endophthalmitis complicated by necrotizing scleritis in a 68-year-old man with diet-controlled diabetes, after retinal detachment repair. He was initially treated with systemic steroids for surgically induced necrotizing scleritis following routine pars plana vitrectomy. An additional diagnosis of endophthalmitis was made when the patient developed a hypopyon. Repeat vitreous culture isolated Aspergillus fumigatus. Symptoms improved following antifungal treatment leaving the patient with scleromalacia and an advanced postoperative cataract. Fungal scleritis and endophthalmitis are rare complications of intraocular surgery with sight-threatening consequences, and, as this case demonstrates, may even occur concomitantly. The overlapping features of both conditions can make differentiating one from the other difficult. A fungal aetiology should be considered in cases of postoperative scleritis and endophthalmitis that are protracted and refractory to standard therapy. Even in cases of early diagnosis and treatment, visual outcomes in Aspergillus endophthalmitis and scleritis are variable and often disappointing, not infrequently necessitating enucleation of a painful blind eye. PMID:27379189

  14. Aspergillus fumigatus Endophthalmitis with Necrotizing Scleritis following Pars Plana Vitrectomy.

    PubMed

    Gruener, Anna M; Allen, Felicity; Stanford, Miles R; Graham, Elizabeth M

    2016-01-01

    We present a case of Aspergillus fumigatus endophthalmitis complicated by necrotizing scleritis in a 68-year-old man with diet-controlled diabetes, after retinal detachment repair. He was initially treated with systemic steroids for surgically induced necrotizing scleritis following routine pars plana vitrectomy. An additional diagnosis of endophthalmitis was made when the patient developed a hypopyon. Repeat vitreous culture isolated Aspergillus fumigatus. Symptoms improved following antifungal treatment leaving the patient with scleromalacia and an advanced postoperative cataract. Fungal scleritis and endophthalmitis are rare complications of intraocular surgery with sight-threatening consequences, and, as this case demonstrates, may even occur concomitantly. The overlapping features of both conditions can make differentiating one from the other difficult. A fungal aetiology should be considered in cases of postoperative scleritis and endophthalmitis that are protracted and refractory to standard therapy. Even in cases of early diagnosis and treatment, visual outcomes in Aspergillus endophthalmitis and scleritis are variable and often disappointing, not infrequently necessitating enucleation of a painful blind eye. PMID:27379189

  15. Immunoproteome of Aspergillus fumigatus Using Sera of Patients with Invasive Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Virginio, Emylli D.; Kubitschek-Barreira, Paula H.; Batista, Marjorie Vieira; Schirmer, Marcelo R.; Abdelhay, Eliana; Shikanai-Yasuda, Maria A.; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila M.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is a life-threatening lung or systemic infection caused by the opportunistic mold Aspergillus fumigatus. The disease affects mainly immunocompromised hosts, and patients with hematological malignances or who have been submitted to stem cell transplantation are at high risk. Despite the current use of Platelia™ Aspergillus as a diagnostic test, the early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis remains a major challenge in improving the prognosis of the disease. In this study, we used an immunoproteomic approach to identify proteins that could be putative candidates for the early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis. Antigenic proteins expressed in the first steps of A. fumigatus germination occurring in a human host were revealed using 2-D Western immunoblots with the serum of patients who had previously been classified as probable and proven for invasive aspergillosis. Forty antigenic proteins were identified using mass spectrometry (MS/MS). A BLAST analysis revealed that two of these proteins showed low homology with proteins of either the human host or etiological agents of other invasive fungal infections. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing specific antigenic proteins of A. fumigatus germlings that are recognized by sera of patients with confirmed invasive aspergillosis who were from two separate hospital units. PMID:25141105

  16. Oxidative burst and neutrophil elastase contribute to clearance of Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia in mice.

    PubMed

    Prüfer, Steve; Weber, Michael; Stein, Pamela; Bosmann, Markus; Stassen, Michael; Kreft, Andreas; Schild, Hansjörg; Radsak, Markus P

    2014-02-01

    Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) are important for the control of invasive aspergillosis (IA), a major threat to immunocompromised individuals. For clearance of Aspergillus fumigatus infections, PMN employ their potent oxidative and non-oxidative mechanisms. To clarify the relative contribution of these mechanisms, we analyzed p47(phox-/-), gp91(phox-/-) and elastase (ELA) deficient mice (ELANE) after intratracheal infection with A. fumigatus. Infected p47(phox-/-) and gp91(phox-/-) mice died within 4 days and had a significant higher fungal burden in the lungs compared to wild-type controls. Interestingly, the survival of ELANE mice after infection was unimpaired suggesting that ELA is not essential here. Nevertheless, A. fumigatus clearance was delayed in ELANE mice indicating a partial contribution of ELA to fungal immunity. Comparing p47(phox-/-), gp91(phox-/-) or ELANE mice for PMN activation and recruitment to the lungs, we were unable to detect significant differences in vitro or in vivo among mutant or wild-type strains suggesting intact PMN functionality of basic effector mechanisms. Fungal killing in vitro by ELA deficient PMN was comparably reduced as in p47(phox-/-) and gp91(phox-/-) deficient PMN corroborating the importance of oxidative and non-oxidative PMN mechanisms for the control of fungal outgrowth. Taken together, this suggests that intact oxidative as well as non-oxidative PMN effector functions are highly relevant for the control of A. fumigatus infections in vitro and in vivo. While ELA contributes to clearance of A. fumigatus, the oxidative functions are essential for survival. PMID:24054721

  17. The Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall integrity signaling pathway: drug target, compensatory pathways, and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Valiante, Vito; Macheleidt, Juliane; Föge, Martin; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen, causing severe infections with invasive growth in immunocompromised patients. The fungal cell wall (CW) prevents the cell from lysing and protects the fungus against environmental stress conditions. Because it is absent in humans and because of its essentiality, the fungal CW is a promising target for antifungal drugs. Nowadays, compounds acting on the CW, i.e., echinocandin derivatives, are used to treat A. fumigatus infections. However, studies demonstrating the clinical effectiveness of echinocandins in comparison with antifungals currently recommended for first-line treatment of invasive aspergillosis are still lacking. Therefore, it is important to elucidate CW biosynthesis pathways and their signal transduction cascades, which potentially compensate the inhibition caused by CW- perturbing compounds. Like in other fungi, the central core of the cell wall integrity (CWI) signaling pathway in A. fumigatus is composed of three mitogen activated protein kinases. Deletion of these genes resulted in severely enhanced sensitivity of the mutants against CW-disturbing compounds and in drastic alterations of the fungal morphology. Additionally, several cross-talk interactions between the CWI pathways and other signaling pathways are emerging, raising the question about their role in the CW compensatory mechanisms. In this review we focused on recent advances in understanding the CWI signaling pathway in A. fumigatus and its role during drug stress response and virulence. PMID:25932027

  18. Zinc acquisition: a key aspect in Aspergillus fumigatus virulence.

    PubMed

    Amich, Jorge; Calera, José Antonio

    2014-12-01

    Zinc is an essential micronutrient required for the growth of all microorganisms. To grow in the lungs of a susceptible patient Aspergillus fumigatus must obtain zinc from the surrounding tissues. The concentration of Zn(2+) ions in living tissues is much lower than that required for optimal fungal growth in vitro because most of them are tightly bound to proteins at the physiological pH. However, A. fumigatus has several zinc transporters (ZrfA, ZrfB and ZrfC) that enable it to uptake zinc efficiently under the extreme zinc-limiting conditions provided by a susceptible host. The ZafA transcriptional regulator induces the expression of these transporters and is essential for virulence. ZrfC is required for fungal growth within the host tissues, whereas ZrfA and ZrfB play an accessory role. The zinc-scavenging capacity of ZrfC relies on its unusually long N-terminus. In addition, ZrfC also enables A. fumigatus to overcome the inhibitory effect of calprotectin, which is an antimicrobial Zn/Mn-chelating protein synthesized in high amounts by neutrophils, even in immunosuppressed non-leucopenic animals. In summary, the regulation of zinc homeostasis and zinc acquisition could be promising targets for the discovery and development of a new generation of antifungals for the treatment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. PMID:24947168

  19. Interactions of Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia with Airway Epithelial Cells: A Critical Review

    PubMed Central

    Croft, Carys A.; Culibrk, Luka; Moore, Margo M.; Tebbutt, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an environmental filamentous fungus that also acts as an opportunistic pathogen able to cause a variety of symptoms, from an allergic response to a life-threatening disseminated fungal infection. The infectious agents are inhaled conidia whose first point of contact is most likely to be an airway epithelial cell (AEC). The interaction between epithelial cells and conidia is multifaceted and complex, and has implications for later steps in pathogenesis. Increasing evidence has demonstrated a key role for the airway epithelium in the response to respiratory pathogens, particularly at early stages of infection; therefore, elucidating the early stages of interaction of conidia with AECs is essential to understand the establishment of infection in cohorts of at-risk patients. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the early interactions between A. fumigatus and AECs, including bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells. We describe mechanisms of adhesion, internalization of conidia by AECs, the immune response of AECs, as well as the role of fungal virulence factors, and patterns of fungal gene expression characteristic of early infection. A clear understanding of the mechanisms involved in the early establishment of infection by A. fumigatus could point to novel targets for therapy and prophylaxis. PMID:27092126

  20. Two α(1-3) Glucan Synthases with Different Functions in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Beauvais, A.; Maubon, D.; Park, S.; Morelle, W.; Tanguy, M.; Huerre, M.; Perlin, D. S.; Latgé, J. P.

    2005-01-01

    α(1-3) glucan is a main component of the Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall. In spite of its importance, synthesis of this amorphous polymer has not been investigated to date. Two genes in A. fumigatus, AGS1 and AGS2, are highly homologous to the AGS genes of Schizosaccharomyces pombe, which encode putative α(1-3) glucan synthases. The predicted Ags proteins of A. fumigatus have an estimated molecular mass of 270 kDa. AGS1 and AGS2 were disrupted in A. fumigatus. Both Δags mutants have similar altered hyphal morphologies and reduced conidiation levels. Only Δags1 presented a reduction in the α(1-3) glucan content of the cell wall. These results showed that Ags1p and Ags2p were functionally different. The cellular localization of the two proteins was in agreement with their different functions: Ags1p was localized at the periphery of the cell in connection with the cell wall, whereas Ags2p was intracellularly located. An original experimental model of invasive aspergillosis based on mixed infection and quantitative PCR was developed to analyze the virulence of A. fumigatus mutant and wild-type strains. Using this model, it was shown that the cell wall and morphogenesis defects of Δags1 and Δags2 were not associated with a reduction in virulence in either mutant. This result showed that a 50% reduction in the content of the cell wall α(1-3) glucan does not play a significant role in A. fumigatus pathogenicity. PMID:15746357

  1. Identification of Aspergillus fumigatus and Related Species by Nested PCR Targeting Ribosomal DNA Internal Transcribed Spacer Regions

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jun; Kong, Fanrong; Li, Ruoyu; Wang, Xiaohong; Wan, Zhe; Wang, Duanli

    2001-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common species that causes invasive aspergillosis. In order to identify A. fumigatus, partial ribosomal DNA (rDNA) from two to six strains of five different Aspergillus species was sequenced. By comparing sequence data from GenBank, we designed specific primer pairs targeting rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of A. fumigatus. A nested PCR method for identification of other A. fumigatus-related species was established by using the primers. To evaluate the specificities and sensitivities of those primers, 24 isolates of A. fumigatus and variants, 8 isolates of Aspergillus nidulans, 7 isolates of Aspergillus flavus and variants, 8 isolates of Aspergillus terreus, 9 isolates of Aspergillus niger, 1 isolate each of Aspergillus parasiticus, Aspergillus penicilloides, Aspergillus versicolor, Aspergillus wangduanlii, Aspergillus qizutongii, Aspergillus beijingensis, and Exophiala dermatitidis, 4 isolates of Candida, 4 isolates of bacteria, and human DNA were used. The nested PCR method specifically identified the A. fumigatus isolates and closely related species and showed a high degree of sensitivity. Additionally, four A. fumigatus strains that were recently isolated from our clinic were correctly identified by this method. Our results demonstrate that these primers are useful for the identification of A. fumigatus and closely related species in culture and suggest further studies for the identification of Aspergillus fumigatus species in clinical specimens. PMID:11376067

  2. Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90): A novel antifungal target against Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Lamoth, Frédéric; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Steinbach, William J

    2016-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is a life-threatening and difficult to treat infection in immunosuppressed patients. The efficacy of current anti-Aspergillus therapies, targeting the cell wall or membrane, is limited by toxicity (polyenes), fungistatic activity and some level of basal resistance (echinocandins), or the emergence of acquired resistance (triazoles). The heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a conserved molecular chaperone involved in the rapid development of antifungal resistance in the yeast Candida albicans. Few studies have addressed its role in filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus, in which mechanisms of resistance may differ substantially. Hsp90 is at the center of a complex network involving calcineurin, lysine deacetylases (KDAC) and other client proteins, which orchestrate compensatory repair mechanisms of the cell wall in response to the stress induced by antifungals. In A. fumigatus, Hsp90 is a trigger for resistance to high concentrations of caspofungin, known as the paradoxical effect. Disrupting Hsp90 circuitry by different means (Hsp90 inhibitors, KDAC inhibitors and anti-calcineurin drugs) potentiates the antifungal activity of caspofungin, thus representing a promising novel antifungal approach. This review will discuss the specific features of A. fumigatus Hsp90 and the potential for antifungal strategies of invasive aspergillosis targeting this essential chaperone. PMID:25243616

  3. Integrative analysis of the heat shock response in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus is a thermotolerant human-pathogenic mold and the most common cause of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised patients. Its predominance is based on several factors most of which are still unknown. The thermotolerance of A. fumigatus is one of the traits which have been assigned to pathogenicity. It allows the fungus to grow at temperatures up to and above that of a fevered human host. To elucidate the mechanisms of heat resistance, we analyzed the change of the A. fumigatus proteome during a temperature shift from 30°C to 48°C by 2D-fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE). To improve 2D gel image analysis results, protein spot quantitation was optimized by missing value imputation and normalization. Differentially regulated proteins were compared to previously published transcriptome data of A. fumigatus. The study was augmented by bioinformatical analysis of transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) in the promoter region of genes whose corresponding proteins were differentially regulated upon heat shock. Results 91 differentially regulated protein spots, representing 64 different proteins, were identified by mass spectrometry (MS). They showed a continuous up-, down- or an oscillating regulation. Many of the identified proteins were involved in protein folding (chaperones), oxidative stress response, signal transduction, transcription, translation, carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism. A correlation between alteration of transcript levels and corresponding proteins was detected for half of the differentially regulated proteins. Interestingly, some previously undescribed putative targets for the heat shock regulator Hsf1 were identified. This provides evidence for Hsf1-dependent regulation of mannitol biosynthesis, translation, cytoskeletal dynamics and cell division in A. fumigatus. Furthermore, computational analysis of promoters revealed putative binding sites for an AP-2alpha-like transcription factor

  4. A modified recombineering protocol for the genetic manipulation of gene clusters in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Alcazar-Fuoli, Laura; Cairns, Timothy; Lopez, Jordi F; Zonja, Bozo; Pérez, Sandra; Barceló, Damià; Igarashi, Yasuhiro; Bowyer, Paul; Bignell, Elaine

    2014-01-01

    Genomic analyses of fungal genome structure have revealed the presence of physically-linked groups of genes, termed gene clusters, where collective functionality of encoded gene products serves a common biosynthetic purpose. In multiple fungal pathogens of humans and plants gene clusters have been shown to encode pathways for biosynthesis of secondary metabolites including metabolites required for pathogenicity. In the major mould pathogen of humans Aspergillus fumigatus, multiple clusters of co-ordinately upregulated genes were identified as having heightened transcript abundances, relative to laboratory cultured equivalents, during the early stages of murine infection. The aim of this study was to develop and optimise a methodology for manipulation of gene cluster architecture, thereby providing the means to assess their relevance to fungal pathogenicity. To this end we adapted a recombineering methodology which exploits lambda phage-mediated recombination of DNA in bacteria, for the generation of gene cluster deletion cassettes. By exploiting a pre-existing bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of A. fumigatus genomic clones we were able to implement single or multiple intra-cluster gene replacement events at both subtelomeric and telomere distal chromosomal locations, in both wild type and highly recombinogenic A. fumigatus isolates. We then applied the methodology to address the boundaries of a gene cluster producing a nematocidal secondary metabolite, pseurotin A, and to address the role of this secondary metabolite in insect and mammalian responses to A. fumigatus challenge. PMID:25372385

  5. Fungistatic activity of all-trans retinoic acid against Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Campione, Elena; Gaziano, Roberta; Marino, Daniele; Orlandi, Augusto

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Fungal infections are a major complication in hematologic and neoplastic patients causing severe morbidity and mortality. Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans are among the most invasive opportunistic pathogens in immunocompromised patients, and classic antifungal drugs are frequently unsuccessful in these patients. Recent reports hypothesize that the antifungal efficacy of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) is mainly related to its strong capacity to stimulate monocyte-mediated immunity, but no consideration was given to its potential direct fungistatic activity. Moreover, ATRA offers the opportunity for systemic therapy. Methods and results We investigated the efficacy of ATRA at different concentrations for its antifungal activity against opportunistic A. fumigatus and C. albicans obtained from clinical samples according to standard protocols. A fungistatic activity of ATRA on A. fumigatus and C. albicans at 0.5–1 mM concentration was documented up to 7 days. Conclusion This is the first evidence of a direct and strong fungistatic activity of ATRA against A. fumigatus and C. albicans. The potential adjuvant therapeutic application of ATRA might be useful in the treatment and/or prevention of systemic mycoses in immunocompromised patients. The discovery of a direct fungistatic activity, in association with its reported immunomodulatory properties, makes ATRA an excellent candidate for new combined antifungal strategies for systemic mycoses in immunocompromised and cancer patients. PMID:27199548

  6. The innate immune response to Aspergillus fumigatus at the alveolar surface.

    PubMed

    Margalit, Anatte; Kavanagh, Kevin

    2015-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an ubiquitous, saprophytic mould that forms and releases airborne conidia which are inhaled by humans on a daily basis. When the immune system is compromised (e.g. immunosuppressive therapy prior to organ transplantation) or there is pre-existing pulmonary malfunction (e.g. asthma, cystic fibrosis, TB lesions), A. fumigatus exploits weaknesses in the host defenses which can result in the development of saphrophytic, allergic or invasive aspergillosis. If not effectively eliminated by the innate immune response, conidia germinate and form invasive hyphae which can penetrate pulmonary tissues. The innate immune response to A. fumigatus is stage-specific and various components of the host's defenses are recruited to challenge the different cellular forms of the pathogen. In immunocompetent hosts, anatomical barriers (e.g. the mucociliary elevator) and professional phagocytes such as alveolar macrophages (AM) and neutrophils prevent the development of aspergillosis by inhibiting the growth of conidia and hyphae. The recognition of inhaled conidia by AM leads to the intracellular degradation of the spores and the secretion of proinflammatory mediators which recruit neutrophils to assist in fungal clearance. During the later stages of infection, dendritic cells activate a protective A. fumigatus-specific adaptive immune response which is driven by Th1 CD4(+) T cells. PMID:25934117

  7. Evolutionary Analysis of Sequence Divergence and Diversity of Duplicate Genes in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ence; Hulse, Amanda M.; Cai, James J.

    2012-01-01

    Gene duplication as a major source of novel genetic material plays an important role in evolution. In this study, we focus on duplicate genes in Aspergillus fumigatus, a ubiquitous filamentous fungus causing life-threatening human infections. We characterize the extent and evolutionary patterns of the duplicate genes in the genome of A. fumigatus. Our results show that A. fumigatus contains a large amount of duplicate genes with pronounced sequence divergence between two copies, and approximately 10% of them diverge asymmetrically, i.e. two copies of a duplicate gene pair diverge at significantly different rates. We use a Bayesian approach of the McDonald-Kreitman test to infer distributions of selective coefficients γ(=2Nes) and find that (1) the values of γ for two copies of duplicate genes co-vary positively and (2) the average γ for the two copies differs between genes from different gene families. This analysis highlights the usefulness of combining divergence and diversity data in studying the evolution of duplicate genes. Taken together, our results provide further support and refinement to the theories of gene duplication. Through characterizing the duplicate genes in the genome of A. fumigatus, we establish a computational framework, including parameter settings and methods, for comparative study of genetic redundancy and gene duplication between different fungal species. PMID:23225993

  8. The molecular mechanism of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus: from bedside to bench and back.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xiaolei; Zhang, Yuanwei; Lu, Ling

    2015-02-01

    The growing use of immunosuppressive therapies has resulted in a dramatic increased incidence of invasive fungal infections (IFIs) caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, a common pathogen, and is also associated with a high mortality rate. Azoles are the primary guideline-recommended therapy agents for first-line treatment and prevention of IFIs. However, increased azole usage in medicinal and agricultural settings has caused azole-resistant isolates to repeatedly emerge in the environment, resulting in a significant threat to human health. In this review, we present and summarize current research on the resistance mechanisms of azoles in A. fumigatus as well as efficient susceptibility testing methods. Moreover, we analyze and discuss the putative clinical (bedside) indication of these findings from bench work. PMID:25626363

  9. A Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase-derived Iron(III) Complex from the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Wen-Bing; Baccile, Joshua A.; Bok, Jin Woo; Chen, Yiming; Keller, Nancy P.; Schroeder, Frank C.

    2013-01-01

    Small molecules (SMs) play central roles as virulence factors of pathogenic fungi and bacteria; however, genomic analyses suggest that the majority of microbial SMs have remained uncharacterized. Based on microarray analysis followed by comparative metabolomics of overexpression/knockout mutants we identified a tryptophan-derived iron(III)-complex, hexadehydroastechrome (HAS), as the major product of the cryptic has non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene cluster in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Activation of the has cluster created a highly virulent A. fumigatus strain that increased mortality of infected mice. Comparative metabolomics of different mutant strains allowed to propose a pathway for HAS biosynthesis and further revealed cross-talk with another NRPS pathway producing the anti-cancer fumitremorgins. PMID:23360537

  10. The contribution of Aspergillus fumigatus stress responses to virulence and antifungal resistance.

    PubMed

    Brown, Neil A; Goldman, Gustavo H

    2016-03-01

    Invasive aspergillosis has emerged as one of the most common life-threatening fungal disease of humans. The emergence of antifungal resistant pathogens represents a current and increasing threat to society. In turn, new strategies to combat fungal infection are urgently required. Fungal adaptations to stresses experienced within the human host are a prerequisite for the survival and virulence strategies of the pathogen. Here, we review the latest information on the signalling pathways in Aspergillus fumigatus that contribute to stress adaptations and virulence, while highlighting their potential as targets for the development of novel combinational antifungal therapies. PMID:26920884

  11. Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes inhibit Aspergillus fumigatus conidial growth by lactoferrin-mediated iron depletion.

    PubMed

    Zarember, Kol A; Sugui, Janyce A; Chang, Yun C; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J; Gallin, John I

    2007-05-15

    Aspergillus fumigatus, a common mold, rarely infects humans, except during prolonged neutropenia or in cases of chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), a primary immunodeficiency caused by mutations in the NADPH oxidase that normally produces fungicidal reactive oxygen species. Filamentous hyphae of Aspergillus are killed by normal, but not CGD polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN); however, the few studies on PMN-mediated host defenses against infectious conidia (spores) of this organism have yielded conflicting results, some showing that PMN do not inhibit conidial growth, with others showing that they do, most likely using reactive oxygen species. Given that CGD patients are exposed daily to hundreds of viable A. fumigatus conidia, yet considerable numbers of them survive years without infection, we reasoned that PMN use ROS-independent mechanisms to combat Aspergillus. We show that human PMN from both normal controls and CGD patients are equipotent at arresting the growth of Aspergillus conidia in vitro, indicating the presence of a reactive oxygen species-independent factor(s). Cell-free supernatants of degranulated normal and CGD neutrophils both suppressed fungal growth and were found to be rich in lactoferrin, an abundant PMN secondary granule protein. Purified iron-poor lactoferrin at concentrations occurring in PMN supernatants (and reported in human mucosal secretions in vivo) decreased fungal growth, whereas saturation of lactoferrin or PMN supernatants with iron, or testing in the presence of excess iron in the form of ferritin, completely abolished activity against conidia. These results demonstrate that PMN lactoferrin sequestration of iron is important for host defense against Aspergillus. PMID:17475866

  12. Dataset of differentially regulated proteins in HUVECs challenged with wild type and UGM1 mutant Aspergillus fumigatus strains.

    PubMed

    Neves, Gabriela Westerlund Peixoto; Curty, Nathália; Kubitschek-Barreira, Paula Helena; Fontaine, Thierry; Souza, Gustavo Henrique Martins Ferreira; Cunha, Marcel Lyra; Goldman, Gustavo H; Beauvais, Anne; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila M

    2016-12-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is the primary opportunistic invasive fungal infection described in neutropenic hematologic patients, caused by the angioinvasive pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The molecular mechanisms associated with A. fumigatus infection in the vascular endothelium are poorly understood. In this context, we used a high-throughput proteomic approach to unveil the proteins modulated in HUVECs after interaction with a wild type strain and the UGM1 mutant (Δugm1) of A. fumigatus. The proteomic analysis was also performed in HUVECs challenged with a galactosaminogalactan (GAG) purified from A. fumigatus cell wall. The dataset presented here correspond to all proteins identified that fit a 2-fold change criteria (log 2 ratio ≥ 1 or ≤ -1), disregarding the statistical validation cut off, in order to supplement the research article entitled "Modifications to the composition of the hyphal outer layer of Aspergillus fumigatus modulates the HUVEC proteins associated with inflammatory and stress responses" (G.W.P. Neves, N.A. Curty, P.H. Kubitschek-Barreira, T. Fontaine, G.H.M.F. Souza, M. Lyra Cunha, G.H. Goldman, A. Beauvais, J.P. Latgé, L.M. Lopes-Bezerra, 2016) [1]. The mass spectrometry proteomic data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE partner repository with the dataset identifier PRIDE: PXD002823. PMID:27622208

  13. Automated Image Analysis of the Host-Pathogen Interaction between Phagocytes and Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Guthke, Reinhard; Brakhage, Axel A.; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitous airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen. In immunocompromised hosts, the fungus can cause life-threatening diseases like invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Since the incidence of fungal systemic infections drastically increased over the last years, it is a major goal to investigate the pathobiology of A. fumigatus and in particular the interactions of A. fumigatus conidia with immune cells. Many of these studies include the activity of immune effector cells, in particular of macrophages, when they are confronted with conidia of A. fumigus wild-type and mutant strains. Here, we report the development of an automated analysis of confocal laser scanning microscopy images from macrophages coincubated with different A. fumigatus strains. At present, microscopy images are often analysed manually, including cell counting and determination of interrelations between cells, which is very time consuming and error-prone. Automation of this process overcomes these disadvantages and standardises the analysis, which is a prerequisite for further systems biological studies including mathematical modeling of the infection process. For this purpose, the cells in our experimental setup were differentially stained and monitored by confocal laser scanning microscopy. To perform the image analysis in an automatic fashion, we developed a ruleset that is generally applicable to phagocytosis assays and in the present case was processed by the software Definiens Developer XD. As a result of a complete image analysis we obtained features such as size, shape, number of cells and cell-cell contacts. The analysis reported here, reveals that different mutants of A. fumigatus have a major influence on the ability of macrophages to adhere and to phagocytose the respective conidia. In particular, we observe that the phagocytosis ratio and the aggregation behaviour of pksP mutant compared to wild-type conidia are both significantly increased. PMID

  14. Aspergillus fumigatus Invasion Increases with Progressive Airway Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Joe L.; Khan, Mohammad A.; Sobel, Raymond A.; Jiang, Xinguo; Clemons, Karl V.; Nguyen, Tom T.; Stevens, David A.; Martinez, Marife; Nicolls, Mark R.

    2013-01-01

    Despite the prevalence of Aspergillus-related disease in immune suppressed lung transplant patients, little is known of the host-pathogen interaction. Because of the mould’s angiotropic nature and because of its capacity to thrive in hypoxic conditions, we hypothesized that the degree of Aspergillus invasion would increase with progressive rejection-mediated ischemia of the allograft. To study this relationship, we utilized a novel orthotopic tracheal transplant model of Aspergillus infection, in which it was possible to assess the effects of tissue hypoxia and ischemia on airway infectivity. Laser Doppler flowmetry and FITC-lectin were used to determine blood perfusion, and a fiber optic microsensor was used to measure airway tissue oxygen tension. Fungal burden and depth of invasion were graded using histopathology. We demonstrated a high efficacy (80%) for producing a localized fungal tracheal infection with the majority of infection occurring at the donor-recipient anastomosis; Aspergillus was more invasive in allogeneic compared to syngeneic groups. During the study period, the overall kinetics of both non-infected and infected allografts was similar, demonstrating a progressive loss of perfusion and oxygenation, which reached a nadir by days 10-12 post-transplantation. The extent of Aspergillus invasion directly correlated with the degree of graft hypoxia and ischemia. Compared to the midtrachea, the donor-recipient anastomotic site exhibited lower perfusion and more invasive disease; a finding consistent with clinical experience. For the first time, we identify ischemia as a putative risk factor for Aspergillus invasion. Therapeutic approaches focused on preserving vascular health may play an important role in limiting Aspergillus infections. PMID:24155924

  15. Genetic relatedness versus biological compatibility between Aspergillus fumigatus and related species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aspergillus section Fumigati contains twelve clinically relevant species. Among them, A. fumigatus is the most frequent agent of invasive aspergillosis followed by A. lentulus and A. viridinutans. Genealogical concordance and mating experiments were performed to examine the relationship between phyl...

  16. Phenotypic and genotypic analysis of variability in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Rinyu, E; Varga, J; Ferenczy, L

    1995-01-01

    Sixty-one isolates and collection strains of Aspergillus fumigatus were compared for their phenotypic (morphological features and isoenzyme profiles) and genotypic (restriction enzyme-generated mitochondrial DNA and ribosomal DNA profiles and random amplified polymorphic DNA patterns) features. The examined strains exhibited highly variable colony morphologies and growth rates at different temperatures, but their micromorphologies and conidial diameters were characteristic of the species. Of the isoenzymes studied, the beta-arylesterase and phosphatase patterns were the most divergent, and the 61 strains could be classified into seven groups. The glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and catalase isoenzyme patterns displayed only a limited variability, while the profiles of superoxide dismutase, lactate dehydrogenase, and glutamate dehydrogenase were highly conserved. The HaeIII-generated mitochondrial DNA patterns and SmaI-digested repetitive DNA and ribosomal DNA hybridization patterns of almost all strains were also invariable. The level of variation was much higher when random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis was applied. Although the patterns of the strains were very similar with most of the primers, the application of some primers made it possible to cluster the A. fumigatus isolates into several groups. The results indicate that the random amplified polymorphic DNA technique could be used more efficiently than isoenzyme analysis for typing A. fumigatus isolates. A good correlation was found between the dendrograms obtained from the isoenzyme and random amplified polymorphic DNA data, but the isoenzyme and amplified DNA patterns did not correlate with the pathogenicity, pigment production, or geographical origin of the strains.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8567884

  17. Accumulation of ergot alkaloids during conidiophore development in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mulinti, Prashanthi; Allen, Natalie A; Coyle, Christine M; Gravelat, Fabrice N; Sheppard, Donald C; Panaccione, Daniel G

    2014-01-01

    Production of ergot alkaloids in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is restricted to conidiating cultures. These cultures typically accumulate several pathway intermediates at concentrations comparable to that of the pathway end product. We investigated the contribution of different cell types that constitute the multicellular conidiophore of A. fumigatus to the production of ergot alkaloid pathway intermediates versus the pathway end product, fumigaclavine C. A relatively minor share (11 %) of the ergot alkaloid yield on a molar basis was secreted into the medium, whereas the remainder was associated with the conidiating colonies. Entire conidiating cultures (containing hyphae, vesicle of conidiophore, phialides of conidiophore, and conidia) accumulated higher levels of the pathway intermediate festuclavine and lower levels of the pathway end product fumigaclavine C than did isolated, abscised conidia, indicating that conidiophores and/or hyphae have a quantitatively different ergot alkaloid profile compared to that of conidia. Differences in alkaloid accumulation among cell types also were indicated by studies with conidiophore development mutants. A ∆medA mutant, in which conidiophores are numerous but develop poorly, accumulated higher levels of pathway intermediates than did the wildtype or a complemented ∆medA mutant. A ∆stuA mutant, which grows mainly as hyphae and produces very few, abnormal conidiophores, produced no detectable ergot alkaloids. The data indicated heterogeneous spatial distribution of ergot alkaloid pathway intermediates versus pathway end product in conidiating cultures of A. fumigatus. This skewed distribution may reflect differences in abundance or activity of pathway enzymes among cell types of those conidiating cultures. PMID:23925951

  18. IgG antibodies to Aspergillus fumigatus in cystic fibrosis: a laboratory correlate of disease activity.

    PubMed Central

    Forsyth, K D; Hohmann, A W; Martin, A J; Bradley, J

    1988-01-01

    Serum was collected from 50 patients with cystic fibrosis, and IgG antibodies to Aspergillus fumigatus were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, total IgE and Aspergillus specific IgE antibodies were measured in 41 of the 50. A close association was found between pulmonary function and clinical state, and IgG antibodies to Aspergillus. There was no association between pulmonary function or clinical state and IgE antibodies. It is postulated that in patients with cystic fibrosis, Aspergillus fumigatus may contribute to deterioration in pulmonary function by local pathogenicity, or by hypersensitivity mechanisms mediated by IgG. PMID:3046514

  19. Chemical and immunological analysis of the Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall.

    PubMed

    Hearn, V M; Sietsma, J H

    1994-04-01

    Hyphal-wall preparations of Aspergillus fumigatus have been analysed by sequential treatment with KOH, nitrous acid and again with KOH. By acidification of the alkali-soluble extract, a polyglucose was precipitated which showed an X-ray diffraction pattern similar to that of (1-->3)-alpha-glucan. The remainder of the alkali-soluble fraction was precipitated with ethanol; it contained all the mannose, galactose and protein of the wall and, in addition, 6.2% of the amino sugars. This wall-associated glycoprotein, following SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting, reacted with antisera raised against several mycelial extracts of A. fumigatus. Sera from patients with aspergilloma have antibodies which recognize components of this glycoprotein. The glycoprotein nature of these antigens was shown by their ability to bind Lens culinaris lectin. In addition, the antigen/antibody binding could be disrupted by exposure of antigen to periodate oxidation, hydrolysis with dilute acid or pretreatment with a large excess of an exo-beta-D-galactofuranosidase. The alkali-insoluble fraction consisted of a covalently linked glucan-chitin complex. Nitrous acid treatment, which specifically disrupts glycosidic linkages involving glucosamine, did not solubilize much material but changed the X-ray diffraction pattern from diffuse to a pattern showing the characteristic lines of crystalline (1-->3)-beta-glucan and chitin. Most of the glucan became alkali-soluble after this treatment, and the insoluble residue appeared to contain crystalline chitin. PMID:8012598

  20. Bioconversion of tea polyphenols to bioactive theabrownins by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiuping; Gong, Jiashun; Chisti, Yusuf; Sirisansaneeyakul, Sarote

    2014-12-01

    Theabrownins (TB) are water-soluble phenolic compounds associated with the various health benefits of Pu-erh tea, a post-fermented Chinese dark tea. This work reports on the production of theabrownins from infusions of sun-dried green tea leaves using a pure culture of Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from a solid-state Pu-erh tea fermentation. A theabrownins yield of 158 g kg(-1) sun-dried green tea leaves was obtained in 6 days at 45 °C in an aerobic fermentation. In a 2 l fermenter, the yield of theabrownins was 151 g kg(-1) sun-dried green tea leaves in 48 h of aerobic culture (45 °C, 1 vvm aeration rate, 250 rpm agitation speed). Extracellular polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase of A. fumigatus contributed to this bioconversion. Repeated batch fermentation process was used for producing theabrownins but was less productive than the batch process. PMID:25214210

  1. Testing the efficacy of RNA interference constructs in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Henry, Christine; Mouyna, Isabelle; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2007-04-01

    We recently developed a silencing vector in Aspergillus fumigatus which carries a hygromycin resistance marker and a transcriptional unit for hairpin RNA expression under the control of the inducible glucoamylase promoter (pGla) (Mouyna et al. in FEMS Microbiol Lett 237:317-324, 2004). We showed previously that this vector can be used for the RNA interference application of two genes ALB1 and FKS1 of which reduced mRNA levels occurred for both, with phenotypic consequences resembling disruptions of genes involved in melanin (ALB1) and beta(1-3)glucan biosynthesis (FKS1). We reported here the silencing of KRE6 and CRH1, two other genes putatively involved in cell wall biosynthesis using a similar construction under the control of the constitutive promoter glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (pgpdA). Silencing of the expression of these two genes was obtained. Further analysis of the transformants showed however that (1) a 100% loss of expression was never achieved for all genes tested (2) the vector used for RNAi is lost or modified over successive transfers resulting in an inhibition of the silencing. These disadvantages of RNAi indicate that classical gene disruption by gene replacement remains the most efficient method for a molecular analysis of gene function in A. fumigatus. PMID:17273823

  2. Thorium biosorption by Aspergillus fumigatus, a filamentous fungal biomass.

    PubMed

    Bhainsa, Kuber C; D'Souza, Stanislaus F

    2009-06-15

    Thorium biosorption by Aspergillus fumigatus was carried out in a batch reactor to study the effect of initial pH and metal ion concentration, contact time, biomass dose and kinetics and equilibrium Th uptake. Thorium(IV) uptake by A. fumigatus was pH dependent (pH range, 2.0-6.0) and maximum sorption was observed at pH 4.0. The uptake was rapid and the biosorption process reached equilibrium within 2h of contact times at pH 2-4 and initial Th concentration of 50 and 100mg/L. The kinetics data fitted well to Lagergren's pseudo-second-order rate equation (r(2)>0.99). A maximum initial sorption rate of 71.94 (mg/g min) and second-order rate constant of 7.82 x 10(-2) (g/mg min) were observed at pH 4.0, 50 mg Th/L. The observed maximum uptake of thorium was 370 mg Th/g at equilibrium. Biosorption process could be well described by Langmuir isotherm in comparison to Freundlich and Temkin isotherms. Sodium bicarbonate was the most efficient desorbing reagent with desorption efficiency of more than 99%. Environmental scanning electron micrograph (ESEM) showed that the surface of the biomass after desorption was intact. PMID:19036508

  3. In Vitro Biochemical Study of CYP51-Mediated Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Warrilow, Andrew G S; Parker, Josie E; Price, Claire L; Nes, W David; Kelly, Steven L; Kelly, Diane E

    2015-12-01

    The incidence of triazole-resistant Aspergillus infections is increasing worldwide, often mediated through mutations in the CYP51A amino acid sequence. New classes of azole-based drugs are required to combat the increasing resistance to existing triazole therapeutics. In this study, a CYP51 reconstitution assay is described consisting of eburicol, purified recombinant Aspergillus fumigatus CPR1 (AfCPR1), and Escherichia coli membrane suspensions containing recombinant A. fumigatus CYP51 proteins, allowing in vitro screening of azole antifungals. Azole-CYP51 studies determining the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) showed that A. fumigatus CYP51B (Af51B IC50, 0.50 μM) was 34-fold more susceptible to inhibition by fluconazole than A. fumigatus CYP51A (Af51A IC50, 17 μM) and that Af51A and Af51B were equally susceptible to inhibition by voriconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole (IC50s of 0.16 to 0.38 μM). Af51A-G54W and Af51A-M220K enzymes were 11- and 15-fold less susceptible to inhibition by itraconazole and 30- and 8-fold less susceptible to inhibition by posaconazole than wild-type Af51A, confirming the azole-resistant phenotype of these two Af51A mutations. Susceptibility to voriconazole of Af51A-G54W and Af51A-M220K was only marginally lower than that of wild-type Af51A. Susceptibility of Af51A-L98H to inhibition by voriconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole was only marginally lower (less than 2-fold) than that of wild-type Af51A. However, Af51A-L98H retained 5 to 8% residual activity in the presence of 32 μM triazole, which could confer azole resistance in A. fumigatus strains that harbor the Af51A-L98H mutation. The AfCPR1/Af51 assay system demonstrated the biochemical basis for the increased azole resistance of A. fumigatus strains harboring G54W, L98H, and M220K Af51A point mutations. PMID:26459890

  4. In Vitro Biochemical Study of CYP51-Mediated Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Warrilow, Andrew G. S.; Parker, Josie E.; Price, Claire L.; Nes, W. David

    2015-01-01

    The incidence of triazole-resistant Aspergillus infections is increasing worldwide, often mediated through mutations in the CYP51A amino acid sequence. New classes of azole-based drugs are required to combat the increasing resistance to existing triazole therapeutics. In this study, a CYP51 reconstitution assay is described consisting of eburicol, purified recombinant Aspergillus fumigatus CPR1 (AfCPR1), and Escherichia coli membrane suspensions containing recombinant A. fumigatus CYP51 proteins, allowing in vitro screening of azole antifungals. Azole-CYP51 studies determining the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) showed that A. fumigatus CYP51B (Af51B IC50, 0.50 μM) was 34-fold more susceptible to inhibition by fluconazole than A. fumigatus CYP51A (Af51A IC50, 17 μM) and that Af51A and Af51B were equally susceptible to inhibition by voriconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole (IC50s of 0.16 to 0.38 μM). Af51A-G54W and Af51A-M220K enzymes were 11- and 15-fold less susceptible to inhibition by itraconazole and 30- and 8-fold less susceptible to inhibition by posaconazole than wild-type Af51A, confirming the azole-resistant phenotype of these two Af51A mutations. Susceptibility to voriconazole of Af51A-G54W and Af51A-M220K was only marginally lower than that of wild-type Af51A. Susceptibility of Af51A-L98H to inhibition by voriconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole was only marginally lower (less than 2-fold) than that of wild-type Af51A. However, Af51A-L98H retained 5 to 8% residual activity in the presence of 32 μM triazole, which could confer azole resistance in A. fumigatus strains that harbor the Af51A-L98H mutation. The AfCPR1/Af51 assay system demonstrated the biochemical basis for the increased azole resistance of A. fumigatus strains harboring G54W, L98H, and M220K Af51A point mutations. PMID:26459890

  5. Calcineurin Orchestrates Hyphal Growth, Septation, Drug Resistance and Pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus: Where Do We Go from Here?

    PubMed

    Juvvadi, Praveen R; Steinbach, William J

    2015-01-01

    Studies on fungal pathogens belonging to the ascomycota phylum are critical given the ubiquity and frequency with which these fungi cause infections in humans. Among these species, Aspergillus fumigatus causes invasive aspergillosis, a leading cause of death in immunocompromised patients. Fundamental to A. fumigatus pathogenesis is hyphal growth. However, the precise mechanisms underlying hyphal growth and virulence are poorly understood. Over the past 10 years, our research towards the identification of molecular targets responsible for hyphal growth, drug resistance and virulence led to the elucidation of calcineurin as a key signaling molecule governing these processes. In this review, we summarize our salient findings on the significance of calcineurin for hyphal growth and septation in A. fumigatus and propose future perspectives on exploiting this pathway for designing new fungal-specific therapeutics. PMID:26694470

  6. Recent advances in the understanding of the Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark J; Sheppard, Donald C

    2016-03-01

    Over the past several decades, research on the synthesis and organization of the cell wall polysaccharides of Aspergillus fumigatus has expanded our knowledge of this important fungal structure. Besides protecting the fungus from environmental stresses and maintaining structural integrity of the organism, the cell wall is also the primary site for interaction with host tissues during infection. Cell wall polysaccharides are important ligands for the recognition of fungi by the innate immune system and they can mediate potent immunomodulatory effects. The synthesis of cell wall polysaccharides is a complicated process that requires coordinated regulation of many biosynthetic and metabolic pathways. Continuous synthesis and remodeling of the polysaccharides of the cell wall is essential for the survival of the fungus during development, reproduction, colonization and invasion. As these polysaccharides are absent from the human host, these biosynthetic pathways are attractive targets for antifungal development. In this review, we present recent advances in our understanding of Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall polysaccharides, including the emerging role of cell wall polysaccharides in the host-pathogen interaction. PMID:26920883

  7. [Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus in the Netherlands--increase due to environmental fungicides?].

    PubMed

    Verweij, Paul E; van de Sande-Bruisma, Nienke; Kema, Gert H J; Melchers, Willem J G

    2012-01-01

    The mould Aspergillus fumigatus may develop mechanisms that confer resistance to itraconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole. In the Netherlands a dominant resistance mechanism referred to as TR/L98H is found. In A. fumigatus isolates recovered from clinical samples in Dutch hospitals the prevalence of azole resistance varied between 0.8% and 9.4%. The TR/L98H resistance mechanism probably develops in our environment, as azoles are frequently used for crop protection and material preservation. It is likely that breathing in the resistant spores of these strains from the environment leads to clinical infection. More research is needed to understand the environmental route of resistance development and to enable effective measures to prevent this occurring. Azole resistance is associated with treatment failure. Of 8 patients with azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis 7 died within 12 weeks of diagnosis. Alternative treatment regimens might include lipid-formulation of amphotericin B or a combination of voriconazole and an echinocandin, but there is little data available to support these choices. Physicians who treat patients with Aspergillus diseases should be aware of the possibility of azole resistance, also in azole-naïve patients. PMID:22748367

  8. RbdB, a Rhomboid Protease Critical for SREBP Activation and Virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dhingra, Sourabh; Kowlaski, Caitlin H.; Thammahong, Arsa; Beattie, Sarah R.; Bultman, Katherine M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT SREBP transcription factors play a critical role in fungal virulence; however, the mechanisms of sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) activation in pathogenic fungi remains ill-defined. Screening of the Neurospora crassa whole-genome deletion collection for genes involved in hypoxia responses identified a gene for an uncharacterized rhomboid protease homolog, rbdB, required for growth under hypoxic conditions. Loss of rbdB in Aspergillus fumigatus also inhibited growth under hypoxic conditions. In addition, the A. fumigatus ΔrbdB strain also displayed phenotypes consistent with defective SREBP activity, including increased azole drug susceptibility, reduced siderophore production, and full loss of virulence. Expression of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) DNA binding domain of the SREBP SrbA in ΔrbdB restored all of the phenotypes linking RdbB activity with SrbA function. Furthermore, the N-terminal domain of SrbA containing the bHLH DNA binding region was absent from ΔrbdB under inducing conditions, suggesting that RbdB regulates the protein levels of this important transcription factor. As SrbA controls clinically relevant aspects of fungal pathobiology in A. fumigatus, understanding the mechanisms of SrbA activation provides opportunities to target this pathway for therapeutic development. IMPORTANCE Aspergillus fumigatus causes life-threatening infections, and treatment options remain limited. Thus, there is an urgent need to find new therapeutic targets to treat this deadly disease. Previously, we have shown that SREBP transcription factors and their regulatory components are critical for the pathobiology of A. fumigatus. Here we identify a role for RbdB, a rhomboid protease, as an essential component of SREBP activity. Our results indicate that mutants lacking rbdB have growth defects under hypoxic conditions, are hypersusceptible to voriconazole, lack extracellular siderophore production, and fail to cause disease in a murine

  9. AbaA and WetA govern distinct stages of Aspergillus fumigatus development.

    PubMed

    Tao, Li; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2011-02-01

    The opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus produces a massive number of asexual spores (conidia) as the primary means of dispersal, survival, genome protection and infection of hosts. In this report, we investigate the functions of two developmental regulators, AfuAbaA and AfuWetA, in A. fumigatus. The AfuabaA gene is predicted to encode an ATTS/TEA DNA-binding domain protein and is activated by AfuBrlA during the middle stage of A. fumigatus asexual development (conidiation). The deletion of AfuabaA results in the formation of aberrant conidiophores exhibiting reiterated cylinder-like terminal cells lacking spores. Furthermore, the absence of AfuabaA causes delayed autolysis and cell death, whereas the overexpression of AfuabaA accelerates these processes, indicating an additional role for AfuAbaA. The AfuwetA gene is sequentially activated by AfuAbaA in the late phase of conidiation. The deletion of AfuwetA causes the formation of defective spore walls and a lack of trehalose biogenesis, leading to a rapid loss of spore viability and reduced tolerance to various stresses. This is the first report to demonstrate that WetA is essential for trehalose biogenesis in conidia. Moreover, the absence of AfuwetA causes delayed germ-tube formation and reduced hyphal branching, suggesting a role of AfuWetA in the early phase of fungal growth. A genetic model depicting the regulation of conidiation in A. fumigatus is proposed. PMID:20966095

  10. Identification of Aspergillus fumigatus multidrug transporter genes and their potential involvement in antifungal resistance.

    PubMed

    Meneau, Isabelle; Coste, Alix T; Sanglard, Dominique

    2016-08-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus can cause severe fatal invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients but is also found in the environment. A. fumigatus infections can be treated with antifungals agents among which azole and echinocandins. Resistance to the class of azoles has been reported not only from patient samples but also from environmental samples. Azole resistance mechanisms involve for most isolates alterations at the site of the azole target (cyp51A); however, a substantial number of isolates can also exhibit non-cyp51A-mediated mechanisms.We aimed here to identify novel A. fumigatus genes involved in azole resistance. For this purpose, we designed a functional complementation system of A. fumigatus cDNAs expressed in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolate lacking the ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) transporter PDR5 and that was therefore more azole-susceptible than the parent wild type. Several genes were recovered including two distinct ABC transporters (atrF, atrI) and a Major Facilitator transporter (mdrA), from which atrI (Afu3g07300) and mdrA (Afu1g13800) were not yet described. atrI mediated resistance to itraconazole and voriconazole, while atrF only to voriconazole in S. cerevisiae Gene inactivation of each transporter in A. fumigatus indicated that the transporters were involved in the basal level of azole susceptibility. The expression of the transporters was addressed in clinical and environmental isolates with several azole resistance profiles. Our results show that atrI and mdrA tended to be expressed at higher levels than atrF in normal growth conditions. atrF was upregulated in 2/4 of azole-resistant environmental isolates and was the only gene with a significant association between transporter expression and azole resistance. In conclusion, this work showed the potential of complementation to identify functional transporters. The identified transporters were suggested to participate in azole resistance of A. fumigatus; however, this hypothesis will

  11. Plant-like biosynthesis of isoquinoline alkaloids in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Baccile, Joshua A; Spraker, Joseph E; Le, Henry H; Brandenburger, Eileen; Gomez, Christian; Bok, Jin Woo; Macheleidt, Juliane; Brakhage, Axel A; Hoffmeister, Dirk; Keller, Nancy P; Schroeder, Frank C

    2016-06-01

    Natural product discovery efforts have focused primarily on microbial biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) containing large multimodular polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases; however, sequencing of fungal genomes has revealed a vast number of BGCs containing smaller NRPS-like genes of unknown biosynthetic function. Using comparative metabolomics, we show that a BGC in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus named fsq, which contains an NRPS-like gene lacking a condensation domain, produces several new isoquinoline alkaloids known as the fumisoquins. These compounds derive from carbon-carbon bond formation between two amino acid-derived moieties followed by a sequence that is directly analogous to isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis in plants. Fumisoquin biosynthesis requires the N-methyltransferase FsqC and the FAD-dependent oxidase FsqB, which represent functional analogs of coclaurine N-methyltransferase and berberine bridge enzyme in plants. Our results show that BGCs containing incomplete NRPS modules may reveal new biosynthetic paradigms and suggest that plant-like isoquinoline biosynthesis occurs in diverse fungi. PMID:27065235

  12. The mtfA Transcription Factor Gene Controls Morphogenesis, Gliotoxin Production, and Virulence in the Opportunistic Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Timothy D.

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the leading causative agent of invasive aspergillosis (IA). The number of cases is on the rise, with mortality rates as high as 90% among immunocompromised patients. Molecular genetic studies in A. fumigatus could provide novel targets to potentially set the basis for antifungal therapies. In the current study, we investigated the role of the transcription factor gene mtfA in A. fumigatus. Our results revealed that mtfA plays a role in the growth and development of the fungus. Deletion or overexpression of mtfA leads to a slight reduction in colony growth, as well as a reduction in conidiation levels, in the overexpression strain compared to the wild-type strain. Furthermore, production of the secondary metabolite gliotoxin increased when mtfA was overexpressed, coinciding with an increase in the transcription levels of the gliotoxin genes gliZ and gliP with respect to the wild type. In addition, our study showed that mtfA is also necessary for normal protease activity in A. fumigatus; deletion of mtfA resulted in a reduction of protease activity compared to wild-type levels. Importantly, the absence of mtfA caused a decrease in virulence in the Galleria mellonella infection model, indicating that mtfA is necessary for A. fumigatus wild-type pathogenesis. PMID:24728192

  13. Pharmacodynamics of itraconazole against Aspergillus fumigatus in an in vitro model of the human alveolus: perspectives on the treatment of triazole-resistant infection and utility of airway administration.

    PubMed

    Al-Nakeeb, Zaid; Sudan, Ajay; Jeans, Adam R; Gregson, Lea; Goodwin, Joanne; Warn, Peter A; Felton, Timothy W; Howard, Susan J; Hope, William W

    2012-08-01

    Itraconazole is used for the prevention and treatment of infections caused by Aspergillus fumigatus. An understanding of the pharmacodynamics of itraconazole against wild-type and triazole-resistant strains provides a basis for innovative therapeutic strategies for treatment of infections. An in vitro model of the human alveolus was used to define the pharmacodynamics of itraconazole. Galactomannan was used as a biomarker. The effect of systemic and airway administration of itraconazole was assessed, as was a combination of itraconazole administered to the airway and systemically administered 5FC. Systemically administered itraconazole against the wild type induced a concentration-dependent decline in galactomannan in the alveolar and endothelial compartments. No exposure-response relationships were apparent for the L98H, M220T, or G138C mutant. The administration of itraconazole to the airway resulted in comparable exposure-response relationships to those observed with systemic therapy. This was achieved without detectable concentrations of drug within the endothelial compartment. The airway administration of itraconazole resulted in a definite but submaximal effect in the endothelial compartment against the L98H mutant. The administration of 5FC resulted in a concentration-dependent decline in galactomannan in both the alveolar and endothelial compartments. The combination of airway administration of itraconazole and systemically administered 5FC was additive. Systemic administration of itraconazole is ineffective against Cyp51 mutants. The airway administration of itraconazole is effective for the treatment of wild-type strains and appears to have some activity against the L98H mutants. Combination with other agents, such as 5FC, may enable the attainment of near-maximal antifungal activity. PMID:22615280

  14. Genotypic characterization of sequential Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed Central

    Verweij, P E; Meis, J F; Sarfati, J; Hoogkamp-Korstanje, J A; Latgé, J P; Melchers, W J

    1996-01-01

    Twenty-three sequential Aspergillus fumigatus sputum isolates, which had been collected over a period of 2 years, from two patients with cystic fibrosis were genotyped by random amplified polymorphic DNA PCR and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. In patient B, one genotype was predominantly present in the sputum samples, while in the other patient up to nine different genotypes were identified. This study suggests that different patterns of colonization with A.fumigatus exist in patients with cystic fibrosis. PMID:8880528

  15. Levels of gram-negative bacteria, Aspergillus fumigatus, dust, and endotoxin at compost plants.

    PubMed Central

    Clark, C S; Rylander, R; Larsson, L

    1983-01-01

    Airborne gram-negative bacteria, endotoxins, dust, and Aspergillus fumigatus were measured in four compost plants in Sweden. At sites where material was processed, the number of airborne A. fumigatus exceeded 10(6)/m3, whereas the number of gram-negative bacteria was usually lower. Dust levels were moderate, and endotoxin levels were well below 0.5 micrograms/m3. Medical studies to evaluate the effects of this type of microbial exposure are recommended. PMID:6347061

  16. Identification of the antiphagocytic trypacidin gene cluster in the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mattern, Derek J; Schoeler, Hanno; Weber, Jakob; Novohradská, Silvia; Kraibooj, Kaswara; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Hillmann, Falk; Valiante, Vito; Figge, Marc Thilo; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-12-01

    The opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus produces numerous different natural products. The genetic basis for the biosynthesis of a number of known metabolites has remained unknown. The gene cluster encoding for the biosynthesis of the conidia-bound metabolite trypacidin is of particular interest because of its antiprotozoal activity and possible role in the infection process. Here, we show that the genes encoding the biosynthesis enzymes of trypacidin reside within an orphan gene cluster in A. fumigatus. Genome mining identified tynC as an uncharacterized polyketide synthase with high similarity to known enzymes, whose products are structurally related to trypacidin including endocrocin and fumicycline. Gene deletion of tynC resulted in the complete absence of trypacidin production, which was fully restored when the mutant strain was complemented with the wild-type gene. When confronted with macrophages, the tynC deletion mutant conidia were more frequently phagocytosed than those of the parental wild-type strain. This was also found for phagocytic amoebae of the species Dictyostelium discoideum, which showed increased phagocytosis of ΔtynC conidia. Both macrophages and amoebae were also sensitive to trypacidin. Therefore, our results suggest that the conidium-bound trypacidin could have a protective function against phagocytes both in the environment and during the infection process. PMID:26278536

  17. cyp51A-based mechanism of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus: Illustration by a new 3D Structural Model of Aspergillus fumigatus CYP51A protein.

    PubMed

    Liu, Musang; Zheng, Nan; Li, Dongmei; Zheng, Hailin; Zhang, Lili; Ge, Hu; Liu, Weida

    2016-05-01

    Mutations of CYP51A protein (Cytochrome P450 14-α Sterol demethylase) play a central role in the azole resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus The available structural models of CYP51A protein ofA. fumigatus are built based on that of Homo sapiens and that of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, of which the amino acid homology is only 38% and 29% compared with CYP51A protein ofA. fumigatus, respectively. In the present study, we constructed a new 3D structural model ofA. fumigatus CYP51A protein based on a recently resolved crystal structure of the homologous protein in the fungus S. cerevisiae, which shares 50% amino acid homology with A. fumigatus CYP51A protein. Three azole molecules, itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole, were docked to the wild-type and the mutant A. fumigatus CYP51A protein models, respectively, to illustrate the impact of cyp51A mutations to azole-resistance. We found the mutations that occurred at L98, M220, and Y431 positions would decrease the binding affinity of azoles to the CYP51A protein and therefore would reduce their inhibitory effects. Additionally, the mutations of L98 and G432 would reduce the stability of the protein, which might lead to conformational change of its binding pocket and eventually the resistance to azoles. PMID:26768370

  18. Bioluminescent Aspergillus fumigatus, a New Tool for Drug Efficiency Testing and In Vivo Monitoring of Invasive Aspergillosis▿

    PubMed Central

    Brock, Matthias; Jouvion, Grégory; Droin-Bergère, Sabrina; Dussurget, Olivier; Nicola, Marie-Anne; Ibrahim-Granet, Oumaïma

    2008-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main cause of invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients, and only a limited number of drugs for treatment are available. A screening method for new antifungal compounds is urgently required, preferably an approach suitable for in vitro and in vivo studies. Bioluminescence imaging is a powerful tool to study the temporal and spatial resolutions of the infection and the effectiveness of antifungal drugs. Here, we describe the construction of a bioluminescent A. fumigatus strain by fusing the promoter of the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene from A. fumigatus with the luciferase gene from Photinus pyralis to control the expression of the bioluminescent reporter. A. fumigatus transformed with this construct revealed high bioluminescence under all tested growth conditions. Furthermore, light emission correlated with the number of conidia used for inoculation and with the biomass formed after different incubation times. The bioluminescent strains were suitable to study the effectiveness of antifungals in vitro by several independent methods, including the determination of light emission with a microplate reader and the direct visualization of light emission with an IVIS 100 system. Moreover, when glucocorticoid-treated immunosuppressed mice were infected with a bioluminescent strain, light emission was detected from infected lungs, allowing the visualization of the progression of invasive aspergillosis. Therefore, this new bioluminescence tool is suitable to study the in vitro effectiveness of drugs and the disease development, localization, and burden of fungi within tissues and may also provide a powerful tool to study the effectiveness of antifungals in vivo. PMID:18820063

  19. The Aspergillus fumigatus Dihydroxyacid Dehydratase Ilv3A/IlvC Is Required for Full Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Jason D.; Kaye, Sarah J.; Tuckwell, Danny; Johns, Anna E.; Macdonald, Darel A.; Livermore, Joanne; Warn, Peter A.; Birch, Mike; Bromley, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Dihydroxyacid dehydratase (DHAD) is a key enzyme in the branched-chain amino acid biosynthetic pathway that exists in a variety of organisms, including fungi, plants and bacteria, but not humans. In this study we identified four putative DHAD genes from the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus by homology to Saccharomyces cerevisiae ILV3. Two of these genes, AFUA_2G14210 and AFUA_1G03550, initially designated AfIlv3A and AfIlv3B for this study, clustered in the same group as S. cerevisiae ILV3 following phylogenetic analysis. To investigate the functions of these genes, AfIlv3A and AfIlv3B were knocked out in A. fumigatus. Deletion of AfIlv3B gave no apparent phenotype whereas the Δilv3A strain required supplementation with isoleucine and valine for growth. Thus, AfIlv3A is required for branched-chain amino acid synthesis in A. fumigatus. A recombinant AfIlv3A protein derived from AFUA_2G14210 was shown to have DHAD activity in an in vitro assay, confirming that AfIlv3A is a DHAD. In addition we show that mutants lacking AfIlv3A and ilv3B exhibit reduced levels of virulence in murine infection models, emphasising the importance of branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis in fungal infections, and hence the potential of targeting this pathway with antifungal agents. Here we propose that AfIlv3A/AFUA_2G2410 be named ilvC. PMID:23028460

  20. Inducible expression of beta defensins by human respiratory epithelial cells exposed to Aspergillus fumigatus organisms

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    primary culture of human respiratory cells exposed to A. fumigatus points to the biological significance of described phenomena. Conclusion Our findings provide evidence that respiratory epithelium might play an important role in the immune response during Aspergillus infection. Understanding the mechanisms of regulation of defensin expression may thus lead to new approaches that could enhance expression of antimicrobial peptides for potential therapeutic use during aspergillosis treatment. PMID:19208266

  1. Extrolites of Aspergillus fumigatus and Other Pathogenic Species in Aspergillus Section Fumigati

    PubMed Central

    Frisvad, Jens C.; Larsen, Thomas O.

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an important opportunistic human pathogen known for its production of a large array of extrolites. Up to 63 species have been described in Aspergillus section Fumigati, some of which have also been reliably reported to be pathogenic, including A. felis, A. fischeri, A. fumigatiaffinis, A. fumisynnematus, A. hiratsukae, A. laciniosus, A. lentulus, A. novofumigatus, A. parafelis, A. pseudofelis, A. pseudoviridinutans, A. spinosus, A. thermomutatus, and A. udagawae. These species share the production of hydrophobins, melanins, and siderophores and ability to grow well at 37°C, but they only share some small molecule extrolites, that could be important factors in pathogenicity. According to the literature gliotoxin and other exometabolites can be contributing factors to pathogenicity, but these exometabolites are apparently not produced by all pathogenic species. It is our hypothesis that species unable to produce some of these metabolites can produce proxy-exometabolites that may serve the same function. We tabulate all exometabolites reported from species in Aspergillus section Fumigati and by comparing the profile of those extrolites, suggest that those producing many different kinds of exometabolites are potential opportunistic pathogens. The exometabolite data also suggest that the profile of exometabolites are highly specific and can be used for identification of these closely related species. PMID:26779142

  2. New applications for known drugs: Human glycogen synthase kinase 3 inhibitors as modulators of Aspergillus fumigatus growth.

    PubMed

    Sebastián, Víctor; Manoli, Maria-Tsampika; Pérez, Daniel I; Gil, Carmen; Mellado, Emilia; Martínez, Ana; Espeso, Eduardo A; Campillo, Nuria E

    2016-06-30

    Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is one of the most severe forms of fungi infection. IA disease is mainly due to Aspergillus fumigatus, an air-borne opportunistic pathogen. Mortality rate caused by IA is still very high (50-95%), because of difficulty in early diagnostics and reduced antifungal treatment options, thus new and efficient drugs are necessary. The aim of this work is, using Aspergillus nidulans as non-pathogen model, to develop efficient drugs to treat IA. The recent discovered role of glycogen synthase kinase-3 homologue, GskA, in A. fumigatus human infection and our previous experience on human GSK-3 inhibitors focus our attention on this kinase as a target for the development of antifungal drugs. With the aim to identify effective inhibitors of colonial growth of A. fumigatus we use A. nidulans as an accurate model for in vivo and in silico studies. Several well-known human GSK-3β inhibitors were tested for inhibition of A. nidulans colony growth. Computational tools as docking studies and binding site prediction was used to explain the different biological profile of the tested inhibitors. Three of the five tested hGSK3β inhibitors are able to reduce completely the colonial growth by covalent bind to the enzyme. Therefore these compounds may be useful in different applications to eradicate IA. PMID:27131621

  3. The Aspergillus fumigatus sitA Phosphatase Homologue Is Important for Adhesion, Cell Wall Integrity, Biofilm Formation, and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Winkelströter, Lizziane K.; Marine, Marçal; Hori, Juliana I.; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Goldman, Maria Helena S.; Brown, Neil Andrew; Rajendran, Ranjith; Ramage, Gordon; Walker, Louise A.; Munro, Carol A.; Rocha, Marina Campos; Malavazi, Iran; Hagiwara, Daisuke

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogenic fungus able to infect immunocompromised patients, eventually causing disseminated infections that are difficult to control and lead to high mortality rates. It is important to understand how the signaling pathways that regulate these factors involved in virulence are orchestrated. Protein phosphatases are central to numerous signal transduction pathways. Here, we characterize the A. fumigatus protein phosphatase 2A SitA, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sit4p homologue. The sitA gene is not an essential gene, and we were able to construct an A. fumigatus null mutant. The ΔsitA strain had decreased MpkA phosphorylation levels, was more sensitive to cell wall-damaging agents, had increased β-(1,3)-glucan and chitin, was impaired in biofilm formation, and had decreased protein kinase C activity. The ΔsitA strain is more sensitive to several metals and ions, such as MnCl2, CaCl2, and LiCl, but it is more resistant to ZnSO4. The ΔsitA strain was avirulent in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and induces an augmented tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) response in mouse macrophages. These results stress the importance of A. fumigatus SitA as a possible modulator of PkcA/MpkA activity and its involvement in the cell wall integrity pathway. PMID:25911225

  4. Acquired antifungal drug resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus: epidemiology and detection.

    PubMed

    Howard, Susan Julie; Arendrup, Maiken Cavling

    2011-04-01

    Voriconazole is the recommended agent for invasive aspergillosis, with lipid amphotericin B or caspofungin as second line treatment choices. Being the only agents available in oral formulation, azoles are used in chronic infections and often over longer time periods. In addition to being used in clinical medicine, azoles are employed extensively in agriculture. Azole-resistant Aspergillus has been isolated in azole naïve patients, in azole exposed patients and in the environment. The primary underlying mechanism of resistance is as a result of alterations in the cyp51A target gene, with a variety of mutations found in clinical isolates but just one identified in a environmental strain (a point mutation at codon 98 accompanied by a tandem repeat in the promoter region). Much less is currently known about echinocandin resistance in Aspergillus, in part because susceptibility testing is not routinely performed and because the methods suffer from technical difficulties and suboptimal reproducibility. Clinical breakthrough cases have been reported however, and resistance has been confirmed in vivo. In this paper we review the current knowledge on epidemiology, susceptibility testing and underlying mechanisms involved in azole and echinocandin resistance in Aspergillus. PMID:20795765

  5. Distinct Roles of Myosins in Aspergillus fumigatus Hyphal Growth and Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Renshaw, Hilary; Vargas-Muñiz, José M; Richards, Amber D; Asfaw, Yohannes G; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Steinbach, William J

    2016-05-01

    Myosins are a family of actin-based motor proteins found in many organisms and are categorized into classes based on their structures. Class II and V myosins are known to be important for critical cellular processes, including cytokinesis, endocytosis, exocytosis, and organelle trafficking, in the model fungi Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Aspergillus nidulans However, the roles of myosins in the growth and virulence of the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus are unknown. We constructed single- and double-deletion strains of the class II and class V myosins in A. fumigatus and found that while the class II myosin (myoB) is dispensable for growth, the class V myosin (myoE) is required for proper hyphal extension; deletion of myoE resulted in hyperbranching and loss of hyphal polarity. Both myoB and myoE are necessary for proper septation, conidiation, and conidial germination, but only myoB is required for conidial viability. Infection with the ΔmyoE strain in the invertebrate Galleria mellonella model and also in a persistently immunosuppressed murine model of invasive aspergillosis resulted in hypovirulence, while analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid revealed that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) release and cellular infiltration were similar compared to those of the wild-type strain. The ΔmyoE strain showed fungal growth in the murine lung, while the ΔmyoB strain exhibited little fungal burden, most likely due to the reduced conidial viability. These results show, for the first time, the important role these cytoskeletal components play in the growth of and disease caused by a known pathogen, prompting future studies to understand their regulation and potential targeting for novel antifungal therapies. PMID:26953327

  6. Pituitary aspergillus infection.

    PubMed

    Moore, Lauren A; Erstine, Emily M; Prayson, Richard A

    2016-07-01

    Fungal infection should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a pituitary or sellar mass, albeit fungal infections involving the pituitary gland and sella are a rare occurrence. We report a case of Aspergillus infection involving the pituitary gland and sellar region discovered in a 74-year-old man. The patient had a history of hypertension, chronic renal disease, autoimmune hemolytic anemia and presented with right eye pain, headaches and worsening hemiparesis. Imaging studies revealed a right internal carotid artery occlusion and an acute right pontine stroke along with smaller infarcts in the right middle cerebral artery distribution. Clinically, the patient was thought to have vasculitis. An infectious etiology was not identified. He developed respiratory distress and died. At autopsy, necrotizing meningitis was discovered. A predominantly chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate consisting of benign-appearing lymphocytes, plasma cells and macrophages was accompanied by acute angle branching, angioinvasive hyphae which were highlighted on Gomori methenamine silver staining and were morphologically consistent with Aspergillus species. In previously reported cases of Aspergillus infection involving the pituitary or sella, most presented with headaches or impaired vision and were not immunocompromised. A transsphenoidal surgical approach is recommended in suspected cases in order to minimize the risk of dissemination of the infection. Some patients have responded well to antifungal medications once diagnosed. PMID:26896907

  7. Abundant respirable ergot alkaloids from the common airborne fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Panaccione, Daniel G; Coyle, Christine M

    2005-06-01

    Ergot alkaloids are mycotoxins that interact with several monoamine receptors, negatively affecting cardiovascular, nervous, reproductive, and immune systems of exposed humans and animals. Aspergillus fumigatus, a common airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen, can produce ergot alkaloids in broth culture. The objectives of this study were to determine if A. fumigatus accumulates ergot alkaloids in a respirable form in or on its conidia, to quantify ergot alkaloids associated with conidia produced on several different substrates, and to measure relevant physical properties of the conidia. We found at least four ergot alkaloids, fumigaclavine C, festuclavine, fumigaclavine A, and fumigaclavine B (in order of abundance), associated with conidia of A. fumigatus. Under environmentally relevant conditions, the total mass of ergot alkaloids often constituted >1% of the mass of the conidium. Ergot alkaloids were extracted from conidia produced on all media tested, and the greatest quantities were observed when the fungus was cultured on latex paint or cultured maize seedlings. The values for physical properties of conidia likely to affect their respirability (i.e., diameter, mass, and specific gravity) were significantly lower for A. fumigatus than for Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus niger, and Stachybotrys chartarum. The demonstration of relatively high concentrations of ergot alkaloids associated with conidia of A. fumigatus presents opportunities for investigations of potential contributions of the toxins to adverse health effects associated with the fungus and to aspects of the biology of the fungus that contribute to its success. PMID:15933008

  8. Aspergillus fumigatus MedA governs adherence, host cell interactions and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Gravelat, Fabrice N.; Ejzykowicz, Daniele E.; Chiang, Lisa Y.; Chabot, Josée C.; Urb, Mirjam; Macdonald, K. Denyese; al-Bader, Nadia; Filler, Scott G.; Sheppard, Donald C.

    2010-01-01

    In medically important fungi, regulatory elements that control development and asexual reproduction often govern the expression of virulence traits. We therefore cloned the Aspergillus fumigatus developmental modifier MedA and characterized its role in conidiation, host cell interactions and virulence. As in the model organism Aspergillus nidulans, disruption of medA in A. fumigatus dramatically reduced conidiation. However, the conidiophore morphology was markedly different between the two species. Further, gene expression analysis suggested that MedA governs conidiation through different pathways in A. fumigatus compared to A. nidulans. The A. fumigatus ΔmedA strain was impaired in biofilm production and adherence to plastic, as well as adherence to pulmonary epithelial cells, endothelial cells and fibronectin in vitro. The ΔmedA strain also had reduced capacity to damage pulmonary epithelial cells, and stimulate pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA and protein expression. Consistent with these results, the A. fumigatus ΔmedA strain also exhibited reduced virulence in both an invertebrate and a mammalian model of invasive aspergillosis. Collectively these results suggest that the downstream targets of A. fumigatus MedA mediate virulence, and may provide novel therapeutic targets for invasive aspergillosis. PMID:19889083

  9. Transcription Factor SomA Is Required for Adhesion, Development and Virulence of the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Chi-Jan; Sasse, Christoph; Gerke, Jennifer; Valerius, Oliver; Irmer, Henriette; Frauendorf, Holm; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Straßburger, Maria; Tran, Van Tuan; Herzog, Britta; Braus-Stromeyer, Susanna A.; Braus, Gerhard H.

    2015-01-01

    The transcription factor Flo8/Som1 controls filamentous growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and virulence in the plant pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. Flo8/Som1 includes a characteristic N-terminal LUG/LUH-Flo8-single-stranded DNA binding (LUFS) domain and is activated by the cAMP dependent protein kinase A signaling pathway. Heterologous SomA from Aspergillus fumigatus rescued in yeast flo8 mutant strains several phenotypes including adhesion or flocculation in haploids and pseudohyphal growth in diploids, respectively. A. fumigatus SomA acts similarly to yeast Flo8 on the promoter of FLO11 fused with reporter gene (LacZ) in S. cerevisiae. FLO11 expression in yeast requires an activator complex including Flo8 and Mfg1. Furthermore, SomA physically interacts with PtaB, which is related to yeast Mfg1. Loss of the somA gene in A. fumigatus resulted in a slow growth phenotype and a block in asexual development. Only aerial hyphae without further differentiation could be formed. The deletion phenotype was verified by a conditional expression of somA using the inducible Tet-on system. A adherence assay with the conditional somA expression strain indicated that SomA is required for biofilm formation. A ptaB deletion strain showed a similar phenotype supporting that the SomA/PtaB complex controls A. fumigatus biofilm formation. Transcriptional analysis showed that SomA regulates expression of genes for several transcription factors which control conidiation or adhesion of A. fumigatus. Infection assays with fertilized chicken eggs as well as with mice revealed that SomA is required for pathogenicity. These data corroborate a complex control function of SomA acting as a central factor of the transcriptional network, which connects adhesion, spore formation and virulence in the opportunistic human pathogen A. fumigatus. PMID:26529322

  10. The Temporal Dynamics of Differential Gene Expression in Aspergillus fumigatus Interacting with Human Immature Dendritic Cells In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Morton, Charles O.; Varga, John J.; Hornbach, Anke; Mezger, Markus; Sennefelder, Helga; Kneitz, Susanne; Kurzai, Oliver; Krappmann, Sven; Einsele, Hermann; Nierman, William C.; Rogers, Thomas R.; Loeffler, Juergen

    2011-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DC) are the most important antigen presenting cells and play a pivotal role in host immunity to infectious agents by acting as a bridge between the innate and adaptive immune systems. Monocyte-derived immature DCs (iDC) were infected with viable resting conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus (Af293) for 12 hours at an MOI of 5; cells were sampled every three hours. RNA was extracted from both organisms at each time point and hybridised to microarrays. iDC cell death increased at 6 h in the presence of A. fumigatus which coincided with fungal germ tube emergence; >80% of conidia were associated with iDC. Over the time course A. fumigatus differentially regulated 210 genes, FunCat analysis indicated significant up-regulation of genes involved in fermentation, drug transport, pathogenesis and response to oxidative stress. Genes related to cytotoxicity were differentially regulated but the gliotoxin biosynthesis genes were down regulated over the time course, while Aspf1 was up-regulated at 9 h and 12 h. There was an up-regulation of genes in the subtelomeric regions of the genome as the interaction progressed. The genes up-regulated by iDC in the presence of A. fumigatus indicated that they were producing a pro-inflammatory response which was consistent with previous transcriptome studies of iDC interacting with A. fumigatus germ tubes. This study shows that A. fumigatus adapts to phagocytosis by iDCs by utilising genes that allow it to survive the interaction rather than just up-regulation of specific virulence genes. PMID:21264256

  11. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Aspergillus fumigatus Strains, Isolated from the International Space Station

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Nitin Kumar; Blachowicz, Adriana; Checinska, Aleksandra; Wang, Clay

    2016-01-01

    Draft genome sequences of Aspergillus fumigatus strains (ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4), opportunistic pathogens isolated from the International Space Station (ISS), were assembled to facilitate investigations of the nature of the virulence characteristics of the ISS strains to other clinical strains isolated on Earth. PMID:27417828

  12. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Aspergillus fumigatus Strains, Isolated from the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nitin Kumar; Blachowicz, Adriana; Checinska, Aleksandra; Wang, Clay; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2016-01-01

    Draft genome sequences of Aspergillus fumigatus strains (ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4), opportunistic pathogens isolated from the International Space Station (ISS), were assembled to facilitate investigations of the nature of the virulence characteristics of the ISS strains to other clinical strains isolated on Earth. PMID:27417828

  13. Effect of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis on the lipid composition of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Ghfir, B; Fonvieille, J L; Koulali, Y; Ecalle, R; Dargent, R

    1994-06-01

    Addition of the essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis to the culture medium of Aspergillus fumigatus induced alterations in both growth and lipid composition of this mould. Total lipids and sterols were reduced, whereas total phospholipids were increased. There were alterations in the proportions of fatty acids, neutral lipid and phospholipid fractions. PMID:7935731

  14. Dispersal of Aspergillus fumigatus from Sewage Sludge Compost Piles Subjected to Mechanical Agitation in Open Air

    PubMed Central

    Millner, Patricia D.; Bassett, David A.; Marsh, Paul B.

    1980-01-01

    Aerosolization of the thermophilous fungal opportunist Aspergillus fumigatus from mechanically agitated compost piles was examined at a pilot-scale sewage sludge composting facility and two other selected test sites. Aerosols of A. fumigatus downwind from stationary compost piles were insignificant in comparison with those downwind from agitated piles. These aerosols were generated by a front-end loader moving and dropping compost. Aerial concentrations of the fungus at distances downwind from the point of emission were used to determine an emission rate for A. fumigatus associated with the moving operations. The maximum emission rate, 4.6 × 106A. fumigatus particles per s, was used to calculate predicted concentrations in an unobstructed plume with restrictive, neutral, and dispersive atmospheric mixing conditions up to 1 km downwind from the emission source. PMID:16345563

  15. Exploration of Sulfur Assimilation of Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Biosynthesis of Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids as a Virulence Determinant.

    PubMed

    Amich, Jorge; Dümig, Michaela; O'Keeffe, Gráinne; Binder, Jasmin; Doyle, Sean; Beilhack, Andreas; Krappmann, Sven

    2016-04-01

    Fungal infections are of major relevance due to the increased numbers of immunocompromised patients, frequently delayed diagnosis, and limited therapeutics. To date, the growth and nutritional requirements of fungi during infection, which are relevant for invasion of the host, are poorly understood. This is particularly true for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, as so far, sources of (macro)elements that are exploited during infection have been identified to only a limited extent. Here, we have investigated sulfur (S) utilization by the human-pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus during invasive growth. Our data reveal that inorganic S compounds or taurine is unlikely to serve as an S source during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis since a sulfate transporter mutant strain and a sulfite reductase mutant strain are fully virulent. In contrast, the S-containing amino acid cysteine is limiting for fungal growth, as proven by the reduced virulence of a cysteine auxotroph. Moreover, phenotypic characterization of this strain further revealed the robustness of the subordinate glutathione redox system. Interestingly, we demonstrate that methionine synthase is essential for A. fumigatus virulence, defining the biosynthetic route of this proteinogenic amino acid as a potential antifungal target. In conclusion, we provide novel insights into the nutritional requirements ofA. fumigatus during pathogenesis, a prerequisite to understanding and fighting infection. PMID:26787716

  16. Characterization of the Aspergillus fumigatus chitosanase CsnB and evaluation of its potential use in serological diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Beck, Julia; Broniszewska, Marzena; Schwienbacher, Monika; Ebel, Frank

    2014-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is currently the major air-borne fungal pathogen as its asexual spores are distributed through the air. In severely immunocompromised patients, inhalation of these conidia can result in life-threatening infections. Invasive Aspergillosis, a major Aspergillus-associated disease, is associated with a high mortality reflecting short-comings in diagnostics and therapy. Current diagnostics largely rely on the serological detection of the galactomannan antigen. Detection of circulating antibodies is an alternative approach. In this study, we have characterized the chitosanase CsnB, a protein that was previously shown to be a major secreted A. fumigatus antigen and therefore a potential target for antibody-based diagnostics. To analyze the biological function of CsnB we have deleted the csnB gene and generated CsnB-specific antibodies. We found that A. fumigatus is able to grow on chitosan in a CsnB-dependent manner. During growth on chitosan elevated levels of CsnB are found in the supernatants indicating that chitosan triggers enhanced CsnB production. Unexpectedly we have found a similar activity for tartrate. Using recombinant proteins we analyzed antibody responses in patients at risk to develop invasive aspergillosis. We focussed this study on two antigens: CsnB and for comparison mitogillin, a secreted A. fumigatus ribotoxin. IgG responses were found to both proteins, but elevated antibody levels to CsnB and/or mitogillin showed no correlation to the results of the galactomannan antigen assay or clinical signs that are characteristic for fungal infections. PMID:24880790

  17. Prevalence and mechanism of triazole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus in a referral chest hospital in Delhi, India and an update of the situation in Asia

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhary, Anuradha; Sharma, Cheshta; Kathuria, Shallu; Hagen, Ferry; Meis, Jacques F.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus causes varied clinical syndromes ranging from colonization to deep infections. The mainstay of therapy of Aspergillus diseases is triazoles but several studies globally highlighted variable prevalence of triazole resistance, which hampers the management of aspergillosis. We studied the prevalence of resistance in clinical A. fumigatus isolates during 4 years in a referral Chest Hospital in Delhi, India and reviewed the scenario in Asia and the Middle East. Aspergillus species (n = 2117) were screened with selective plates for azole resistance. The isolates included 45.4% A. flavus, followed by 32.4% A. fumigatus, 15.6% Aspergillus species and 6.6% A. terreus. Azole resistance was found in only 12 (1.7%) A. fumigatus isolates. These triazole resistant A. fumigatus (TRAF) isolates were subjected to (a) calmodulin and β tubulin gene sequencing (b) in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing against triazoles using CLSI M38-A2 (c) sequencing of cyp51A gene and real-time PCR assay for detection of mutations and (d) microsatellite typing of the resistant isolates. TRAF harbored TR34/L98H mutation in 10 (83.3%) isolates with a pan-azole resistant phenotype. Among the remaining two TRAF isolates, one had G54E and the other had three non-synonymous point mutations. The majority of patients were diagnosed as invasive aspergillosis followed by allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. The Indian TR34/L98H isolates had a unique genotype and were distinct from the Chinese, Middle East, and European TR34/L98H strains. This resistance mechanism has been linked to the use of fungicide azoles in agricultural practices in Europe as it has been mainly reported from azole naïve patients. Reports published from Asia demonstrate the same environmental resistance mechanism in A. fumigatus isolates from two highly populated countries in Asia, i.e., China and India and also from the neighboring Middle East. PMID:26005442

  18. Role of prostaglandin D2 /CRTH2 pathway on asthma exacerbation induced by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haixia; Zheng, Mingrui; Qiao, Jianou; Dang, Yajie; Zhang, Pengyu; Jin, Xianqiao

    2014-05-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is often associated in asthmatic patients with the exacerbation of asthma symptoms. The pathomechanism of this phenomenon has not been fully understood. Here, we evaluated the immunological mechanisms and the role of the prostaglandin D2 / Chemoattractant Receptor-Homologous Molecule Expressed on Th2 Cells (CRTH2) pathway in the development of Aspergillus-associated asthma exacerbation. We studied the effects of A. fumigatus on airway inflammation and bronchial hyper-responsiveness in a rat model of chronic asthma. Inhalation delivery of A. fumigatus conidia increased the airway eosinophilia and bronchial hyper-responsiveness in ovalbumin-sensitized, challenged rats. These changes were associated with prostaglandin D2 synthesis and CRTH2 expression in the lungs. Direct inflammation occurred in ovalbumin-sensitized, challenged animals, whereas pre-treatment with an antagonist against CRTH2 nearly completely eliminated the A. fumigatus-induced worsening of airway eosinophilia and bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Our data demonstrate that production of prostaglandin D2 followed by eosinophil recruitment into the airways via a CRTH2 receptor are the major pathogenic factors responsible for the A. fumigatus-induced enhancement of airway inflammation and responsiveness. PMID:24329550

  19. Purification and characterization of factors produced by Aspergillus fumigatus which affect human ciliated respiratory epithelium.

    PubMed Central

    Amitani, R; Taylor, G; Elezis, E N; Llewellyn-Jones, C; Mitchell, J; Kuze, F; Cole, P J; Wilson, R

    1995-01-01

    The mechanisms by which Aspergillus fumigatus colonizes the respiratory mucosa are unknown. Culture filtrates of eight of nine clinical isolates of A. fumigatus slowed ciliary beat frequency and damaged human respiratory epithelium in vitro. These changes appeared to occur concurrently. Culture filtrates of two clinical isolates of Candida albicans had no effect on ciliated epithelium. We have purified and characterized cilioinhibitory factors of a clinical isolate of A. fumigatus. The cilioinhibitory activity was heat labile, reduced by dialysis, and partially extractable into chloroform. The activity was associated with both high- and low-molecular-weight factors, as determined by gel filtration on Sephadex G-50. A low-molecular-weight cilioinhibitory factor was further purified by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and shown by mass spectrometry to be gliotoxin, a known metabolite of A. fumigatus. Gliotoxin significantly slowed ciliary beat frequency in association with epithelial damage at concentrations above 0.2 microgram/ml; other Aspergillus toxins, i.e., fumagillin and helvolic acid, were also cilioinhibitory but at much higher concentrations. High-molecular-weight (> or = 35,000 and 25,000) cilioinhibitory materials had neither elastolytic nor proteolytic activity and remain to be identified. Thus, A. fumigatus produces a number of biologically active substances which slow ciliary beating and damage epithelium and which may influence colonization of the airways. PMID:7543879

  20. Role of prostaglandin D2/CRTH2 pathway on asthma exacerbation induced by Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Haixia; Zheng, Mingrui; Qiao, Jianou; Dang, Yajie; Zhang, Pengyu; Jin, Xianqiao

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is often associated in asthmatic patients with the exacerbation of asthma symptoms. The pathomechanism of this phenomenon has not been fully understood. Here, we evaluated the immunological mechanisms and the role of the prostaglandin D2/ Chemoattractant Receptor-Homologous Molecule Expressed on Th2 Cells (CRTH2) pathway in the development of Aspergillus-associated asthma exacerbation. We studied the effects of A. fumigatus on airway inflammation and bronchial hyper-responsiveness in a rat model of chronic asthma. Inhalation delivery of A. fumigatus conidia increased the airway eosinophilia and bronchial hyper-responsiveness in ovalbumin-sensitized, challenged rats. These changes were associated with prostaglandin D2 synthesis and CRTH2 expression in the lungs. Direct inflammation occurred in ovalbumin-sensitized, challenged animals, whereas pre-treatment with an antagonist against CRTH2 nearly completely eliminated the A. fumigatus-induced worsening of airway eosinophilia and bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Our data demonstrate that production of prostaglandin D2 followed by eosinophil recruitment into the airways via a CRTH2 receptor are the major pathogenic factors responsible for the A. fumigatus-induced enhancement of airway inflammation and responsiveness. PMID:24329550

  1. Differentiation between Isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus from Breeding Turkeys and Their Environment by Genotyping with Microsatellite Markers

    PubMed Central

    Lair-Fulleringer, Sybille; Guillot, Jacques; Desterke, Christophe; Seguin, Dominique; Warin, Stephan; Bezille, Arnaud; Chermette, René; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2003-01-01

    To elucidate the epidemiology of the different forms of avian aspergillosis, 114 Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from sacrificed turkeys and 134 A. fumigatus isolates from air samples were collected and genotyped by microsatellite polymorphism marker analysis. Air sampling confirmed the huge diversity of A. fumigatus populations. Whereas older animals harbored several combinations of genotypes, 1-day-old chicks carried a unique genotype, suggesting a unique source of contamination. PMID:12682192

  2. Septic arthritis due to tubercular and Aspergillus co-infection.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Mukesh; Thilak, Jai; Zahoor, Adnan; Jyothi, Arun

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus septic arthritis is a rare and serious medical and surgical problem. It occurs mainly in immunocompromised patients. Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common causative organism followed by Aspergillus flavus. The most common site affected is knee followed by shoulder, ankle, wrist, hip and sacroiliac joint. Debridement and voriconazole are primary treatment of articular aspergilosis. To the best of our knowledge, there are no reported cases of co-infection of tuberculosis (TB) and Aspergillus infecting joints. We report a case of co-infection of TB and A. flavus of hip and knee of a 60-year-old male, with type 2 diabetes mellitus. He was treated with debridement, intravenous voriconazole, and antitubercular drugs. PMID:27293296

  3. Aspergillus oerlinghausenensis, a new mould species closely related to A. fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Houbraken, Jos; Weig, Michael; Groß, Uwe; Meijer, Martin; Bader, Oliver

    2016-02-01

    Two isolates belonging to Aspergillus section Fumigati were recovered from German soil on itraconazole containing agar media. Phylogenetic analysis and phenotypic characterization of both isolates show that they represent a novel species named Aspergillus oerlinghausenensis (holotype CBS H-22119(HT), ex-type CBS 139183(T) = IBT 33878 = DTO 316-A3). The species is phylogenetically related to A. fischeri and A. fumigatus. Aspergillus oerlinghausenensis can be differentiated from A. fischeri by its higher growth rate at 50°C. Furthermore, A. oerlinghausenensis is protoheterothallic as only the MAT1-1 idiomorph was detected, while A. fischeri is homothallic. The species differs from A. fumigatus by a weak sporulation on malt extract agar at 25°C, a floccose colony texture on Czapek yeast extract agar and malt extract agar and subglobose instead of subclavate vesicles. The cyp51A promoter region of A. oerlinghausenensis deviates from the previously reported cyp51A promoter regions in A. fumigatus and potentially presents a novel azole resistance conferring modification. Due to the close relationship of A. oerlinghausenensis with A. fischeri and A. fumigatus, this species is placed in a good position for comparative studies involving these species. PMID:26667219

  4. DNA typing of epidemiologically-related isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Birch, M.; Nolard, N.; Shankland, G. S.; Denning, D. W.

    1995-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is often nosocomially acquired and carries a high mortality. Molecular typing methods to discriminate isolates have now been developed. Using simple restriction endonuclease (Sal1 and Xho1) digestion of total genomic DNA, we have typed 25 epidemiologically-related isolates of A. fumigatus from six hospital episodes of invasive aspergillosis. Eight DNA types were found and in each case the DNA type matched precisely the epidemiological data. Thus DNA typing of A. fumigatus can provide the means to match isolates from linked sources and distinguish isolates from diverse origins. Images Fig. 1 PMID:7867735

  5. The Aspergillus fumigatus Septins Play Pleiotropic Roles in Septation, Conidiation, and Cell Wall Stress, but are Dispensable for Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Vargas-Muñiz, José M.; Renshaw, Hilary; Richards, Amber D.; Lamoth, Frédéric; Soderblom, Erik J.; Moseley, M. Arthur; Juvvadi, Praveen R.; Steinbach, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Septins are a conserved family of GTPases that regulate important cellular processes such as cell wall integrity, and septation in fungi. The requirement of septins for virulence has been demonstrated in the human pathogenic yeasts Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans, as well as the plant pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. Aspergillus spp. contains five genes encoding for septins (aspA-E). While the importance of septins AspA, AspB, AspC, and AspE for growth and conidiation has been elucidated in the filamentous fungal model Aspergillus nidulans, nothing is known on the role of septins in growth and virulence in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we deleted all five A. fumigatus septins, and generated certain double and triple septin deletion strains. Phenotypic analyses revealed that while all the septins are dispensable in normal growth conditions, AspA, AspB, AspC and AspE are required for regular septation. Furthermore, deletion of only the core septin genes significantly reduced conidiation. Concomitant with the absence of an electron-dense outer conidial wall, the ΔaspB strain was also sensitive to anti-cell wall agents. Infection with the ΔaspB strain in a Galleria mellonella model of invasive aspergillosis showed hypervirulence, but no virulence difference was noted when compared to the wild-type strain in a murine model of invasive aspergillosis. Although the deletion of aspB resulted in increased release of TNF-α from the macrophages, no significant inflammation differences in lung histology was noted between the ΔaspB strain and the wild-type strain. Taken together, these results point to the importance of septins in A. fumigatus growth, but not virulence in a murine model. PMID:26051489

  6. The RodA hydrophobin on Aspergillus fumigatus spores masks Dectin-1 and Dectin-2 dependent responses and enhances fungal survival in vivo

    PubMed Central

    de Jesus Carrion, Steven; Leal, Sixto M.; Ghannoum, Mahmoud A.; Pearlman, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus and Fusarium species are important causes of fungal infections worldwide. Airborne spores (conidia) of these filamentous fungi express a surface protein that confers hydrophobicity (hydrophobin), and which covers cell wall components that would otherwise induce a host immune cell response. Using a mutant Aspergillus fumigatus strain that does not express the RodA hydrophobin (ΔrodA), and Aspergillus and Fusarium conidia from clinical isolates that were treated with hydrofluoric acid (HF, which removes the A. fumigatus RodA protein), we observed increased surface exposure of β1,3-glucan and α-mannose on Aspergillus and Fusarium conidia. We also found that ΔrodA and HF treated conidia stimulate significantly higher NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation and cytokine production by macrophages from C57BL/6, but not from Dectin-1−/− or Dectin-2−/− mice. Using a murine model of A. fumigatus corneal infection, we found that ΔrodA conidia exhibited increased cytokine production, neutrophil infiltration, and more rapid fungal clearance from C57BL/6 corneas compared with the parent G10 strain, which was dependent on Dectin-1 and Dectin-2. Together, these findings identify the hydrophobin RodA as a virulence factor that masks Dectin-1 and Dectin-2 recognition of conidia, resulting in impaired neutrophil recruitment to the cornea and increased fungal survival and clinical disease. PMID:23926321

  7. Culture condition-dependent metabolite profiling of Aspergillus fumigatus with antifungal activity.

    PubMed

    Kang, Daejung; Son, Gun Hee; Park, Hye Min; Kim, Jiyoung; Choi, Jung Nam; Kim, Hyang Yeon; Lee, Sarah; Hong, Seung-Beom; Lee, Choong Hwan

    2013-03-01

    Three sections of Aspergillus (five species, 21 strains) were classified according to culture medium-dependent and time-dependent secondary metabolite profile-based chemotaxonomy. Secondary metabolites were analysed by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS-MS) and multivariate statistical methods. From the Aspergillus sections that were cultured on malt extract agar (MEA) and Czapek yeast extract agar (CYA) for 7, 12, and 16 d, Aspergillus sections Fumigati (A. fumigatus), Nigri (A. niger), and Flavi (A. flavus, A. oryzae, and A. sojae) clustered separately on the basis of the results of the secondary metabolite analyses at 16 d regardless of culture medium. Based on orthogonal projection to latent structures discriminant analysis by partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), we identified the secondary metabolites that helped differentiate sections between A. fumigatus and Aspergillus section Flavi to be gliotoxin G, fumigatin oxide, fumigatin, pseurotin A or D, fumiquinazoline D, fumagillin, helvolic acid, 1,2-dihydrohelvolic acid, and 5,8-dihydroxy-9,12-octadecadienoic acid (5,8-diHODE). Among these compounds, fumagillin, helvolic acid, and 1,2-dihydrohelvolic acid of A. fumigatus showed antifungal activities against Malassezia furfur, which is lipophilic yeast that causes epidermal skin disorders. PMID:23537878

  8. Screening-based discovery of Aspergillus fumigatus plant-type chitinase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Lockhart, Deborah E A; Schuettelkopf, Alexander; Blair, David E; van Aalten, Daan M F

    2014-08-25

    A limited therapeutic arsenal against increasing clinical disease due to Aspergillus spp. necessitates urgent characterisation of new antifungal targets. Here we describe the discovery of novel, low micromolar chemical inhibitors of Aspergillus fumigatus family 18 plant-type chitinase A1 (AfChiA1) by high-throughput screening (HTS). Analysis of the binding mode by X-ray crystallography confirmed competitive inhibition and kinetic studies revealed two compounds with selectivity towards fungal plant-type chitinases. These inhibitors provide new chemical tools to probe the effects of chitinase inhibition on A. fumigatus growth and virulence, presenting attractive starting points for the development of further potent drug-like molecules. PMID:25063338

  9. Secondary metabolites from Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus from the liverwort Heteroscyphus tener (Steph.) Schiffn.

    PubMed

    Xie, Fei; Li, Xiao-Bin; Zhou, Jin-Chuan; Xu, Qing-Qing; Wang, Xiao-Ning; Yuan, Hui-Qing; Lou, Hong-Xiang

    2015-09-01

    Three new metabolites, asperfumigatin (1), isochaetominine (10), and 8'-O-methylasterric acid (21), together with nineteen known compounds, were obtained from the culture of Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus from the Chinese liverwort Heteroscyphus tener (Steph.) Schiffn. Their structures were established by extensive analysis of the spectroscopic data. The absolute configurations of 1 and 10 were determined by analysis of their respective CD spectra. Cytotoxicity of these isolates against four human cancer cell lines was also determined. PMID:26363876

  10. Can airborne fungal allergens pass through an air-conditioning system. [Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Elixmann, J.H. ); Linskens, H.F.; Schata, M.; Jorde, W. )

    1989-01-01

    Fungal spores, an important fraction of aeroplankton particles, can be filtered in an air-conditioning system, resulting in a drastic reduction of the spore count in the air-conditioned rooms. Nevertheless, using the EISA inhibition test against Aspergillus fumigatus, it was found that air samples from air-conditioned rooms show inhibition of the serum activity of a highly sensitized patient. There is evidence that airborne allergens can pass both coarse and fine filters of an air-conditioning system.

  11. Investigation of Aspergillus fumigatus biofilm formation by various “omics” approaches

    PubMed Central

    Muszkieta, Laetitia; Beauvais, Anne; Pähtz, Vera; Gibbons, John G.; Anton Leberre, Véronique; Beau, Rémi; Shibuya, Kazutoshi; Rokas, Antonis; Francois, Jean M.; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Brakhage, Axel A.; Latgé, Jean P.

    2013-01-01

    In the lung, Aspergillus fumigatus usually forms a dense colony of filaments embedded in a polymeric extracellular matrix called biofilm (BF). This extracellular matrix embeds and glues hyphae together and protects the fungus from an outside hostile environment. This extracellular matrix is absent in fungal colonies grown under classical liquid shake conditions (PL), which were historically used to understand A. fumigatus pathobiology. Recent works have shown that the fungus in this aerial grown BF-like state exhibits reduced susceptibility to antifungal drugs and undergoes major metabolic changes that are thought to be associated to virulence. These differences in pathological and physiological characteristics between BF and liquid shake conditions suggest that the PL condition is a poor in vitro disease model. In the laboratory, A. fumigatus mycelium embedded by the extracellular matrix can be produced in vitro in aerial condition using an agar-based medium. To provide a global and accurate understanding of A. fumigatus in vitro BF growth, we utilized microarray, RNA-sequencing, and proteomic analysis to compare the global gene and protein expression profiles of A. fumigatus grown under BF and PL conditions. In this review, we will present the different signatures obtained with these three “omics” methods. We will discuss the advantages and limitations of each method and their complementarity. PMID:23407341

  12. Identification of fibrinogen-binding proteins of Aspergillus fumigatus using proteomic approach.

    PubMed

    Upadhyay, Santosh Kumar; Gautam, Poonam; Pandit, Hrishikesh; Singh, Yogendra; Basir, Seemi Farhat; Madan, Taruna

    2012-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, the main etiological agent for various forms of human aspergillosis, gets access to the respiratory system of human host by inhalation of airborne conidia. These conidia possibly adhere to extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Among the ECM proteins involved in adherence, fibrinogen is thought to be crucial. Here, we studied whether A. fumigatus three-week culture filtrate (3wcf) proteins promote binding of A. fumigatus to ECM proteins and promote fungal growth. We observed that incubation of ECM with 3wcf proteins led to dose- and time-dependent increase in adherence of conidia to the ECM. In order to identify the catalogue of fibrinogen-binding A. fumigatus proteins, we carried out fibrinogen affinity blotting using two-dimensional gel electrophoresed 3wcf proteins. A total of 15 fibrinogen-binding protein spots corresponding to 7 unique proteins were identified in 3wcf using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF-TOF). Among these, 4 proteins, namely, beta-glucosidase, alpha-mannosidase, pectate lyase A and oryzin precursor were predicted to have cell wall or extracellular localization, whereas amidase family protein and two hypothetical proteins did not display the signal sequence. This study reports seven novel fibrinogen-binding proteins of A. fumigatus, some of which could be further explored for targeting the adhesion phenomenon as antifungal strategy. PMID:21870122

  13. Development of the CRISPR/Cas9 System for Targeted Gene Disruption in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Kevin K.; Chen, Shan

    2015-01-01

    Low rates of homologous recombination have broadly encumbered genetic studies in the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The CRISPR/Cas9 system of bacteria has recently been developed for targeted mutagenesis of eukaryotic genomes with high efficiency and, importantly, through a mechanism independent of homologous repair machinery. As this new technology has not been developed for use in A. fumigatus, we sought to test its feasibility for targeted gene disruption in this organism. As a proof of principle, we first demonstrated that CRISPR/Cas9 can indeed be used for high-efficiency (25 to 53%) targeting of the A. fumigatus polyketide synthase gene (pksP), as evidenced by the generation of colorless (albino) mutants harboring the expected genomic alteration. We further demonstrated that the constitutive expression of the Cas9 nuclease by itself is not deleterious to A. fumigatus growth or virulence, thus making the CRISPR system compatible with studies involved in pathogenesis. Taken together, these data demonstrate that CRISPR can be utilized for loss-of-function studies in A. fumigatus and has the potential to bolster the genetic toolbox for this important pathogen. PMID:26318395

  14. Molecular Characterization of the Putative Transcription Factor SebA Involved in Virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Almeida, Ricardo S.; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Zambelli Ramalho, Leandra Naira; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S.

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a major opportunistic pathogen and allergen of mammals. Nutrient sensing and acquisition mechanisms, as well as the capability to cope with different stressing conditions, are essential for A. fumigatus virulence and survival in the mammalian host. This study characterized the A. fumigatus SebA transcription factor, which is the putative homologue of the factor encoded by Trichoderma atroviride seb1. The ΔsebA mutant demonstrated reduced growth in the presence of paraquat, hydrogen peroxide, CaCl2, and poor nutritional conditions, while viability associated with sebA was also affected by heat shock exposure. Accordingly, SebA::GFP (SebA::green fluorescent protein) was shown to accumulate in the nucleus upon exposure to oxidative stress and heat shock conditions. In addition, genes involved in either the oxidative stress or heat shock response had reduced transcription in the ΔsebA mutant. The A. fumigatus ΔsebA strain was attenuated in virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Furthermore, killing of the ΔsebA mutant by murine alveolar macrophages was increased compared to killing of the wild-type strain. A. fumigatus SebA plays a complex role, contributing to several stress tolerance pathways and growth under poor nutritional conditions, and seems to be integrated into different stress responses. PMID:22345349

  15. Molecular characterization of the putative transcription factor SebA involved in virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Almeida, Ricardo S; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique

    2012-04-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a major opportunistic pathogen and allergen of mammals. Nutrient sensing and acquisition mechanisms, as well as the capability to cope with different stressing conditions, are essential for A. fumigatus virulence and survival in the mammalian host. This study characterized the A. fumigatus SebA transcription factor, which is the putative homologue of the factor encoded by Trichoderma atroviride seb1. The ΔsebA mutant demonstrated reduced growth in the presence of paraquat, hydrogen peroxide, CaCl2, and poor nutritional conditions, while viability associated with sebA was also affected by heat shock exposure. Accordingly, SebA::GFP (SebA::green fluorescent protein) was shown to accumulate in the nucleus upon exposure to oxidative stress and heat shock conditions. In addition, genes involved in either the oxidative stress or heat shock response had reduced transcription in the ΔsebA mutant. The A. fumigatus ΔsebA strain was attenuated in virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Furthermore, killing of the ΔsebA mutant by murine alveolar macrophages was increased compared to killing of the wild-type strain. A. fumigatus SebA plays a complex role, contributing to several stress tolerance pathways and growth under poor nutritional conditions, and seems to be integrated into different stress responses. PMID:22345349

  16. Expression and secretion of Aspergillus fumigatus proteases are regulated in response to different protein substrates

    PubMed Central

    Farnell, Edward; Rousseau, Karine; Thornton, David J.; Bowyer, Paul; Herrick, Sarah E.

    2012-01-01

    The ubiquitous filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus secretes a number of allergens with protease activity and has been linked to a variety of allergic conditions such as Severe Asthma with Fungal Sensitization (SAFS) and Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA). However, it is unclear which allergen proteases are being secreted during fungal invasion and whether the local biological environment regulates their expression. Understanding the dynamic expression of allergen proteases during growth of A. fumigatus may lead to further characterisation of the pathogenesis of these disorders as well as improved standardisation in the commercial production of these allergens. Secretion of proteases during germination and early growth of A. fumigatus was investigated in response to various complex protein sources (pig lung homogenate, mucin or casein). Protease inhibitor studies demonstrated that A. fumigatus (AF293 strain) secretes predominately serine proteases during growth in pig lung based medium and mainly metalloproteases during growth in casein based medium but suppressed protease secretion in unmodified Vogel's minimal medium and secreted both types in mucin based medium. Analysis of gene transcription and protein identification by mass spectrometry showed that the matrix metalloprotease, Mep/Asp f 5 and the serine protease, Alp1/Asp f 13, were upregulated and secreted during growth in pig lung medium, whereas Alp1 was predominately expressed and secreted in mucin based medium. In casein medium, the matrix metalloprotease, Lap1, was also upregulated and secreted in addition to Mep and Alp1. These findings suggest that A. fumigatus is able to detect different complex proteins available as substrates in its environment and regulate protease secretion accordingly. There is a requirement for the standardisation of A. fumigatus allergen extracts used both in clinical diagnosis of A. fumigatus allergy and in research studies. PMID:22954343

  17. Dectin-1 agonist curdlan modulates innate immunity to Aspergillus fumigatus in human corneal epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Zhao, Gui-Qiu; Lin, Jing; Hu, Li-Ting; Xu, Qiang; Peng, Xu-Dong; Wang, Xue; Qiu, Sheng

    2015-01-01

    AIM To explore the immunomodulatory effects of curdlan on innate immune responses against Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) in cultured human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs), and whether C-type lectin receptor Dectin-1 mediates the immunomodulatory effects of curdlan. METHODS The HCECs were stimulated by curdlan in different concentrations (50, 100, 200, 400 µg/mL) for various time. Then HCECs pretreated with or without laminarin (Dectin-1 blocker, 0.3 mg/mL) and curdlan were stimulated by A. fumigatus hyphae. The mRNA and protein production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. The protein level of Dectin-1 was measured by Western blot. RESULTS Curdlan stimulated mRNA expression of TNF-α and IL-6 in a dose and time dependent manner in HCECs. Curdlan pretreatment before A. fumigatus hyphae stimulation significantly enhanced the expression of TNF-α and IL-6 at mRNA and protein levels compared with A. fumigatus hyphae stimulation group (P<0.05). Both curdlan and A. fumigatus hyphae up-regulated Dectin-1 protein expression in HCECs, and Dectin-1 expression was elevated to 1.5- to 2-fold by curdlan pretreatment followed hyphae stimulation. The Dectin-1 blocker laminarin suppressed the mRNA expression and protein production of TNF-α and IL-6 induced by curdlan and hyphae (P<0.05). CONCLUSION These findings demonstrated that curdlan pretreatment enhanced the inflammatory response induced by A. fumigatus hyphae in HCECs. Dectin-1 is essential for the immunomodulatory effects of curdlan. Curdlan may have high clinical application values in fungal keratitis treatment. PMID:26309863

  18. Aspergillus fumigatus mitochondrial electron transport chain mediates oxidative stress homeostasis, hypoxia responses, and fungal pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Grahl, Nora; Dinamarco, Taisa Magnani; Willger, Sven D.; Goldman, Gustavo H.; Cramer, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    Summary We previously observed that hypoxia is an important component of host microenvironments during pulmonary fungal infections. However, mechanisms of fungal growth in these in vivo hypoxic conditions are poorly understood. Here, we report that mitochondrial respiration is active in hypoxia (1% oxygen) and critical for fungal pathogenesis. We generated Aspergillus fumigatus alternative oxidase (aoxA) and cytochrome C (cycA) null mutants and assessed their ability to tolerate hypoxia, macrophage killing, and virulence. In contrast to ΔaoxA, ΔcycA was found to be significantly impaired in conidia germination, growth in normoxia and hypoxia, and displayed attenuated virulence. Intriguingly, loss of cycA results in increased levels of AoxA activity, which results in increased resistance to oxidative stress, macrophage killing, and long-term persistence in murine lungs. Thus, our results demonstrate a previously unidentified role for fungal mitochondrial respiration in the pathogenesis of aspergillosis, and lay the foundation for future research into its role in hypoxia signaling and adaptation. PMID:22443190

  19. Disruption of a Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase in Aspergillus fumigatus Eliminates Gliotoxin Production

    PubMed Central

    Cramer, Robert A.; Gamcsik, Michael P.; Brooking, Rhea M.; Najvar, Laura K.; Kirkpatrick, William R.; Patterson, Thomas F.; Balibar, Carl J.; Graybill, John R.; Perfect, John R.; Abraham, Soman N.; Steinbach, William J.

    2006-01-01

    The fungal secondary metabolite gliotoxin produced by Aspergillus fumigatus has been hypothesized to be important in the development of invasive aspergillosis. In this study, we addressed this hypothesis by disrupting a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) (encoded by gliP) predicted to be involved in gliotoxin production. Mutants with a disrupted gliP locus failed to produce gliotoxin, which confirmed the role of the NRPS encoded by gliP in gliotoxin biosynthesis. We found no morphological, developmental, or physiological defects in ΔgliP mutant strains. In addition, disruption of gliP resulted in down regulation of gene expression in the gliotoxin biosynthesis gene cluster, which was restored with addition of exogenous gliotoxin. This interesting result suggests a role for gliotoxin in regulating its own production. Culture filtrates from the ΔgliP mutant were unable to inhibit ionomycin-dependent degranulation of mast cells, suggesting a role for gliotoxin in suppressing mast cell degranulation and possibly in disease development. However, the ΔgliP mutant did not have an impact on survival or tissue burden in a murine inhalational model of invasive aspergillosis. This result suggests that gliotoxin is not required for virulence in an immunosuppressed host with an invasive pulmonary infection. PMID:16757745

  20. Binding of pulmonary surfactant proteins A and D to Aspergillus fumigatus conidia enhances phagocytosis and killing by human neutrophils and alveolar macrophages.

    PubMed Central

    Madan, T; Eggleton, P; Kishore, U; Strong, P; Aggrawal, S S; Sarma, P U; Reid, K B

    1997-01-01

    To determine whether the lung surfactant proteins A (SP-A) and D (SP-D) are involved in the initial protective immunity against opportunistic pulmonary fungal infections caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, we performed a series of in vitro functional studies to see if SP-A and SP-D enhanced binding, phagocytosis, activation, and killing of A. fumigatus conidia by human alveolar macrophages and circulating neutrophils. Both SP-A and SP-D bound to carbohydrate structures on A. fumigatus conidia in a calcium-dependent manner. SP-A and SP-D were also chemoattractant and significantly enhanced agglutination and binding of conidia to alveolar macrophages and neutrophils. Furthermore, in the presence of SP-A and SP-D, the phagocytosis, oxidative burst, and killing of A. fumigatus conidia by neutrophils were significantly increased. These findings indicate that SP-A and SP-D may have an important immunological role in the early antifungal defense responses in the lung, through inhibiting infectivity of conidia by agglutination and by enhancing uptake and killing of A. fumigatus by phagocytic cells. PMID:9234771

  1. An alternative host model of a mixed fungal infection by azole susceptible and resistant Aspergillus spp strains.

    PubMed

    Alcazar-Fuoli, L; Buitrago, Mj; Gomez-Lopez, A; Mellado, E

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common mold involved in human infections. However, the number of non-fumigatus species able to cause disease is continuously increasing. Among them, Aspergillus lentulus is reported in hematological and cystic fibrosis patients and in those treated with corticosteroids. A. lentulus differs from A. fumigatus in some clinically relevant aspects such as virulence and antifungal susceptibility, showing high MICs to most antifungals. Previous studies proved that A. lentulus was pathogenic in immunocompromised mice, although the course of the infection was delayed compared to A. fumigatus. These differences could explain why A. lentulus is mostly found in mixed infections with A. fumigatus challenging the diagnosis and treatment. We used the alternative model host Galleria mellonella to compare virulence, host interaction, fungal burden and antifungal response when larvae were infected with A. fumigatus or A. lentulus alone, and with a mixture of both species. A. lentulus was pathogenic in G. mellonella but infected larvae did not respond to therapeutic doses of voriconazole. We were able to simultaneously detect A. fumigatus and A. lentulus by a multiplex Nested Real Time PCR (MN-PCR). Comparative analysis of larvae histological sections showed melanization of both species but presented a different pattern of immune response by haemocytes. Analysis of fungal burden and histology showed that A. lentulus survived in the G. mellonella despite the antifungal treatment in single and mixed infections. We conclude that the simultaneous presence of antifungal susceptible and resistant Aspergillus species would likely complicate the management of these infections. PMID:26065322

  2. Regulation of Sulphur Assimilation Is Essential for Virulence and Affects Iron Homeostasis of the Human-Pathogenic Mould Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Amich, Jorge; Schafferer, Lukas; Haas, Hubertus; Krappmann, Sven

    2013-01-01

    Sulphur is an essential element that all pathogens have to absorb from their surroundings in order to grow inside their infected host. Despite its importance, the relevance of sulphur assimilation in fungal virulence is largely unexplored. Here we report a role of the bZIP transcription factor MetR in sulphur assimilation and virulence of the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The MetR regulator is essential for growth on a variety of sulphur sources; remarkably, it is fundamental for assimilation of inorganic S-sources but dispensable for utilization of methionine. Accordingly, it strongly supports expression of genes directly related to inorganic sulphur assimilation but not of genes connected to methionine metabolism. On a broader scale, MetR orchestrates the comprehensive transcriptional adaptation to sulphur-starving conditions as demonstrated by digital gene expression analysis. Surprisingly, A. fumigatus is able to utilize volatile sulphur compounds produced by its methionine catabolism, a process that has not been described before and that is MetR-dependent. The A. fumigatus MetR transcriptional activator is important for virulence in both leukopenic mice and an alternative mini-host model of aspergillosis, as it was essential for the development of pulmonary aspergillosis and supported the systemic dissemination of the fungus. MetR action under sulphur-starving conditions is further required for proper iron regulation, which links regulation of sulphur metabolism to iron homeostasis and demonstrates an unprecedented regulatory crosstalk. Taken together, this study provides evidence that regulation of sulphur assimilation is not only crucial for A. fumigatus virulence but also affects the balance of iron in this prime opportunistic pathogen. PMID:24009505

  3. Nonribosomal peptide synthetase genes pesL and pes1 are essential for Fumigaclavine C production in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    O'Hanlon, Karen A; Gallagher, Lorna; Schrettl, Markus; Jöchl, Christoph; Kavanagh, Kevin; Larsen, Thomas O; Doyle, Sean

    2012-05-01

    The identity of metabolites encoded by the majority of nonribosomal peptide synthetases in the opportunistic pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, remains outstanding. We found that the nonribosomal peptide (NRP) synthetases PesL and Pes1 were essential for fumigaclavine C biosynthesis, the end product of the complex ergot alkaloid (EA) pathway in A. fumigatus. Deletion of either pesL (ΔpesL) or pes1 (Δpes1) resulted in complete loss of fumigaclavine C biosynthesis, relatively increased production of fumitremorgins such as TR-2, fumitremorgin C and verruculogen, increased sensitivity to H(2)O(2), and increased sensitivity to the antifungals, voriconazole, and amphotericin B. Deletion of pesL resulted in severely reduced virulence in an invertebrate infection model (P < 0.001). These findings indicate that NRP synthesis plays an essential role in mediating the final prenylation step of the EA pathway, despite the apparent absence of NRP synthetases in the proposed EA biosynthetic cluster for A. fumigatus. Liquid chromatography/diode array detection/mass spectrometry analysis also revealed the presence of fumiquinazolines A to F in both A. fumigatus wild-type and ΔpesL strains. This observation suggests that alternative NRP synthetases can also function in fumiquinazoline biosynthesis, since PesL has been shown to mediate fumiquinazoline biosynthesis in vitro. Furthermore, we provide here the first direct link between EA biosynthesis and virulence, in agreement with the observed toxicity associated with EA exposure. Finally, we demonstrate a possible cluster cross-talk phenomenon, a theme which is beginning to emerge in the literature. PMID:22344643

  4. Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase Genes pesL and pes1 Are Essential for Fumigaclavine C Production in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    O'Hanlon, Karen A.; Gallagher, Lorna; Schrettl, Markus; Jöchl, Christoph; Kavanagh, Kevin; Larsen, Thomas O.

    2012-01-01

    The identity of metabolites encoded by the majority of nonribosomal peptide synthetases in the opportunistic pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, remains outstanding. We found that the nonribosomal peptide (NRP) synthetases PesL and Pes1 were essential for fumigaclavine C biosynthesis, the end product of the complex ergot alkaloid (EA) pathway in A. fumigatus. Deletion of either pesL (ΔpesL) or pes1 (Δpes1) resulted in complete loss of fumigaclavine C biosynthesis, relatively increased production of fumitremorgins such as TR-2, fumitremorgin C and verruculogen, increased sensitivity to H2O2, and increased sensitivity to the antifungals, voriconazole, and amphotericin B. Deletion of pesL resulted in severely reduced virulence in an invertebrate infection model (P < 0.001). These findings indicate that NRP synthesis plays an essential role in mediating the final prenylation step of the EA pathway, despite the apparent absence of NRP synthetases in the proposed EA biosynthetic cluster for A. fumigatus. Liquid chromatography/diode array detection/mass spectrometry analysis also revealed the presence of fumiquinazolines A to F in both A. fumigatus wild-type and ΔpesL strains. This observation suggests that alternative NRP synthetases can also function in fumiquinazoline biosynthesis, since PesL has been shown to mediate fumiquinazoline biosynthesis in vitro. Furthermore, we provide here the first direct link between EA biosynthesis and virulence, in agreement with the observed toxicity associated with EA exposure. Finally, we demonstrate a possible cluster cross-talk phenomenon, a theme which is beginning to emerge in the literature. PMID:22344643

  5. Dsc orthologs are required for hypoxia adaptation, triazole drug responses, and fungal virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Willger, Sven D; Cornish, E Jean; Chung, Dawoon; Fleming, Brittany A; Lehmann, Margaret M; Puttikamonkul, Srisombat; Cramer, Robert A

    2012-12-01

    Hypoxia is an environmental stress encountered by Aspergillus fumigatus during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). The ability of this mold to adapt to hypoxia is important for fungal virulence and genetically regulated in part by the sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) SrbA. SrbA is required for fungal growth in the murine lung and to ultimately cause lethal disease in murine models of IPA. Here we identified and partially characterized four genes (dscA, dscB, dscC, and dscD, here referred to as dscA-D) with previously unknown functions in A. fumigatus that are orthologs of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe genes dsc1, dsc2, dsc3, and dsc4 (dsc1-4), which encode a Golgi E3 ligase complex critical for SREBP activation by proteolytic cleavage. A. fumigatus null dscA-D mutants displayed remarkable defects in hypoxic growth and increased susceptibility to triazole antifungal drugs. Consistent with the confirmed role of these genes in S. pombe, both ΔdscA and ΔdscC resulted in reduced cleavage of the SrbA precursor protein in A. fumigatus. Inoculation of corticosteroid immunosuppressed mice with ΔdscA and ΔdscC strains revealed that these genes are critical for A. fumigatus virulence. Reintroduction of SrbA amino acids 1 to 425, encompassing the N terminus DNA binding domain, into the ΔdscA strain was able to partially restore virulence, further supporting a mechanistic link between DscA and SrbA function. Thus, we have shown for the first time the importance of a previously uncharacterized group of genes in A. fumigatus that mediate hypoxia adaptation, fungal virulence, and triazole drug susceptibility and that are likely linked to regulation of SrbA function. PMID:23104569

  6. Pulmonary immune responses to Aspergillus fumigatus in an immunocompetent mouse model of repeated exposures

    PubMed Central

    Buskirk, Amanda D.; Templeton, Steven P.; Nayak, Ajay P.; Hettick, Justin M.; Law, Brandon F.; Green, Brett J.; Beezhold, Donald H.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a filamentous fungus that produces abundant pigmented conidia. Several fungal components have been identified as virulence factors, including melanin; however, the impact of these factors in a repeated exposure model resembling natural environmental exposures remains unknown. This study examined the role of fungal melanin in the stimulation of pulmonary immune responses using immunocompetent BALB/c mice in a multiple exposure model. It compared conidia from wild-type A. fumigatus to two melanin mutants of the same strain, Δarp2 (tan) or Δalb1 (white). Mass spectrometry-based analysis of conidial extracts demonstrated that there was little difference in the protein fingerprint profiles between the three strains. Field emission scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that the immunologically inert Rodlet A layer remained intact in melanin-deficient conidia. Thus, the primary difference between the strains was the extent of melanization. Histopathology indicated that each A. fumigatus strain induced lung inflammation, regardless of the extent of melanization. In mice exposed to Δalb1 conidia, an increase in airway eosinophils and a decrease in neutrophils and CD8+ IL-17+ (Tc17) cells were observed. Additionally, it was shown that melanin mutant conidia were more rapidly cleared from the lungs than wild-type conidia. These data suggest that the presence of fungal melanin may modulate the pulmonary immune response in a mouse model of repeated exposures to A. fumigatus conidia. PMID:23919459

  7. The allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia is influenced by growth temperature.

    PubMed

    Low, Swee Yang; Dannemiller, Karen; Yao, Maosheng; Yamamoto, Naomichi; Peccia, Jordan

    2011-07-01

    Common indoor and outdoor environmental fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus produce asexual spores containing a collection of proteins that can bind IgE antibodies and trigger allergic reactions. We characterized the impact of sporulation temperature on the IgE-binding capacity (allergenicity) of A. fumigatus and explored the links between variable allergenicity and temperature-dependant expression of genes encoding these allergenic proteins. A 12-fold increase in A. fumigatus allergenicity per spore was observed when sporulation temperatures were decreased from 32°C to 17°C. Per spore protein mass and Asp f 1 allergen mass also followed this trend. Functional gene expression analysis of A. fumigatus sporulating cultures by real-time reverse-transcription PCR and gene expression microarrays revealed that a greater number of genes encoding known, major allergens are more highly expressed at lower sporulation temperatures. The results of this study indicate that environmental conditions at growth significantly influence the allergenicity of this common mould through the differential production of allergenic proteins, and highlight the importance of in vivo or in vitro allergenicity measurements for understanding environmental exposure to airborne allergenic fungi. PMID:21724168

  8. cyp51A gene silencing using RNA interference in azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mousavi, Bita; Hedayati, Mohammad T; Teimoori-Toolabi, Ladan; Guillot, Jacques; Alizadeh, Ahad; Badali, Hamid

    2015-12-01

    An increasing number of reports have described the emergence of acquired resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus to azole compounds. The primary mechanism of resistance in clinical isolates is the mutation of the azole drug target enzyme, which is encoded by the cyp51A gene. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of silencing the cyp51A gene in azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates. A 21-nucleotide small-interfering RNA (siRNA) was designed based on the cDNA sequence of the A. fumigatus cyp51A gene. After silencing the cyp51A gene in germinated conidia (15, 20, 25 and 50 nM), azole-resistant A. fumigatus was cultured on broth media and gene expression was analysed by measuring the cyp51A mRNA level using RT-PCR assay. Hyphae were successfully transfected by siRNA and expression of the cyp51A gene was significantly reduced by siRNA at the concentration of 50 nM (P ≤ 0.05). In addition, at this siRNA concentration, the minimum inhibitory concentration of itraconazole for the treated cells was decreased, compared with that for untreated control cells, from 16 to 4 μg/ml. PMID:26448519

  9. Systematic Global Analysis of Genes Encoding Protein Phosphatases in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Winkelströter, Lizziane K.; Dolan, Stephen K.; Fernanda dos Reis, Thaila; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Hagiwara, Daisuke; Alowni, Raneem; Jones, Gary W.; Doyle, Sean; Brown, Neil Andrew; Goldman, Gustavo H.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a fungal pathogen that causes several invasive and noninvasive diseases named aspergillosis. This disease is generally regarded as multifactorial, considering that several pathogenicity determinants are present during the establishment of this illness. It is necessary to obtain an increased knowledge of how, and which, A. fumigatus signal transduction pathways are engaged in the regulation of these processes. Protein phosphatases are essential to several signal transduction pathways. We identified 32 phosphatase catalytic subunit-encoding genes in A. fumigatus, of which we were able to construct 24 viable deletion mutants. The role of nine phosphatase mutants in the HOG (high osmolarity glycerol response) pathway was evaluated by measuring phosphorylation of the p38 MAPK (SakA) and expression of osmo-dependent genes. We were also able to identify 11 phosphatases involved in iron assimilation, six that are related to gliotoxin resistance, and three implicated in gliotoxin production. These results present the creation of a fundamental resource for the study of signaling in A. fumigatus and its implications in the regulation of pathogenicity determinants and virulence in this important pathogen. PMID:25943523

  10. Pulmonary immune responses to Aspergillus fumigatus in an immunocompetent mouse model of repeated exposures.

    PubMed

    Buskirk, Amanda D; Templeton, Steven P; Nayak, Ajay P; Hettick, Justin M; Law, Brandon F; Green, Brett J; Beezhold, Donald H

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a filamentous fungus that produces abundant pigmented conidia. Several fungal components have been identified as virulence factors, including melanin; however, the impact of these factors in a repeated exposure model resembling natural environmental exposures remains unknown. This study examined the role of fungal melanin in the stimulation of pulmonary immune responses using immunocompetent BALB/c mice in a multiple exposure model. It compared conidia from wild-type A. fumigatus to two melanin mutants of the same strain, Δarp2 (tan) or Δalb1 (white). Mass spectrometry-based analysis of conidial extracts demonstrated that there was little difference in the protein fingerprint profiles between the three strains. Field emission scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that the immunologically inert Rodlet A layer remained intact in melanin-deficient conidia. Thus, the primary difference between the strains was the extent of melanization. Histopathology indicated that each A. fumigatus strain induced lung inflammation, regardless of the extent of melanization. In mice exposed to Δalb1 conidia, an increase in airway eosinophils and a decrease in neutrophils and CD8(+) IL-17(+) (Tc17) cells were observed. Additionally, it was shown that melanin mutant conidia were more rapidly cleared from the lungs than wild-type conidia. These data suggest that the presence of fungal melanin may modulate the pulmonary immune response in a mouse model of repeated exposures to A. fumigatus conidia. PMID:23919459

  11. High osmolarity glycerol response PtcB phosphatase is important for Aspergillus fumigatus virulence.

    PubMed

    Winkelströter, Lizziane K; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Goldman, Maria Helena S; Brown, Neil Andrew; Rajendran, Ranjith; Ramage, Gordon; Bovier, Elodie; Dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Savoldi, Marcela; Hagiwara, Daisuke; Goldman, Gustavo H

    2015-04-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a fungal pathogen that is capable of adapting to different host niches and to avoid host defenses. An enhanced understanding of how, and which, A. fumigatus signal transduction pathways are engaged in the regulation of these processes is essential for the development of improved disease control strategies. Protein phosphatases are central to numerous signal transduction pathways. To comprehend the functions of protein phosphatases in A. fumigatus, 32 phosphatase catalytic subunit encoding genes were identified. We have recognized PtcB as one of the phosphatases involved in the high osmolarity glycerol response (HOG) pathway. The ΔptcB mutant has both increased phosphorylation of the p38 MAPK (SakA) and expression of osmo-dependent genes. The ΔptcB strain was more sensitive to cell wall damaging agents, had increased chitin and β-1,3-glucan, and impaired biofilm formation. The ΔptcB strain was avirulent in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. These results stress the importance of the HOG pathway in the regulation of pathogenicity determinants and virulence in A. fumigatus. PMID:25597841

  12. Systematic Global Analysis of Genes Encoding Protein Phosphatases in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Winkelströter, Lizziane K; Dolan, Stephen K; Fernanda Dos Reis, Thaila; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Hagiwara, Daisuke; Alowni, Raneem; Jones, Gary W; Doyle, Sean; Brown, Neil Andrew; Goldman, Gustavo H

    2015-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a fungal pathogen that causes several invasive and noninvasive diseases named aspergillosis. This disease is generally regarded as multifactorial, considering that several pathogenicity determinants are present during the establishment of this illness. It is necessary to obtain an increased knowledge of how, and which, A. fumigatus signal transduction pathways are engaged in the regulation of these processes. Protein phosphatases are essential to several signal transduction pathways. We identified 32 phosphatase catalytic subunit-encoding genes in A. fumigatus, of which we were able to construct 24 viable deletion mutants. The role of nine phosphatase mutants in the HOG (high osmolarity glycerol response) pathway was evaluated by measuring phosphorylation of the p38 MAPK (SakA) and expression of osmo-dependent genes. We were also able to identify 11 phosphatases involved in iron assimilation, six that are related to gliotoxin resistance, and three implicated in gliotoxin production. These results present the creation of a fundamental resource for the study of signaling in A. fumigatus and its implications in the regulation of pathogenicity determinants and virulence in this important pathogen. PMID:25943523

  13. Verruculogen production in airborne and clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus Fres.

    PubMed

    Kosalec, Ivan; Klarić, Maja Segvić; Pepeljnjak, Stjepan

    2005-12-01

    Among airborne aspergilli sampled in outdoor air of the Zagreb area (2002/2003), Aspergillus niger (v. Teigh.) and A. fumigatus (Fres.) were the most abundant species (20-30%), with low mean annual concentrations (0.21-1.04 CFU m-3). Higher concentrations of A. fumigatus were observed in autumn and winter (0.5-1.05 CFU m-3) than in spring and summer (0-0.4 CFU m-3). On the other hand, A. fumigatus was found to be the most frequent isolate from upper and/or lower respiratory tracts of imunocompromised patients in many studies. This species produces several mycotoxins, including the tremorgenic mycotoxin verruculogen that can be found in spores and during myceliar growth. Verruculogen production ability was tested on 30 airborne and 33 clinical isolates of A. fumigatus. In both groups, high percentage of verruculogen-producing strains was noticed (84% of airborne and 91% of clinical isolates). Verruculogen production was not significantly different in the groups of airborne isolates (0.34+/-0.16 mg mL-1), and clinical isolates (0.26+/-0.19 mg mL-1). PMID:16375825

  14. IgE Sensitization to Aspergillus fumigatus Is Associated with Reduced Lung Function in Asthma

    PubMed Central

    Fairs, Abbie; Agbetile, Joshua; Hargadon, Beverley; Bourne, Michelle; Monteiro, William R.; Brightling, Christopher E.; Bradding, Peter; Green, Ruth H.; Mutalithas, Kugathasan; Desai, Dhananjay; Pavord, Ian D.; Wardlaw, Andrew J.; Pashley, Catherine H.

    2010-01-01

    Rationale: The importance of Aspergillus fumigatus sensitization and colonization of the airways in patients with asthma is unclear. Objectives: To define the relationship between the clinical and laboratory features of A. fumigatus–associated asthma. Methods: We studied 79 patients with asthma (89% classed as GINA 4 or 5) classified into 3 groups according to A. fumigatus sensitization: (1) IgE-sensitized (immediate cutaneous reactivity > 3 mm and/or IgE > 0.35 kU/L); (2) IgG-only–sensitized (IgG > 40 mg/L); and (3) nonsensitized. These were compared with 14 healthy control subjects. Sputum culture was focused toward detection of A. fumigatus and compared with clinical assessment data. Measurements and Main Results: A. fumigatus was cultured from 63% of IgE-sensitized patients with asthma (n = 40), 39% of IgG-only–sensitized patients with asthma (n = 13), 31% of nonsensitized patients with asthma (n = 26) and 7% of healthy control subjects (n = 14). Patients sensitized to A. fumigatus compared with nonsensitized patients with asthma had lower lung function (postbronchodilator FEV1 % predicted, mean [SEM]: 68 [±5]% versus 88 [±5]%; P < 0.05), more bronchiectasis (68% versus 35%; P < 0.05), and more sputum neutrophils (median [interquartile range]: 80.9 [50.1–94.1]% versus 49.5 [21.2–71.4]%; P < 0.01). In a multilinear regression model, A. fumigatus–IgE sensitization and sputum neutrophil differential cell count were important predictors of lung function (P = 0.016), supported by culture of A. fumigatus (P = 0.046) and eosinophil differential cell count (P = 0.024). Conclusions: A. fumigatus detection in sputum is associated with A. fumigatus–IgE sensitization, neutrophilic airway inflammation, and reduced lung function. This supports the concept that development of fixed airflow obstruction in asthma is consequent upon the damaging effects of airway colonization with A. fumigatus. PMID:20639442

  15. Antifungal Activity of Selenium Nanoparticles Synthesized by Bacillus species Msh-1 Against Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Shakibaie, Mojtaba; Salari Mohazab, Naser; Ayatollahi Mousavi, Seyyed Amin

    2015-01-01

    Background: Fungal infections affect various parts of the body and can be difficult to treat. Aspergillus infection causes a spectrum of diverse diseases particularly in lung according to host immunity. The two major entities are invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. Candida infections can be superficial or invasive. Superficial infections often affect the skin or mucous membranes. However, invasive fungal infections are often life-threatening. Advances in nanotechnology have opened new horizons in nanomedicine, allowing the synthesis of nanoparticles that can be assembled into complex architectures. Novel studies and technologies are devoted to understanding the mechanisms of disease for the design of new drugs. Objectives: In the present study, the antifungal activity of biogenic selenium nanoparticles (Se NPs) against Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans was investigated. Materials and Methods: Se-reducing bacteria previously identified as Bacillus sp. MSh-1 were used for the intracellular biosynthesis of elemental Se NPs. The shape, size, and purity of the extracted NPs were determined with various instrumental techniques. The nanoparticles antifungal characterization mainly derives from the following pathways: (i) to generate sustained flux of nano-ions from the compounds that deposited on special substrates or imbedded in colloidal or semisolid matrices. (ii) To transport active those ions to sensitive targets on plasma membrane of fungi. Results: The results of energy-dispersive X-ray demonstrated that the purified NPs consisted of only Se. In addition, transmission electron micrographs showed that 120- to 140-nm spherical Se NPs were the most common. An antifungal assay was performed with a standard Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute broth microdilution method. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) measurements of the antifungal activity of the Se NPs against C. albicans (70 μg/mL) and A. fumigatus (100

  16. Rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for Aspergillus fumigatus antibodies.

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, M D; Stubbins, J M; Warnock, D W

    1982-01-01

    A rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) where component incubation periods were shortened to one hour, was compared with agar gel double diffusion (AGDD) and a standard ELISA procedure for detecting antibodies to Aspergillus fumigatus in 28 asthmatic patients with suspected allergic aspergillosis. Using two A fumigatus antigens the rapid ELISA compared well with AGDD and the standard ELISA method. Eleven sera that reacted with both antigens in AGDD were all positive against antigen 1 in both forms of ELISA, but two failed to react with antigen 2 in the standard ELISA and three failed to react with this antigen in the rapid method. Thirteen AGDD-negative sera were also negative in both forms of ELISA. The rapid ELISA provides a sensitive and reproducible test for routine serological investigation of allergic aspergillosis. PMID:6813358

  17. Mycotoxins of Aspergillus fumigatus in pure culture and in native bioaerosols from compost facilities.

    PubMed

    Fischer, G; Müller, T; Ostrowski, R; Dott, W

    1999-04-01

    Exposure to secondary metabolites of airborne fungi in waste handling facilities is discussed in regard to potential toxic impacts on human health. The relevance of mycotoxins has been intensely studied in connection with contamination of food and feed. Toxic secondary metabolites are expected to be present in airborne spores, but exposure to mycotoxins in bioaerosols has not been studied sufficiently. Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most frequent species in the air of compost plants. A wide range of secondary metabolites was found in pure cultures of freshly isolated strains of A. fumigatus. Tryptoquivaline, a compound with tremorgenic properties, and trypacidin, for which no toxic properties are described, were found in native bioaerosols in a compost facility. The highly toxic metabolites gliotoxin and verruculogen were not found in the bioaerosols. PMID:10101846

  18. Convergent synthesis of isomeric heterosaccharides related to the fragments of galactomannan from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Argunov, D A; Krylov, V B; Nifantiev, N E

    2015-03-21

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a very common fungus with high pathogenic potential for immunosuppressed hospital patients. A. fumigatus galactomannan, being the part of its cell wall, is considered as a promising candidate for vaccine and diagnostic test-systems. In this article we report the convergent synthesis of pentasaccharide fragments of the galactomannan containing the β-(1→5)-linked galactofuranoside chain attached to O-3 or O-6 of a spacer-armed mannopyranoside residue. The synthesis of selectively protected galactofuranoside precursors has been performed using recently developed pyranoside-into-furanoside (PIF) rearrangement. For assembling the target galactomannan structures the [1 + 2 + 2]-scheme was applied. This strategy was shown to be highly efficient and can easily be extended to the synthesis of longer fragments of thegalactomannan. PMID:25643073

  19. The hypoxia-induced dehydrogenase HorA is required for coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis, azole sensitivity and virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Kroll, Kristin; Shekhova, Elena; Mattern, Derek J; Thywissen, Andreas; Jacobsen, Ilse D; Strassburger, Maria; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Shelest, Ekaterina; Brakhage, Axel A; Kniemeyer, Olaf

    2016-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the predominant airborne pathogenic fungus causing invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. During infection A. fumigatus has to adapt to oxygen-limiting conditions in inflammatory or necrotic tissue. Previously, we identified a mitochondrial protein to be highly up-regulated during hypoxic adaptation. Here, this protein was found to represent the novel oxidoreductase HorA. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae a homologue was shown to play a role in biosynthesis of coenzyme Q. Consistently, reduced coenzyme Q content in the generated ΔhorA mutant indicated a respective function in A. fumigatus. Since coenzyme Q is involved in cellular respiration and maintaining cellular redox homeostasis, the strain ΔhorA displayed an impaired response to both oxidative and reductive stress, a delay in germination and an accumulation of NADH. Moreover, an increased resistance against antifungal drugs was observed. All phenotypes were completely reversed by the addition of the synthetic electron carrier menadione. The deletion strain ΔhorA showed significantly attenuated virulence in two murine infection models of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Therefore, the biosynthesis of coenzyme Q and, particularly, the fungal-specific protein HorA play a crucial role in virulence of A. fumigatus. Due to its absence in mammals, HorA might represent a novel therapeutic target against fungal infections. PMID:26991818

  20. Sequencing of Aspergillus nidulans and comparative analysis with A. fumigatus and A. oryzae.

    PubMed

    Galagan, James E; Calvo, Sarah E; Cuomo, Christina; Ma, Li-Jun; Wortman, Jennifer R; Batzoglou, Serafim; Lee, Su-In; Baştürkmen, Meray; Spevak, Christina C; Clutterbuck, John; Kapitonov, Vladimir; Jurka, Jerzy; Scazzocchio, Claudio; Farman, Mark; Butler, Jonathan; Purcell, Seth; Harris, Steve; Braus, Gerhard H; Draht, Oliver; Busch, Silke; D'Enfert, Christophe; Bouchier, Christiane; Goldman, Gustavo H; Bell-Pedersen, Deborah; Griffiths-Jones, Sam; Doonan, John H; Yu, Jaehyuk; Vienken, Kay; Pain, Arnab; Freitag, Michael; Selker, Eric U; Archer, David B; Peñalva, Miguel A; Oakley, Berl R; Momany, Michelle; Tanaka, Toshihiro; Kumagai, Toshitaka; Asai, Kiyoshi; Machida, Masayuki; Nierman, William C; Denning, David W; Caddick, Mark; Hynes, Michael; Paoletti, Mathieu; Fischer, Reinhard; Miller, Bruce; Dyer, Paul; Sachs, Matthew S; Osmani, Stephen A; Birren, Bruce W

    2005-12-22

    The aspergilli comprise a diverse group of filamentous fungi spanning over 200 million years of evolution. Here we report the genome sequence of the model organism Aspergillus nidulans, and a comparative study with Aspergillus fumigatus, a serious human pathogen, and Aspergillus oryzae, used in the production of sake, miso and soy sauce. Our analysis of genome structure provided a quantitative evaluation of forces driving long-term eukaryotic genome evolution. It also led to an experimentally validated model of mating-type locus evolution, suggesting the potential for sexual reproduction in A. fumigatus and A. oryzae. Our analysis of sequence conservation revealed over 5,000 non-coding regions actively conserved across all three species. Within these regions, we identified potential functional elements including a previously uncharacterized TPP riboswitch and motifs suggesting regulation in filamentous fungi by Puf family genes. We further obtained comparative and experimental evidence indicating widespread translational regulation by upstream open reading frames. These results enhance our understanding of these widely studied fungi as well as provide new insight into eukaryotic genome evolution and gene regulation. PMID:16372000

  1. Genetic relatedness versus biological compatibility between Aspergillus fumigatus and related species.

    PubMed

    Sugui, Janyce A; Peterson, Stephen W; Figat, Abigail; Hansen, Bryan; Samson, Robert A; Mellado, Emilia; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J

    2014-10-01

    Aspergillus section Fumigati contains 12 clinically relevant species. Among these Aspergillus species, A. fumigatus is the most frequent agent of invasive aspergillosis, followed by A. lentulus and A. viridinutans. Genealogical concordance and mating experiments were performed to examine the relationship between phylogenetic distance and mating success in these three heterothallic species. Analyses of 19 isolates from section Fumigati revealed the presence of three previously unrecognized species within the broadly circumscribed species A. viridinutans. A single mating type was found in the new species Aspergillus pseudofelis and Aspergillus pseudoviridinutans, but in Aspergillus parafelis, both mating types were present. Reciprocal interspecific pairings of all species in the study showed that the only successful crosses occurred with the MAT1-2 isolates of both A. parafelis and A. pseudofelis. The MAT1-2 isolate of A. parafelis was fertile when paired with the MAT1-1 isolates of A. fumigatus, A. viridinutans, A. felis, A. pseudoviridinutans, and A. wyomingensis but was not fertile with the MAT1-1 isolate of A. lentulus. The MAT1-2 isolates of A. pseudofelis were fertile when paired with the MAT1-1 isolate of A. felis but not with any of the other species. The general infertility in the interspecies crossings suggests that genetically unrelated species are also biologically incompatible, with the MAT1-2 isolates of A. parafelis and A. pseudofelis being the exception. Our findings underscore the importance of genealogical concordance analysis for species circumscription, as well as for accurate species identification, since misidentification of morphologically similar pathogens with differences in innate drug resistance may be of grave consequences for disease management. PMID:25100816

  2. Genetic Relatedness versus Biological Compatibility between Aspergillus fumigatus and Related Species

    PubMed Central

    Sugui, Janyce A.; Peterson, Stephen W.; Figat, Abigail; Hansen, Bryan; Samson, Robert A.; Mellado, Emilia; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus section Fumigati contains 12 clinically relevant species. Among these Aspergillus species, A. fumigatus is the most frequent agent of invasive aspergillosis, followed by A. lentulus and A. viridinutans. Genealogical concordance and mating experiments were performed to examine the relationship between phylogenetic distance and mating success in these three heterothallic species. Analyses of 19 isolates from section Fumigati revealed the presence of three previously unrecognized species within the broadly circumscribed species A. viridinutans. A single mating type was found in the new species Aspergillus pseudofelis and Aspergillus pseudoviridinutans, but in Aspergillus parafelis, both mating types were present. Reciprocal interspecific pairings of all species in the study showed that the only successful crosses occurred with the MAT1-2 isolates of both A. parafelis and A. pseudofelis. The MAT1-2 isolate of A. parafelis was fertile when paired with the MAT1-1 isolates of A. fumigatus, A. viridinutans, A. felis, A. pseudoviridinutans, and A. wyomingensis but was not fertile with the MAT1-1 isolate of A. lentulus. The MAT1-2 isolates of A. pseudofelis were fertile when paired with the MAT1-1 isolate of A. felis but not with any of the other species. The general infertility in the interspecies crossings suggests that genetically unrelated species are also biologically incompatible, with the MAT1-2 isolates of A. parafelis and A. pseudofelis being the exception. Our findings underscore the importance of genealogical concordance analysis for species circumscription, as well as for accurate species identification, since misidentification of morphologically similar pathogens with differences in innate drug resistance may be of grave consequences for disease management. PMID:25100816

  3. Aspergillus fumigatus enhances elastase production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa co-cultures.

    PubMed

    Smith, Karen; Rajendran, Ranjith; Kerr, Stephen; Lappin, David F; Mackay, William G; Williams, Craig; Ramage, Gordon

    2015-09-01

    In the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung the presence of bacteria and fungi in the airways promotes an inflammatory response causing progressive lung damage, ultimately leading to high rates of morbidity and mortality. We hypothesized that polymicrobial interactions play an important role in promoting airway pathogenesis. We therefore examined the interplay between the most commonly isolated bacterial CF pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the most prevalent filamentous fungi, Aspergillus fumigatus, to test this. Co-culture experiments showed that in the presence of A. fumigatus the production of P. aeruginosa elastase was enhanced. This was confirmed by the presence of zones of clearance on Elastin-Congo Red (ECR) agar, which was identified as elastase by mass spectrometry. When P. aeruginosa were grown in a co-culture model with mature A. fumigatus biofilms, 60% of isolates produced significantly more elastase in the presence of the filamentous fungi than in its absence (P < .05). The expression of lasB also increased when P. aeruginosa isolates PA01 and PA14 were grown in co-culture with A. fumigatus. Supernatants from co-culture experiments were also significantly toxic to a human lung epithelial cell line (19-38% cell cytotoxicity) in comparison to supernatants from P. aeruginosa only cultures (P < .0001). Here we report that P. aeruginosa cytotoxic elastase is enhanced in the presence of the filamentous fungi A. fumigatus, suggesting that this may have a role to play in the damaging pathology associated with the lung tissue in this disease. This indicates that patients who have a co-colonisation with these two organisms may have a poorer prognosis. PMID:26162475

  4. Contributions of Aspergillus fumigatus ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter Proteins to Drug Resistance and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Sanjoy; Diekema, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    In yeast cells such as those of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, expression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins has been found to be increased and correlates with a concomitant elevation in azole drug resistance. In this study, we investigated the roles of two Aspergillus fumigatus proteins that share high sequence similarity with S. cerevisiae Pdr5, an ABC transporter protein that is commonly overproduced in azole-resistant isolates in this yeast. The two A. fumigatus genes encoding the ABC transporters sharing the highest sequence similarity to S. cerevisiae Pdr5 are called abcA and abcB here. We constructed deletion alleles of these two different ABC transporter-encoding genes in three different strains of A. fumigatus. Loss of abcB invariably elicited increased azole susceptibility, while abcA disruption alleles had variable phenotypes. Specific antibodies were raised to both AbcA and AbcB proteins. These antisera allowed detection of AbcB in wild-type cells, while AbcA could be visualized only when overproduced from the hspA promoter in A. fumigatus. Overproduction of AbcA also yielded increased azole resistance. Green fluorescent protein fusions were used to provide evidence that both AbcA and AbcB are localized to the plasma membrane in A. fumigatus. Promoter fusions to firefly luciferase suggested that expression of both ABC transporter-encoding genes is inducible by azole challenge. Virulence assays implicated AbcB as a possible factor required for normal pathogenesis. This work provides important new insights into the physiological roles of ABC transporters in this major fungal pathogen. PMID:24123268

  5. [Farmer's lung with antibodies against Thermoactinomyces vulgaris and Aspergillus fumigatus. Clinical course and treatment].

    PubMed

    Sánchez Palacios, A; Quintero de Juana, A; Paredes, C; Blanco, M; González, J I

    1985-01-01

    We present a case of Farmer's lung with antibodies to Thermoactinomyces vulgaris and Aspergillus fumigatus. A 56-year-old male patient with an atopic family medical history came to our hospital complaining of cough, dyspnea, fever, asthenia and anorexia. His condition worsened after being exposed to cereal powder, becoming symptomatic after 20 minutes or on occasion after 6 hours. Physical examination showed basal crepitant rales in lung auscultation. The radiograph of the thorax showed a bilateral interstitial reticulo-nodular pattern. An obstructive pattern was found on functional respiratory examination. There was also a slight restriction along with the decrease of the VC and a significant reversal of the M.M.E.F. with anticholinergics. The tests for intradermal cutaneous allergies were positive after 20 minutes and for Aspergillus fumigatus Niger and Terreus (Bencard) after 6 hours. With immunoelectrophoresis and double diffusion, precipitation bands in the presence of Aspergillus fumigatus and Thermoactinomyces, were detected. IgG and IgE were high-1570 mg% and 1000 U/ml respectively. The histological study of the transbronchial biopsy showed dilatation of the alveolar septum caused by a lymphocytic infiltration with fragments of collagenous fibres. In bronchoalveolar lavage there was a predominance of lymphocytes and histiocytes. After exertion, arterial blood gases showed desaturation with hypoxemia. The static lung volumes and the flow and diffusion of carbon monoxide (CO) showed a moderate decrease of vital capacity, with the total lung capacity being below normal. Diffusion was markedly attenuated. The provocation test by indirect bronchial inhalation using cereal powder (Alfalfa) was positive. After six hours dyspnea, cough and leukocytosis appeared with an outbreak of fever and an increase in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:3909794

  6. Beta 1,4-oligoglucosides inhibit the binding of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia to human monocytes.

    PubMed

    Kan, V L; Bennett, J E

    1991-05-01

    The binding of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia to human monocytes is mediated by a barley beta-glucan-inhibitable receptor. The simplest linkages in this glucan are present in the disaccharides laminaribiose (beta 1,3) and cellobiose (beta 1,4). Although laminaribiose gave strong inhibition of conidial binding to monocytes, cellobiose and oligosaccharides with beta 1,4-linked glucose residues were more potent as specific inhibitors of this binding over similar concentrations. Increasing the number of beta 1,4-linked glucose residues led to greater inhibition of conidial binding by human monocytes. PMID:2019764

  7. Primary vocal cord aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and molecular identification of the isolate.

    PubMed

    Ran, Yuping; Yang, Baiyan; Liu, Suling; Dai, Yaling; Pang, Zongguo; Fan, Jiayu; Bai, Haoru; Liu, Shixi

    2008-08-01

    This is a case of vocal cord aspergillosis in a 36-year-old woman whose chief complaint was progressive hoarseness and vocal fatigue of one month duration. These symptoms followed the use of systemic administration of penicillin, cefotaxime natrium and dexamethasone to treat her rhinitis and asthma. Fiberoptic laryngoscopy revealed whitish plaques involving both vocal cords. Microscopic examination of KOH preparations and histopathology studies of tissue revealed dichotomously branching, hyaline, septate hyphae. Morphological and molecular biological identification of the fungal growth in cultures inoculated with clinical specimens from the patient indicated that the etiologic agent was Aspergillus fumigatus. The patient was cured with oral itraconazole without any side effects. PMID:18636395

  8. Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus Clinical Isolates from an Italian Culture Collection

    PubMed Central

    Lazzarini, Cristina; Esposto, Maria Carmela; Prigitano, Anna; Cogliati, Massimo; De Lorenzis, Gabriella

    2015-01-01

    The aims of the study were to investigate the prevalence of azole resistance among Aspergillus fumigatus clinical isolates. A total of 533 clinical isolates that had been collected between 1995 and 2006, from 441 patients, were screened. No resistance was detected in isolates collected between 1995 and 1997. Starting in 1998, the resistance rate was 6.9%; a total of 24 patients (6.25%) harbored a resistant isolate. The TR34/L98H substitution was found in 21 of 30 tested isolates. PMID:26552980

  9. Expression, purification and crystallization of an indole prenyltransferase from Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jing; Morita, Hiroyuki; Kato, Ryohei; Noguchi, Hiroshi; Sugio, Shigetoshi; Abe, Ikuro

    2012-01-01

    CdpNPT from Aspergillus fumigatus is a dimethylallyltryptophan synthase/indole prenyltransferase that catalyzes reverse prenylation at position N1 of tryptophan-containing cyclic dipeptides. Residues 38–440 of CdpNPT were expressed in Escherichia coli and crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion and microseeding techniques. The crystals belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 84.4, b = 157.1, c = 161.8 Å, α = β = γ = 90.0°. PMID:22442243

  10. Pyripyropenes, novel ACAT inhibitors produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. IV. Structure elucidation of pyripyropenes M to R.

    PubMed

    Tomoda, H; Tabata, N; Yang, D J; Namatame, I; Tanaka, H; Omura, S; Kaneko, T

    1996-03-01

    Six new pyripyropenes, M to R, were isolated from the ethyl acetate extracts of the jar fermentation broth of Aspergillus fumigatus FO-1289-2501. Structural elucidation indicated that all the pyripyropenes have the same pyridino-alpha-pyrone sesquiterpene core as pyripyropenes A to L. Among them pyripyropene M showed the most potent inhibition against acyl-CoA : cholesterol acyltransferase activity with an IC50 value of 3.80 microM in rat liver microsomes, but pyripyropenes N to R showed moderate inhibitory activity (IC50 11.0 approximately 78.0 microM). PMID:8626247

  11. Pyripyropenes, Novel ACAT inhibitors produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. III. Structure elucidation of pyripyropenes E to L.

    PubMed

    Tomoda, H; Tabata, N; Yang, D J; Takayanagi, H; Nishida, H; Omura, S; Kaneko, T

    1995-06-01

    Eight new pyripyropenes, E to L, were isolated from the culture broth of Aspergillus fumigatus FO-1289-2501 selected as a higher producer by NTG mutation. Structural elucidation indicated that all the pyripyropenes have the same pyridino-alpha-pyrone sesquiterpene core as pyripyropenes A to D. Among them, pyripyropene L showed the most potent inhibition against acyl-CoA: cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) activity with an IC50 value of 0.27 microM in rat liver microsomes. PMID:7622436

  12. Salvage therapy with topical antifungal for Aspergillus fumigatus empyema complicating extrapleural pneumonectomy

    PubMed Central

    Purohit, Manoj; Guleri, Achyut; Zacharias, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    We describe an unusual case of Aspergillus fumigatus empyema and bronchopleural fistulae after extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and chemoradiotherapy (CRT), which was treated successfully under salvage conditions with debridement, an innovative topical antifungal application and supplemented systemic antifungal therapy and which went on for a definitive surgical procedure. Combinations of CRT and EPP have been recommended in a select group of patients with malignant mesothelioma. Irrespective of the combination, EPP is associated with mortality in the range of 4–15% and a complication rate as high as 62%. PMID:22617507

  13. Effects of Iron Chelators on the Formation and Development of Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilm.

    PubMed

    Nazik, Hasan; Penner, John C; Ferreira, Jose A; Haagensen, Janus A J; Cohen, Kevin; Spormann, Alfred M; Martinez, Marife; Chen, Vicky; Hsu, Joe L; Clemons, Karl V; Stevens, David A

    2015-10-01

    Iron acquisition is crucial for the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus. A. fumigatus biofilm formation occurs in vitro and in vivo and is associated with physiological changes. In this study, we assessed the effects of Fe chelators on biofilm formation and development. Deferiprone (DFP), deferasirox (DFS), and deferoxamine (DFM) were tested for MIC against a reference isolate via a broth macrodilution method. The metabolic effects (assessed by XTT [2,3-bis[2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl]-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide inner salt]) on biofilm formation by conidia were studied upon exposure to DFP, DFM, DFP plus FeCl3, or FeCl3 alone. A preformed biofilm was exposed to DFP with or without FeCl3. The DFP and DFS MIC50 against planktonic A. fumigatus was 1,250 μM, and XTT gave the same result. DFM showed no planktonic inhibition at concentrations of ≤2,500 μM. By XTT testing, DFM concentrations of <1,250 μM had no effect, whereas DFP at 2,500 μM increased biofilms forming in A. fumigatus or preformed biofilms (P < 0.01). DFP at 156 to 2,500 μM inhibited biofilm formation (P < 0.01 to 0.001) in a dose-responsive manner. Biofilm formation with 625 μM DFP plus any concentration of FeCl3 was lower than that in the controls (P < 0.05 to 0.001). FeCl3 at ≥625 μM reversed the DFP inhibitory effect (P < 0.05 to 0.01), but the reversal was incomplete compared to the controls (P < 0.05 to 0.01). For preformed biofilms, DFP in the range of ≥625 to 1,250 μM was inhibitory compared to the controls (P < 0.01 to 0.001). FeCl3 at ≥625 μM overcame inhibition by 625 μM DFP (P < 0.001). FeCl3 alone at ≥156 μM stimulated biofilm formation (P < 0.05 to 0.001). Preformed A. fumigatus biofilm increased with 2,500 μM FeCl3 only (P < 0.05). In a strain survey, various susceptibilities of biofilms of A. fumigatus clinical isolates to DFP were noted. In conclusion, iron stimulates biofilm formation and preformed biofilms. Chelators can inhibit or enhance biofilms. Chelation

  14. Aspergillus fumigatus-specific antibodies in allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and aspergilloma: evidence for a polyclonal antibody response.

    PubMed Central

    Brummund, W; Resnick, A; Fink, J N; Kurup, V P

    1987-01-01

    Patients with the Aspergillus-induced diseases allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), aspergilloma (fungus ball), and Aspergillus skin test-positive asthma were differentiated immunologically by radioimmunoassay based on their total immunoglobulin E (IgE) and Aspergillus fumigatus-specific IgE levels. In this study, a new, highly sensitive biotin-avidin-linked immunosorbent assay was used to evaluate A. fumigatus-specific antibodies of all immunoglobulin classes. Studied populations included 13 patients with ABPA, 12 with aspergilloma, 9 with Aspergillus skin test-positive asthma, and 9 normal individuals without asthma. A. fumigatus-specific antibodies of all classes were elevated in patients with ABPA, variably elevated in those with aspergilloma, and lowest in the other two groups. This assay demonstrated significantly higher specific IgE antibody levels in the ABPA group over those of the other groups, even with 1:1,000 dilutions of the sera. This study demonstrated that ABPA is a disease characterized by a polyclonal antibody response to Aspergillus antigen and not just a response to IgE and IgG antibody classes. The measurement of other antibody classes, particularly IgD and IgA, could enhance the immunodiagnosis of ABPA. The biotin-avidin-linked immunosorbent assay was found to be a highly sensitive assay that can be a clinically useful alternative to radioimmunoassay in the measurement of A. fumigatus-specific antibodies. PMID:3539998

  15. PrtT-Regulated Proteins Secreted by Aspergillus fumigatus Activate MAPK Signaling in Exposed A549 Lung Cells Leading to Necrotic Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    Sharon, Haim; Amar, David; Levdansky, Emma; Mircus, Gabriel; Shadkchan, Yana; Shamir, Ron; Osherov, Nir

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most commonly encountered mold pathogen of humans, predominantly infecting the respiratory system. Colonization and penetration of the lung alveolar epithelium is a key but poorly understood step in the infection process. This study focused on identifying the transcriptional and cell-signaling responses activated in A549 alveolar carcinoma cells incubated in the presence of A. fumigatus wild-type and ΔPrtT protease-deficient germinating conidia and culture filtrates (CF). Microarray analysis of exposed A549 cells identified distinct classes of genes whose expression is altered in the presence of germinating conidia and CF and suggested the involvement of both NFkB and MAPK signaling pathways in mediating the cellular response. Phosphoprotein analysis of A549 cells confirmed that JNK and ERK1/2 are phosphorylated in response to CF from wild-type A. fumigatus and not phosphorylated in response to CF from the ΔPrtT protease-deficient strain. Inhibition of JNK or ERK1/2 kinase activity substantially decreased CF-induced cell damage, including cell peeling, actin-cytoskeleton damage, and reduction in metabolic activity and necrotic death. These results suggest that inhibition of MAPK-mediated host responses to treatment with A. fumigatus CF decreases cellular damage, a finding with possible clinical implications. PMID:21412410

  16. The Crystal Structure of Peroxiredoxin Asp f3 Provides Mechanistic Insight into Oxidative Stress Resistance and Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Bagramyan, Karine; Straßburger, Maria; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Hong, Teresa B; Bzymek, Krzysztof P; Williams, John C; Brakhage, Axel A; Kalkum, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis and other fungal infections occur in immunocompromised individuals, including patients who received blood-building stem cell transplants, patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), and others. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by immune cells, which incidentally is defective in CGD patients, is considered to be a fundamental process in inflammation and antifungal immune response. Here we show that the peroxiredoxin Asp f3 of Aspergillus fumigatus inactivates ROS. We report the crystal structure and the catalytic mechanism of Asp f3, a two-cysteine type peroxiredoxin. The latter exhibits a thioredoxin fold and a homodimeric structure with two intermolecular disulfide bonds in its oxidized state. Replacement of the Asp f3 cysteines with serine residues retained its dimeric structure, but diminished Asp f3's peroxidase activity, and extended the alpha-helix with the former peroxidatic cysteine residue C61 by six residues. The asp f3 deletion mutant was sensitive to ROS, and this phenotype was rescued by ectopic expression of Asp f3. Furthermore, we showed that deletion of asp f3 rendered A. fumigatus avirulent in a mouse model of pulmonary aspergillosis. The conserved expression of Asp f3 homologs in medically relevant molds and yeasts prompts future evaluation of Asp f3 as a potential therapeutic target. PMID:27624005

  17. The Fumagillin Gene Cluster, an Example of Hundreds of Genes under veA Control in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dhingra, Sourabh; Lind, Abigail L.; Lin, Hsiao-Ching; Tang, Yi; Rokas, Antonis; Calvo, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the causative agent of invasive aspergillosis, leading to infection-related mortality in immunocompromised patients. We previously showed that the conserved and unique-to-fungi veA gene affects different cell processes such as morphological development, gliotoxin biosynthesis and protease activity, suggesting a global regulatory effect on the genome of this medically relevant fungus. In this study, RNA sequencing analysis revealed that veA controls the expression of hundreds of genes in A. fumigatus, including those comprising more than a dozen known secondary metabolite gene clusters. Chemical analysis confirmed that veA controls the synthesis of other secondary metabolites in this organism in addition to gliotoxin. Among the secondary metabolite gene clusters regulated by veA is the elusive but recently identified gene cluster responsible for the biosynthesis of fumagillin, a meroterpenoid known for its anti-angiogenic activity by binding to human methionine aminopeptidase 2. The fumagillin gene cluster contains a veA-dependent regulatory gene, fumR (Afu8g00420), encoding a putative C6 type transcription factor. Deletion of fumR results in silencing of the gene cluster and elimination of fumagillin biosynthesis. We found expression of fumR to also be dependent on laeA, a gene encoding another component of the fungal velvet complex. The results in this study argue that veA is a global regulator of secondary metabolism in A. fumigatus, and that veA may be a conduit via which chemical development is coupled to morphological development and other cellular processes. PMID:24116213

  18. Different Stress-Induced Calcium Signatures Are Reported by Aequorin-Mediated Calcium Measurements in Living Cells of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Bettgenhaeuser, Jan; Iakobachvili, Nino; Bignell, Elaine M.; Read, Nick D.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an inhaled fungal pathogen of human lungs, the developmental growth of which is reliant upon Ca2+-mediated signalling. Ca2+ signalling has regulatory significance in all eukaryotic cells but how A. fumigatus uses intracellular Ca2+ signals to respond to stresses imposed by the mammalian lung is poorly understood. In this work, A. fumigatus strains derived from the clinical isolate CEA10, and a non-homologous recombination mutant ΔakuBKU80, were engineered to express the bioluminescent Ca2+-reporter aequorin. An aequorin-mediated method for routine Ca2+ measurements during the early stages of colony initiation was successfully developed and dynamic changes in cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]c) in response to extracellular stimuli were measured. The response to extracellular challenges (hypo- and hyper-osmotic shock, mechanical perturbation, high extracellular Ca2+, oxidative stress or exposure to human serum) that the fungus might be exposed to during infection, were analysed in living conidial germlings. The ‘signatures’ of the transient [Ca2+]c responses to extracellular stimuli were found to be dose- and age-dependent. Moreover, Ca2+-signatures associated with each physico-chemical treatment were found to be unique, suggesting the involvement of heterogeneous combinations of Ca2+-signalling components in each stress response. Concordant with the involvement of Ca2+-calmodulin complexes in these Ca2+-mediated responses, the calmodulin inhibitor trifluoperazine (TFP) induced changes in the Ca2+-signatures to all the challenges. The Ca2+-chelator BAPTA potently inhibited the initial responses to most stressors in accordance with a critical role for extracellular Ca2+ in initiating the stress responses. PMID:26402916

  19. Particle size distribution of airborne Aspergillus fumigatus spores emitted from compost using membrane filtration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deacon, L. J.; Pankhurst, L. J.; Drew, G. H.; Hayes, E. T.; Jackson, S.; Longhurst, P. J.; Longhurst, J. W. S.; Liu, J.; Pollard, S. J. T.; Tyrrel, S. F.

    Information on the particle size distribution of bioaerosols emitted from open air composting operations is valuable in evaluating potential health impacts and is a requirement for improved dispersion simulation modelling. The membrane filter method was used to study the particle size distribution of Aspergillus fumigatus spores in air 50 m downwind of a green waste compost screening operation at a commercial facility. The highest concentrations (approximately 8 × 10 4 CFU m -3) of culturable spores were found on filters with pore diameters in the range 1-2 μm which suggests that the majority of spores are emitted as single cells. The findings were compared to published data collected using an Andersen sampler. Results were significantly correlated ( p < 0.01) indicating that the two methods are directly comparable across all particles sizes for Aspergillus spores.

  20. Vascular graft infection caused by Aspergillus species: case report and review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Motte, S; Bellens, B; Rickaert, F; Serruys, E; Thys, J P; Dereume, J P

    1993-03-01

    We report an unusual case of vascular graft infection caused by Aspergillus fumigatus that began with a false aneurysm, major arterial emboli, and septic arthritis. Successful treatment included resection of the infected graft, restoration of circulation by extraanatomic bypass, and administration of amphotericin B and itraconazole, a new antifungal agent. Graft infection in the case reported herein most likely occurred during surgery and took place during an insidious outbreak of postoperative infection. PMID:8445760

  1. Characterization of a 5-azacytidine-induced developmental Aspergillus fumigatus variant

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Ami, Ronen; Varga, John; Lewis, Russell E; May, Gregory S; Nierman, William C

    2010-01-01

    The hypomethylating agent 5-azacytidine (5AC) is widely used in patients at risk of invasive mycoses. We sought to determine whether 5AC affects the developmental competence and virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus. Incubation of A. fumigatus strain 293 with 5AC induced high-frequency conversion to a fluffy-variant (Af293FL). The conidiation defect was bypassed by exposing Af293FL to light during the initial 18 hours of growth on solid media. Transcriptional profiling revealed differential expression of multiple genes involved in G-protein signaling, including a putative G-protein coupled photoreceptor (opsin), suggesting that impaired signaling through a light-responsive pathway upstream of brlA is responsible for this phenotype. Af293FL was fully virulent in fruit fly and murine models of invasive aspergillosis. Moreover, Af293FL overexpressed aspergillopepsin F, had increased elastase activity and was more angioinvasive than the parental wild-type strain. The 5AC-induced A. fumigatus fluffy variant illustrates the potential effects of chemotherapeutic agents on the developmental and pathobiologic characteristics of opportunistic fungi. PMID:21178435

  2. Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor is required in Aspergillus fumigatus for morphogenesis and virulence.

    PubMed

    Li, Hong; Zhou, Hui; Luo, Yuanming; Ouyang, Haomiao; Hu, Hongyan; Jin, Cheng

    2007-05-01

    In yeast, glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) is essential for viability and plays an important role in biosynthesis and organization of cell wall. Initiation of the GPI anchor biosynthesis is catalysed by the GPI-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase complex (GPI-GnT). The GPI3 (SPT14) gene is thought to encode the catalytic subunit of GPI-GnT complex. In contrast to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, little is known about the GPI biosynthesis in filamentous fungi. In this study, the afpig-a gene was identified as the homologue of the GPI3/pig-A gene in Aspergillus fumigatus, an opportunistic fungal pathogen. By replacement of the afpig-a gene with a pyrG gene, we obtained the null mutants. Although the Deltaafpig-a mutant exhibited a significant increased cell lysis instead of temperature-sensitive or conditional lethal phenotype associated to the GPI3 mutant of yeast, they could survive at temperatures from 30 degrees C to 50 degrees C. The analysis of the mutants showed that a completely blocking of the GPI anchor synthesis in A. fumigatus led to cell wall defect, abnormal hyphal growth, rapid conidial germination and aberrant conidiation. In vivo assays revealed that the mutant exhibited a reduced virulence in immunocompromised mice. The GPI anchor was not essential for viability, but required for the cell wall integrity, morphogenesis and virulence in A. fumigatus. PMID:17501924

  3. Trypacidin, a Spore-Borne Toxin from Aspergillus fumigatus, Is Cytotoxic to Lung Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gauthier, Thierry; Wang, Xiaodi; Sifuentes Dos Santos, Joice; Fysikopoulos, Athanasios; Tadrist, Souria; Canlet, Cécile; Artigot, Marie Pierre; Loiseau, Nicolas; Oswald, Isabelle P.; Puel, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    Inhalation of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia can cause severe aspergillosis in immunosuppressed people. A. fumigatus produces a large number of secondary metabolites, some of which are airborne by conidia and whose toxicity to the respiratory tract has not been investigated. We found that spores of A. fumigatus contain five main compounds, tryptoquivaline F, fumiquinazoline C, questin, monomethylsulochrin and trypacidin. Fractionation of culture extracts using RP-HPLC and LC-MS showed that samples containing questin, monomethylsulochrin and trypacidin were toxic to the human A549 lung cell line. These compounds were purified and their structure verified using NMR in order to compare their toxicity against A549 cells. Trypacidin was the most toxic, decreasing cell viability and triggering cell lysis, both effects occurring at an IC50 close to 7 µM. Trypacidin toxicity was also observed in the same concentration range on human bronchial epithelial cells. In the first hour of exposure, trypacidin initiates the intracellular formation of nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This oxidative stress triggers necrotic cell death in the following 24 h. The apoptosis pathway, moreover, was not involved in the cell death process as trypacidin did not induce apoptotic bodies or a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential. This is the first time that the toxicity of trypacidin to lung cells has been reported. PMID:22319557

  4. Genetic Engineering Activates Biosynthesis of Aromatic Fumaric Acid Amides in the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Kalb, Daniel; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Lackner, Gerald; Scharf, Daniel H.; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2014-01-01

    The Aspergillus fumigatus nonribosomal peptide synthetase FtpA is among the few of this species whose natural product has remained unknown. Both FtpA adenylation domains were characterized in vitro. Fumaric acid was identified as preferred substrate of the first and both l-tyrosine and l-phenylalanine as preferred substrates of the second adenylation domain. Genetically engineered A. fumigatus strains expressed either ftpA or the regulator gene ftpR, encoded in the same cluster of genes, under the control of the doxycycline-inducible tetracycline-induced transcriptional activation (tet-on) cassette. These strains produced fumaryl-l-tyrosine and fumaryl-l-phenylalanine which were identified by liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry. Modeling of the first adenylation domain in silico provided insight into the structural requirements to bind fumaric acid as peptide synthetase substrate. This work adds aromatic fumaric acid amides to the secondary metabolome of the important human pathogen A. fumigatus which was previously not known as a producer of these compounds. PMID:25527545

  5. Chemotypic and genotypic diversity in the ergot alkaloid pathway of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Sarah L; Panaccione, Daniel G

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic human pathogen that synthesizes a group of mycotoxins via a branch of the ergot alkaloid pathway. This fungus is globally distributed, and genetic data indicate that isolates recombine freely over that range; however, previous work on ergot alkaloids has focused on a limited number of isolates. We hypothesized that A. fumigatus harbors variation in the chemotype of ergot alkaloids and genotype of the ergot alkaloid gene cluster. Analysis of 13 isolates by high performance liquid chromatography revealed four distinct ergot alkaloid profiles or chemotypes. Five isolates completed the A. fumigatus branch of the ergot alkaloid pathway to fumigaclavine C. Six independent isolates accumulated fumigaclavine A, the pathway intermediate immediately before fumigaclavine C. One isolate accumulated only the early pathway intermediates chanoclavine-i and chanocla-vine-i aldehyde, and one isolate lacked ergot alkaloids altogether. A genetic basis for each of the observed chemotypes was obtained either by PCR analysis of the ergot alkaloid gene cluster or through sequencing of easL, the gene encoding the prenyl transferase that reverse prenylates fumigaclavine A to fumigaclavine C. Isolates also exhibited differences in pigmentation and sporulation. The ergot alkaloid chemotypes were widely distributed geographically and among substrate of origin. PMID:22453123

  6. GliZ, a Transcriptional Regulator of Gliotoxin Biosynthesis, Contributes to Aspergillus fumigatus Virulence▿

    PubMed Central

    Bok, Jin Woo; Chung, DaWoon; Balajee, S. Arunmozhi; Marr, Kieren A.; Andes, David; Nielsen, Kristian Fog; Frisvad, Jens C.; Kirby, Katharine A.; Keller, Nancy P.

    2006-01-01

    Gliotoxin is a nonribosomal peptide produced by Aspergillus fumigatus. This compound has been proposed as an A. fumigatus virulence factor due to its cytotoxic, genotoxic, and apoptotic properties. Recent identification of the gliotoxin gene cluster identified several genes (gli genes) likely involved in gliotoxin production, including gliZ, encoding a putative Zn2Cys6 binuclear transcription factor. Replacement of gliZ with a marker gene (ΔgliZ) resulted in no detectable gliotoxin production and loss of gene expression of other gli cluster genes. Placement of multiple copies of gliZ in the genome increased gliotoxin production. Using endpoint survival data, the ΔgliZ and a multiple-copy gliZ strain were not statistically different from the wild type in a murine pulmonary model; however, both the wild-type and the multiple-copy gliZ strain were more virulent than ΔlaeA (a mutant reduced in production of gliotoxin and other toxins). A flow-cytometric analysis of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) exposed to supernatants from wild-type, ΔgliZ, complemented ΔgliZ, and ΔlaeA strains supported a role for gliotoxin in apoptotic but not necrotic PMN cell death. This may indicate that several secondary metabolites are involved in A. fumigatus virulence. PMID:17030582

  7. Stage-specific innate immune recognition of Aspergillus fumigatus and modulation by echinocandin drugs

    PubMed Central

    HOHL, TOBIAS M.

    2013-01-01

    The pulmonary innate immune system clears inhaled A spergillus fumigatus conidia (spores) from terminal airways. Failure to control conidial germination in immune compromised hosts can result in hyphal tissue invasion and fatal disease. Insight into the molecular recognition of A. fumigatus by host leukocytes indicates that the innate immune system exploits obligate changes in fungal cell wall composition that occur at the first stage of germination, conidial swelling. Germinating spores activate at least two host signal transduction pathways. Surface exposure of fungal β-(1,3) glucan, a polysaccharide constituent of the fungal cell wall, triggers dectin-1 signaling by host phagocytes. Spore germination leads to the induction of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling as well. This stage-specific recognition mechanism focuses host antifungal responses on cells with the potential for tissue invasion and may serve to limit potentially deleterious effects of inflammation in space and time. Fungal β-(1,3) glucan not only activates host innate immune responses but also represents the target of echinocandin drugs. The activity of echinocandin drugs has largely been understood on the basis of pharmacologic growth inhibition of yeast and moulds, resulting in lysis of yeast cells and stunting of dysmorphic hyphae. The recognition that fungal β-1,3 glucan activates dectin-1 signaling suggests that echinocandin drugs may exert immune modulatory effects by altering innate immune responses to drug-treated fungal cells, a view supported by recent data from studies on C. albicans, A. fumigatus, and non-Aspergillus moulds. PMID:18608931

  8. Antibody response to low-molecular-weight antigens of Aspergillus fumigatus in allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.

    PubMed Central

    Kurup, V P; Greenberger, P A; Fink, J N

    1989-01-01

    Sera from patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) or aspergilloma and normal sera were analyzed for specific antibodies by Western (immuno-) blotting with Aspergillus fumigatus antigens transferred electrophoretically onto polyvinylidene difluoride membranes. Western blot analysis demonstrated consistent reactivity of low-molecular-weight A. fumigatus antigens against ABPA sera but not against uncomplicated aspergilloma or normal sera. None of these low-molecular-weight components had any lectin-binding activity. Sera from patients with aspergilloma, however, frequently reacted with high-molecular-weight components of A. fumigatus. The majority of these high-molecular-weight antigenic components demonstrated concanavalin A-binding activity. The low-molecular-weight bands were discernible in Western blots with sera from all ABPA patients irrespective of disease activities, such as relapse, flare, or treatment. Antibodies detected by methods such as immunodiffusion or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays demonstrated total antibody responses to most or all antigenic components, while Western blots demonstrated the reactivities of the individual components with the specific antibodies. Western blot analysis thus provided more information for immunodiagnosis of ABPA than other methods, especially when only crude antigens were available. Images PMID:2666440

  9. Determination of Aspergillus fumigatus allergen 1 in poultry farms using the enzyme immunoassay.

    PubMed

    Prester, Ljerka; Macan, Jelena; Matković, Kristina; Vucemilo, Marija

    2010-06-01

    Poultry farms contain high levels of allergenic fungi, and Aspergillus spp. is the most common genus of moulds. Aspergillus fumigatus antigens are responsible for the development of several respiratory diseases including asthma. The aim of this study was to measure the mass fraction of Asp f 1, a major allergen of Asperillus fumigatus in 37 indoor dust samples collected from four poultry farms in a rural area of the Zagreb County (Croatia) using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. More than 62 % of dust samples had detectable Asp f 1 levels (limit of detection 3.6 ng g(-1)). The overall mean Asp f 1 level was 17.9 ng g(-1) [range (3.8 to 72.4) ng g(-1)]. Satisfactory results were obtained for analytical within-run imprecision (6.7 %), between-run imprecision (10.5 %), and accuracy (91 % to 115 %). Microclimate parameters (air temperature, relative humidity, and velocity) were within the recommended ranges in all poultry farms. This study has shown that Asp f 1 settles on dust at poultry farms and that occupational exposure to this allergen deserves monitoring in livestock buildings. PMID:20587390

  10. Identification of Hypoxia-Inducible Target Genes of Aspergillus fumigatus by Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Cellular Respiration as an Important Contributor to Hypoxic Survival

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Kristin; Pähtz, Vera; Hillmann, Falk; Vaknin, Yakir; Schmidt-Heck, Wolfgang; Roth, Martin; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Osherov, Nir; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic, airborne pathogen that causes invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. During the infection process, A. fumigatus is challenged by hypoxic microenvironments occurring in inflammatory, necrotic tissue. To gain further insights into the adaptation mechanism, A. fumigatus was cultivated in an oxygen-controlled chemostat under hypoxic and normoxic conditions. Transcriptome analysis revealed a significant increase in transcripts associated with cell wall polysaccharide metabolism, amino acid and metal ion transport, nitrogen metabolism, and glycolysis. A concomitant reduction in transcript levels was observed with cellular trafficking and G-protein-coupled signaling. To learn more about the functional roles of hypoxia-induced transcripts, we deleted A. fumigatus genes putatively involved in reactive nitrogen species detoxification (fhpA), NAD+ regeneration (frdA and osmA), nitrogen metabolism (niaD and niiA), and respiration (rcfB). We show that the nitric oxygen (NO)-detoxifying flavohemoprotein gene fhpA is strongly induced by hypoxia independent of the nitrogen source but is dispensable for hypoxic survival. By deleting the nitrate reductase gene niaD, the nitrite reductase gene niiA, and the two fumarate reductase genes frdA and osmA, we found that alternative electron acceptors, such as nitrate and fumarate, do not have a significant impact on growth of A. fumigatus during hypoxia, but functional mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes are essential under these conditions. Inhibition studies indicated that primarily complexes III and IV play a crucial role in the hypoxic growth of A. fumigatus. PMID:25084861

  11. Changes in Atmospheric CO2 Influence the Allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus fungal spore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang-Yona, N.; Levin, Y.; Dannemoller, K. C.; Yarden, O.; Peccia, J.; Rudich, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Increased allergic susceptibility has been documented without a comprehensive understanding for its causes. Therefore understanding trends and mechanisms of allergy inducing agents is essential. In this study we investigated whether elevated atmospheric CO2 levels can affect the allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus, a common allergenic fungal species. Both direct exposure to changing CO2 levels during fungal growth, and indirect exposure through changes in the C:N ratios in the growth media were inspected. We determined the allergenicity of the spores through two types of immunoassays, accompanied with genes expression analysis, and proteins relative quantification. We show that fungi grown under present day CO2 levels (392 ppm) exhibit 8.5 and 3.5 fold higher allergenicity compared to fungi grown at preindustrial (280 ppm) and double (560 ppm) CO2 levels, respectively. A corresponding trend is observed in the expression of genes encoding for known allergenic proteins and in the major allergen Asp f1 concentrations, possibly due to physiological changes such as respiration rates and the nitrogen content of the fungus, influenced by the CO2 concentrations. Increased carbon and nitrogen levels in the growth medium also lead to a significant increase in the allergenicity, for which we propose two different biological mechanisms. We suggest that climatic changes such as increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and changes in the fungal growth medium may impact the ability of allergenic fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus to induce allergies. The effect of changing CO2 concentrations on the total allergenicity per 10^7 spores of A. fumigatus (A), the major allergen Asp f1 concentration in ng per 10^7 spores (B), and the gene expression by RT-PCR (C). The error bars represent the standard error of the mean.

  12. Emergence of Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus and Spread of a Single Resistance Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Snelders, Eveline; van der Lee, Henrich A. L; Kuijpers, Judith; Rijs, Anthonius J. M. M; Varga, János; Samson, Robert A; Mellado, Emilia; Donders, A. Rogier T; Melchers, Willem J. G; Verweij, Paul E

    2008-01-01

    Background Resistance to triazoles was recently reported in Aspergillus fumigatus isolates cultured from patients with invasive aspergillosis. The prevalence of azole resistance in A. fumigatus is unknown. We investigated the prevalence and spread of azole resistance using our culture collection that contained A. fumigatus isolates collected between 1994 and 2007. Methods and Findings We investigated the prevalence of itraconazole (ITZ) resistance in 1,912 clinical A. fumigatus isolates collected from 1,219 patients in our University Medical Centre over a 14-y period. The spread of resistance was investigated by analyzing 147 A. fumigatus isolates from 101 patients, from 28 other medical centres in The Netherlands and 317 isolates from six other countries. The isolates were characterized using phenotypic and molecular methods. The electronic patient files were used to determine the underlying conditions of the patients and the presence of invasive aspergillosis. ITZ-resistant isolates were found in 32 of 1,219 patients. All cases were observed after 1999 with an annual prevalence of 1.7% to 6%. The ITZ-resistant isolates also showed elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations of voriconazole, ravuconazole, and posaconazole. A substitution of leucine 98 for histidine in the cyp51A gene, together with two copies of a 34-bp sequence in tandem in the gene promoter (TR/L98H), was found to be the dominant resistance mechanism. Microsatellite analysis indicated that the ITZ-resistant isolates were genetically distinct but clustered. The ITZ-sensitive isolates were not more likely to be responsible for invasive aspergillosis than the ITZ-resistant isolates. ITZ resistance was found in isolates from 13 patients (12.8%) from nine other medical centres in The Netherlands, of which 69% harboured the TR/L98H substitution, and in six isolates originating from four other countries. Conclusions Azole resistance has emerged in A. fumigatus and might be more prevalent than currently

  13. Identification of possible targets of the Aspergillus fumigatus CRZ1 homologue, CrzA

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Calcineurin, a serine/threonine-specific protein phosphatase, plays an important role in the control of cell morphology and virulence in fungi. Calcineurin regulates localization and activity of a transcription factor called CRZ1. Recently, we characterize Aspergillus fumigatus CRZ1 homologue, AfCrzA. Here, we investigate which pathways are influenced by A. fumigatus AfCrzA during a short pulse of calcium by comparatively determining the transcriptional profile of A. fumigatus wild type and ΔAfcrzA mutant strains. Results We were able to observe 3,622 genes modulated in at least one timepoint in the mutant when compared to the wild type strain (3,211 and 411 at 10 and 30 minutes, respectively). Decreased mRNA abundance in the ΔcrzA was seen for genes encoding calcium transporters, transcription factors and genes that could be directly or indirectly involved in calcium metabolism. Increased mRNA accumulation was observed for some genes encoding proteins involved in stress response. AfCrzA overexpression in A. fumigatus increases the expression of several of these genes. The deleted strain of one of these genes, AfRcnA, belonging to a class of endogenous calcineurin regulators, calcipressins, had more calcineurin activity after exposure to calcium and was less sensitive to menadione 30 μM, hydrogen peroxide 2.5 mM, EGTA 25 mM, and MnCl2 25 mM. We constructed deletion, overexpression, and GFP fusion protein for the closely related A. nidulans AnRcnA. GFP::RcnA was mostly detected along the germling, did not accumulate in the nuclei and its location is not affected by the cellular response to calcium chloride. Conclusion We have performed a transcriptional profiling analysis of the A. fumigatus ΔAfcrzA mutant strain exposed to calcium stress. This provided an excellent opportunity to identify genes and pathways that are under the influence of AfCrzA. AfRcnA, one of these selected genes, encodes a modulator of calcineurin activity. Concomitantly with A

  14. Functional characterization of the Woronin body protein WscA of the pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Leonhardt, Yannik; Beck, Julia; Ebel, Frank

    2016-05-01

    Woronin bodies are fungal-specific organelles that seal damaged hyphal compartments and thereby contribute to the stress resistance and virulence of filamentous fungi. In this study, we have characterized the Aspergillus fumigatus Woronin body protein WscA. WscA is homologous to Neurospora crassa WSC, a protein that was shown to be important for biogenesis, segregation and positioning of Woronin bodies. WscA and WSC both belong to the Mpv17/PMP22 family of peroxisomal membrane proteins. An A. fumigatus ΔwscA mutant is unable to form Woronin bodies, and HexA, the protein that forms the crystal-like core of Woronin bodies, accumulates in large peroxisomes instead. The ΔwscA mutant showed no defect in segregation of HexA containing organelles, as has been reported for the corresponding N. crassa mutant. In the peroxisomes of the A. fumigatus mutant, HexA assembles into compact, donut-shaped structures. Experiments with GFP fusion proteins revealed that WscA function is highly sensitive to these modifications, in particular to an N-terminal fusion of GFP. In N. crassa, WSC was shown to be essentially required for Woronin body positioning, but the respective domain is not conserved in most other Pezizomycotina, including A. fumigatus. We have recently found evidence that HexA may have a direct role in WB positioning, since a HexA-GFP fusion protein, lacking a functional PTS1 motif, is efficiently recruited to the septal pore. In the current study we show that this targeting of HexA-GFP is independent of WscA. PMID:27016805

  15. Identification of ferrichrome- and ferrioxamine B-mediated iron uptake by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Park, Yong-Sung; Kim, Ju-Yeon; Yun, Cheol-Won

    2016-05-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic fungal pathogen for immunocompromised patients, and genes involved in siderophore metabolism have been identified as virulence factors. Recently, we identified the membrane transporters sit1 and sit2, which are putative virulence factors of A. fumigatus; sit1 and sit2 are homologous to yeast Sit1, and sit1 and sit2 gene expression was up-regulated after iron depletion. When expressed heterologously in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, sit1 and sit2 were localized to the plasma membrane; sit1 efficiently complemented ferrichrome (FC) and ferrioxamine B (FOB) uptake in yeast cells, whereas sit2 complemented only FC uptake. Deletion of sit1 resulted in a decrease in FOB and FC uptake, and deletion of sit2 resulted in a decrease in FC uptake in A. fumigatus It is of interest that a sit1 and sit2 double-deletion mutant resulted in a synergistic decrease in FC uptake activity. Both sit1 and sit2 were localized to the plasma membrane in A. fumigatus The expression levels of the sit1 and sit2 genes were dependent on hapX under low-but not high-iron conditions. Furthermore, mirB, and sidA gene expression was up-regulated and sreA expression down-regulated when sit1 and sit2 were deleted. Although sit1 and sit2 failed to affect mouse survival rate, these genes affected conidial killing activity. Taken together, our results suggest that sit1 and sit2 are siderophore transporters and putative virulence factors localized to the plasma membrane. PMID:26929401

  16. A proteomic approach to investigating gene cluster expression and secondary metabolite functionality in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Owens, Rebecca A; Hammel, Stephen; Sheridan, Kevin J; Jones, Gary W; Doyle, Sean

    2014-01-01

    A combined proteomics and metabolomics approach was utilised to advance the identification and characterisation of secondary metabolites in Aspergillus fumigatus. Here, implementation of a shotgun proteomic strategy led to the identification of non-redundant mycelial proteins (n = 414) from A. fumigatus including proteins typically under-represented in 2-D proteome maps: proteins with multiple transmembrane regions, hydrophobic proteins and proteins with extremes of molecular mass and pI. Indirect identification of secondary metabolite cluster expression was also achieved, with proteins (n = 18) from LaeA-regulated clusters detected, including GliT encoded within the gliotoxin biosynthetic cluster. Biochemical analysis then revealed that gliotoxin significantly attenuates H2O2-induced oxidative stress in A. fumigatus (p>0.0001), confirming observations from proteomics data. A complementary 2-D/LC-MS/MS approach further elucidated significantly increased abundance (p<0.05) of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), NADH-quinone oxidoreductase and the gliotoxin oxidoreductase GliT, along with significantly attenuated abundance (p<0.05) of a heat shock protein, an oxidative stress protein and an autolysis-associated chitinase, when gliotoxin and H2O2 were present, compared to H2O2 alone. Moreover, gliotoxin exposure significantly reduced the abundance of selected proteins (p<0.05) involved in de novo purine biosynthesis. Significantly elevated abundance (p<0.05) of a key enzyme, xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase Xpt1, utilised in purine salvage, was observed in the presence of H2O2 and gliotoxin. This work provides new insights into the A. fumigatus proteome and experimental strategies, plus mechanistic data pertaining to gliotoxin functionality in the organism. PMID:25198175

  17. Ergot cluster-encoded catalase is required for synthesis of chanoclavine-I in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Goetz, Kerry E; Coyle, Christine M; Cheng, Johnathan Z; O'Connor, Sarah E; Panaccione, Daniel G

    2011-06-01

    Genes required for ergot alkaloid biosynthesis are clustered in the genomes of several fungi. Several conserved ergot cluster genes have been hypothesized, and in some cases demonstrated, to encode early steps of the pathway shared among fungi that ultimately make different ergot alkaloid end products. The deduced amino acid sequence of one of these conserved genes (easC) indicates a catalase as the product, but a role for a catalase in the ergot alkaloid pathway has not been established. We disrupted easC of Aspergillus fumigatus by homologous recombination with a truncated copy of that gene. The resulting mutant (ΔeasC) failed to produce the ergot alkaloids typically observed in A. fumigatus, including chanoclavine-I, festuclavine, and fumigaclavines B, A, and C. The ΔeasC mutant instead accumulated N-methyl-4-dimethylallyltryptophan (N-Me-DMAT), an intermediate recently shown to accumulate in Claviceps purpurea strains mutated at ccsA (called easE in A. fumigatus) (Lorenz et al. Appl Environ Microbiol 76:1822-1830, 2010). A ΔeasE disruption mutant of A. fumigatus also failed to accumulate chanoclavine-I and downstream ergot alkaloids and, instead, accumulated N-Me-DMAT. Feeding chanoclavine-I to the ΔeasC mutant restored ergot alkaloid production. Complementation of either ΔeasC or ΔeasE mutants with the respective wild-type allele also restored ergot alkaloid production. The easC gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and the protein product displayed in vitro catalase activity with H(2)O(2) but did not act, in isolation, on N-Me-DMAT as substrate. The data indicate that the products of both easC (catalase) and easE (FAD-dependent oxidoreductase) are required for conversion of N-Me-DMAT to chanoclavine-I. PMID:21409592

  18. A Proteomic Approach to Investigating Gene Cluster Expression and Secondary Metabolite Functionality in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Rebecca A.; Hammel, Stephen; Sheridan, Kevin J.; Jones, Gary W.; Doyle, Sean

    2014-01-01

    A combined proteomics and metabolomics approach was utilised to advance the identification and characterisation of secondary metabolites in Aspergillus fumigatus. Here, implementation of a shotgun proteomic strategy led to the identification of non-redundant mycelial proteins (n = 414) from A. fumigatus including proteins typically under-represented in 2-D proteome maps: proteins with multiple transmembrane regions, hydrophobic proteins and proteins with extremes of molecular mass and pI. Indirect identification of secondary metabolite cluster expression was also achieved, with proteins (n = 18) from LaeA-regulated clusters detected, including GliT encoded within the gliotoxin biosynthetic cluster. Biochemical analysis then revealed that gliotoxin significantly attenuates H2O2-induced oxidative stress in A. fumigatus (p>0.0001), confirming observations from proteomics data. A complementary 2-D/LC-MS/MS approach further elucidated significantly increased abundance (p<0.05) of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), NADH-quinone oxidoreductase and the gliotoxin oxidoreductase GliT, along with significantly attenuated abundance (p<0.05) of a heat shock protein, an oxidative stress protein and an autolysis-associated chitinase, when gliotoxin and H2O2 were present, compared to H2O2 alone. Moreover, gliotoxin exposure significantly reduced the abundance of selected proteins (p<0.05) involved in de novo purine biosynthesis. Significantly elevated abundance (p<0.05) of a key enzyme, xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase Xpt1, utilised in purine salvage, was observed in the presence of H2O2 and gliotoxin. This work provides new insights into the A. fumigatus proteome and experimental strategies, plus mechanistic data pertaining to gliotoxin functionality in the organism. PMID:25198175

  19. Transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of the Aspergillus fumigatus hypoxia response using an oxygen-controlled fermenter

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus is a mold responsible for the majority of cases of aspergillosis in humans. To survive in the human body, A. fumigatus must adapt to microenvironments that are often characterized by low nutrient and oxygen availability. Recent research suggests that the ability of A. fumigatus and other pathogenic fungi to adapt to hypoxia contributes to their virulence. However, molecular mechanisms of A. fumigatus hypoxia adaptation are poorly understood. Thus, to better understand how A. fumigatus adapts to hypoxic microenvironments found in vivo during human fungal pathogenesis, the dynamic changes of the fungal transcriptome and proteome in hypoxia were investigated over a period of 24 hours utilizing an oxygen-controlled fermenter system. Results Significant increases in transcripts associated with iron and sterol metabolism, the cell wall, the GABA shunt, and transcriptional regulators were observed in response to hypoxia. A concomitant reduction in transcripts was observed with ribosome and terpenoid backbone biosynthesis, TCA cycle, amino acid metabolism and RNA degradation. Analysis of changes in transcription factor mRNA abundance shows that hypoxia induces significant positive and negative changes that may be important for regulating the hypoxia response in this pathogenic mold. Growth in hypoxia resulted in changes in the protein levels of several glycolytic enzymes, but these changes were not always reflected by the corresponding transcriptional profiling data. However, a good correlation overall (R2 = 0.2, p < 0.05) existed between the transcriptomic and proteomics datasets for all time points. The lack of correlation between some transcript levels and their subsequent protein levels suggests another regulatory layer of the hypoxia response in A. fumigatus. Conclusions Taken together, our data suggest a robust cellular response that is likely regulated both at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level in response to hypoxia

  20. Aspergillus fumigatus Asp fI DNA is prevalent in sputum from patients with coal workers' pneumoconiosis.

    PubMed

    Nomoto, Y; Kuwano, K; Hagimoto, N; Kunitake, R; Tsuda, M; Hara, N

    1997-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an apportunistic nosocomial pathogen in immunosuppressed patients or in the lesion where the local defense mechanism was impaired. Patients with pneumoconiosis are known to be susceptible to chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis. Therefore, we hypothesized that A. fumigatus might be prevalent in sputum from patients with coal workers' pneumoconiosis, and also that asthmatic symptoms in patients with coal workers' pneumoconiosis may be associated with the presence of A. fumigatus. We tested for A. fumigatus in the sputum from patients with coal workers' pneumoconiosis by nested polymerase chain reaction amplification of the Asp fI gene. Sequences specific for this gene were detectable in 5 of 11 (45.5%) patients with coal workers' pneumoconiosis with asthmatic symptoms (group A), 5 of 10 (50.0%) patients with coal workers' pneumoconiosis without asthmatic symptoms (group B) and only 1 of 9 (11.1%) patients with chronic airflow obstruction without pneumoconiosis (group C). The frequency of the Asp fI gene detection was significantly higher in groups A and B than in group C (p < 0.05). The prevalence of A. fumigatus was not associated with asthmatic symptoms. These results demonstrated that A. fumigatus was prevalent in patients with coal workers' pneumoconiosis. We speculate that colonization with A. fumigatus may be associated with this disease. PMID:9257365

  1. Divergent Targets of Aspergillus fumigatus AcuK and AcuM Transcription Factors during Growth In Vitro versus Invasive Disease

    PubMed Central

    Pongpom, Monsicha; Liu, Hong; Xu, Wenjie; Snarr, Brendan D.; Sheppard, Donald C.; Mitchell, Aaron P.

    2014-01-01

    In Aspergillus nidulans, the AcuK and AcuM transcription factors form a complex that regulates gluconeogenesis. In Aspergillus fumigatus, AcuM governs gluconeogenesis and iron acquisition in vitro and virulence in immunosuppressed mice. However, the function of AcuK was previously unknown. Through in vitro studies, we found that A. fumigatus ΔacuK single and ΔacuK ΔacuM double mutants had impaired gluconeogenesis and iron acquisition, similar to the ΔacuM mutant. Also, the ΔacuK, ΔacuM, and ΔacuK ΔacuM mutants had similar virulence defects in mice. However, the ΔacuK mutant had a milder defect in extracellular siderophore activity and induction of epithelial cell damage in vitro than did the ΔacuM mutant. Moreover, overexpression of acuM in the ΔacuK mutant altered expression of 3 genes and partially restored growth under iron-limited conditions, suggesting that AcuM can govern some genes independently of AcuK. Although the ΔacuK and ΔacuM mutants had very similar transcriptional profiles in vitro, their transcriptional profiles during murine pulmonary infection differed both from their in vitro profiles and from each other. While AcuK and AcuM governed the expression of only a few iron-responsive genes in vivo, they influenced the expression of other virulence-related genes, such as hexA and dvrA. Therefore, in A. fumigatus, while AcuK and AcuM likely function as part of the same complex, they can also function independently of each other. Furthermore, AcuK and AcuM have different target genes in vivo than in vitro, suggesting that in vivo infection stimulates unique transcriptional regulatory pathways in A. fumigatus. PMID:25534941

  2. Vaccinations with recombinant variants of Aspergillus fumigatus allergen Asp f 3 protect mice against invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Ito, James I; Lyons, Joseph M; Hong, Teresa B; Tamae, Daniel; Liu, Yi-Kuang; Wilczynski, Sharon P; Kalkum, Markus

    2006-09-01

    A vaccine that effectively protects immunocompromised patients against invasive aspergillosis is a novel approach to a universally fatal disease. Here we present a rationale for selection and in vivo testing of potential protein vaccine candidates, based on the modification of an immunodominant fungal allergen for which we demonstrate immunoprotective properties. Pulmonary exposure to viable Aspergillus fumigatus conidia as well as vaccination with crude hyphal extracts protects corticosteroid-immunosuppressed mice against invasive aspergillosis (J. I. Ito and J. M. Lyons, J. Infect. Dis. 186:869-871, 2002). Sera from the latter animals contain antibodies with numerous and diverse antigen specificities, whereas sera from conidium-exposed mice contain antibodies predominantly against allergen Asp f 3 (and some against Asp f 1), as identified by mass spectrometry. Subcutaneous immunization with recombinant Asp f 3 (rAsp f 3) but not with Asp f 1 was protective. The lungs of Asp f 3-vaccinated survivors were free of hyphae and showed only a patchy low-density infiltrate of mononuclear cells. In contrast, the nonimmunized animals died with invasive hyphal elements and a compact peribronchial infiltrate of predominantly polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Three truncated versions of rAsp f 3, spanning amino acid residues 15 to 168 [rAsp f 3(15-168)], 1 to 142, and 15 to 142 and lacking the known bipartite sequence required for IgE binding, were also shown to be protective. Remarkably, vaccination with either rAsp f 3(1-142) or rAsp f 3(15-168) drastically diminished the production of antigen-specific antibodies compared to vaccination with the full-length rAsp f 3(1-168) or the double-truncated rAsp f 3(15-142) version. Our findings point to a possible mechanism in which Asp f 3 vaccination induces a cellular immune response that upon infection results in the activation of lymphocytes that in turn enhances and/or restores the function of corticosteroid-suppressed macrophages

  3. Suppression of Epithelial Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 Activation by Extracts of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Bhushan, Bharat; Homma, Tetsuya; Norton, James E.; Sha, Quan; Siebert, Jason; Gupta, Dave S.; Schroeder, James W.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (AF) is often pathogenic in immune-deficient individuals and can cause life-threatening infections such as invasive aspergillosis. The pulmonary epithelial response to AF infection and the signaling pathways associated with it have not been completely studied. BEAS-2B cells or primary human bronchial epithelial cells were exposed to extracts of AF and challenged with IFN-β or the Toll-like receptor 3 agonist double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Cytokine release (B-cell activating factor of the TNF family [BAFF], IFN-γ–induced protein-10 [IP-10], etc.) was assessed. AF extract was separated into low-molecular-weight (LMW) and high-molecular-weight (HMW) fractions using ultra 4 centrifugal force filters to characterize the activity. Real-time PCR was performed with a TaqMan method, and protein estimation was performed using ELISA techniques. Western blot was performed to assess phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1). IFN-β and dsRNA induced messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of BAFF (350- and 452-fold, respectively [n = 3]) and IP-10 (1,081- and 3,044-fold, respectively [n = 3]) in BEAS-2B cells. When cells were pretreated with AF extract for 1 hour and then stimulated with IFN-β or dsRNA for 6 hours, induction of BAFF and IP-10 mRNA was strongly suppressed relative to levels produced by IFN-β and dsRNA alone. When compared with control, soluble BAFF and IP-10 protein levels were maximally suppressed in dsRNA-stimulated wells treated with 1:320 wt/vol AF extract (P < 0.005). Upon molecular size fractionation, a LMW fraction of AF extract had no measurable suppressive effect on IP-10 mRNA expression. However, a HMW fraction of the AF extract significantly suppressed IP-10 expression in BEAS-2B cells that were stimulated with dsRNA or IFN-β. When BEAS-2B cells were pretreated with AF extract and then stimulated with IFN-β, reduced levels of pSTAT1 were observed, with maximum suppression at 4 and 6

  4. Suppression of epithelial signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 activation by extracts of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Bhushan, Bharat; Homma, Tetsuya; Norton, James E; Sha, Quan; Siebert, Jason; Gupta, Dave S; Schroeder, James W; Schleimer, Robert P

    2015-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (AF) is often pathogenic in immune-deficient individuals and can cause life-threatening infections such as invasive aspergillosis. The pulmonary epithelial response to AF infection and the signaling pathways associated with it have not been completely studied. BEAS-2B cells or primary human bronchial epithelial cells were exposed to extracts of AF and challenged with IFN-β or the Toll-like receptor 3 agonist double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Cytokine release (B-cell activating factor of the TNF family [BAFF], IFN-γ-induced protein-10 [IP-10], etc.) was assessed. AF extract was separated into low-molecular-weight (LMW) and high-molecular-weight (HMW) fractions using ultra 4 centrifugal force filters to characterize the activity. Real-time PCR was performed with a TaqMan method, and protein estimation was performed using ELISA techniques. Western blot was performed to assess phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1). IFN-β and dsRNA induced messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of BAFF (350- and 452-fold, respectively [n = 3]) and IP-10 (1,081- and 3,044-fold, respectively [n = 3]) in BEAS-2B cells. When cells were pretreated with AF extract for 1 hour and then stimulated with IFN-β or dsRNA for 6 hours, induction of BAFF and IP-10 mRNA was strongly suppressed relative to levels produced by IFN-β and dsRNA alone. When compared with control, soluble BAFF and IP-10 protein levels were maximally suppressed in dsRNA-stimulated wells treated with 1:320 wt/vol AF extract (P < 0.005). Upon molecular size fractionation, a LMW fraction of AF extract had no measurable suppressive effect on IP-10 mRNA expression. However, a HMW fraction of the AF extract significantly suppressed IP-10 expression in BEAS-2B cells that were stimulated with dsRNA or IFN-β. When BEAS-2B cells were pretreated with AF extract and then stimulated with IFN-β, reduced levels of pSTAT1 were observed, with maximum suppression at 4 and 6

  5. Aspergillus infections in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    King, Jill; Brunel, Shan F; Warris, Adilia

    2016-07-01

    Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) suffer from chronic lung infection and airway inflammation. Respiratory failure secondary to chronic or recurrent infection remains the commonest cause of death and accounts for over 90% of mortality. Bacteria as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia complex have been regarded the main CF pathogens and their role in progressive lung decline has been studied extensively. Little attention has been paid to the role of Aspergillus spp. and other filamentous fungi in the pathogenesis of non-ABPA (allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis) respiratory disease in CF, despite their frequent recovery in respiratory samples. It has become more apparent however, that Aspergillus spp. may play an important role in chronic lung disease in CF. Research delineating the underlying mechanisms of Aspergillus persistence and infection in the CF lung and its link to lung deterioration is lacking. This review summarizes the Aspergillus disease phenotypes observed in CF, discusses the role of CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator)-protein in innate immune responses and new treatment modalities. PMID:27177733

  6. Aspergillus fumigatus densities in relation to forest succession and edge effects: implications for wildlife health in modified environments.

    PubMed

    Perrott, John K; Armstrong, Doug P

    2011-09-01

    The hihi (or stitchbird, Notiomystis cincta) is a New Zealand endemic nectivorous forest bird now restricted to one pristine island. Relocation to establish viable hihi populations on other islands has been the main conservation action since the early 1980s. To date, hihi reintroductions to young growth islands have had poor success despite the absence of mammalian predators. It was thought that past failures were due to food limitation, but research suggests that food limitation alone cannot account for their poor survivorship. Post-mortems of dead hihi has shown that aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus is a major mortality factor and there is current concern regarding their susceptibility to this fungal disease. In this paper we develop and assess the hypothesis that A. fumigatus limits hihi population viability on modified islands, and suggest that A. fumigatus is a potential indicator species for habitat disturbance. We report that the prevalence of A. fumigatus spores in the soil is much higher in young growth forests and forest edge habitats. Results suggest that hihi mortality rates between islands are potentially due to differential exposure to A. fumigatus spores. We assess relationships between habitat disturbance, A. fumigatus contamination and hihi mortality rates by testing the following predictions: (1) that densities of A. fumigatus spores will be higher on modified islands, (2) that densities of A. fumigatus spores on islands will be correlated with hihi mortality rates and (3) that densities of A. fumigatus spores will be higher at the forest edge than in the interior. We test each of these predictions using soil samples, air samples and samples of nectar from plant species fed on by hihi. PMID:22076057

  7. Interplay between Gliotoxin Resistance, Secretion, and the Methyl/Methionine Cycle in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Rebecca A.; O'Keeffe, Grainne; Smith, Elizabeth B.; Dolan, Stephen K.; Hammel, Stephen; Sheridan, Kevin J.; Fitzpatrick, David A.; Keane, Thomas M.

    2015-01-01

    Mechanistic studies on gliotoxin biosynthesis and self-protection in Aspergillus fumigatus, both of which require the gliotoxin oxidoreductase GliT, have revealed a rich landscape of highly novel biochemistries, yet key aspects of this complex molecular architecture remain obscure. Here we show that an A. fumigatus ΔgliA strain is completely deficient in gliotoxin secretion but still retains the ability to efflux bisdethiobis(methylthio)gliotoxin (BmGT). This correlates with a significant increase in sensitivity to exogenous gliotoxin because gliotoxin trapped inside the cell leads to (i) activation of the gli cluster, as disabling gli cluster activation, via gliZ deletion, attenuates the sensitivity of an A. fumigatus ΔgliT strain to gliotoxin, thus implicating cluster activation as a factor in gliotoxin sensitivity, and (ii) increased methylation activity due to excess substrate (dithiol gliotoxin) for the gliotoxin bis-thiomethyltransferase GtmA. Intracellular dithiol gliotoxin is oxidized by GliT and subsequently effluxed by GliA. In the absence of GliA, gliotoxin persists in the cell and is converted to BmGT, with levels significantly higher than those in the wild type. Similarly, in the ΔgliT strain, gliotoxin oxidation is impeded, and methylation occurs unchecked, leading to significant S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) depletion and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) overproduction. This in turn significantly contributes to the observed hypersensitivity of gliT-deficient A. fumigatus to gliotoxin. Our observations reveal a key role for GliT in preventing dysregulation of the methyl/methionine cycle to control intracellular SAM and SAH homeostasis during gliotoxin biosynthesis and exposure. Moreover, we reveal attenuated GliT abundance in the A. fumigatus ΔgliK strain, but not the ΔgliG strain, following exposure to gliotoxin, correlating with relative sensitivities. Overall, we illuminate new systems interactions that have evolved in gliotoxin-producing, compared

  8. Inhibition of conidiophore development in Aspergillus fumigatus by an Escherichia coli DH5α strain, a promising antifungal candidate against aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Balhara, M; Ruhil, S; Kumar, M; Dhankhar, S; Chhillar, A K

    2014-03-01

    The opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus produces a massive number of asexual spores (conidia) as the primary means of dispersal, survival, genome protection and infection of hosts. In this report, we investigated secretory and cytosolic proteins of non-pathogenic bacterial species (mostly belonging to human microbiome) for antifungal potential against A. fumigatus, A. flavus and A. niger. Our preliminary results revealed that cytosolic proteins of E. coli DH5α were most active and the less toxic against various pathogenic isolates of A. fumigatus (the major pathogenic species), depicting a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 62.50 μg/mL, 62.50 μg/mL and 12.50 μg/disc using microbroth dilution assay (MDA), percentage spore germination inhibition assay (PSGI) and disc diffusion assay (DDA), respectively. E. coli protein was non-toxic against human erythrocytes at doses up to 1000 μg/mL as compared to standard drug, amphotericin B which lysed 100% of erythrocytes at a concentration of 37.50 μg/mL. Time kill analysis proved it to be fungicidal in a concentration and time-dependent manner. Scanning electron microscopic studies (SEM) were carried out to prevail what kind of damage it causes to A. fumigatus. SEM results reported that conidiophore (structures forming conidia) development was halted as a major consequence, reducing the number of conidiophores to insignificant values as well as alteration in their morphological attributes. This feature may contribute to the development of new prevention strategies against Aspergillus infections. Hyphal atrophy was also observed, evidenced by shrinking and flattening of hyphal walls and reduced, abrupt hyphal branching. Such actions may effectively reduce the invasive ability of Aspergillus as well as it can sterilize the fungal burden by obstructing the conidiation pathway of A. fumigatus. Hence, E. coli DH5α, being a commensal species, can lead to the development of antifungal molecule with novel

  9. Morphological effects of lipopeptides against Aspergillus fumigatus correlate with activities against (1,3)-beta-D-glucan synthase.

    PubMed Central

    Kurtz, M B; Heath, I B; Marrinan, J; Dreikorn, S; Onishi, J; Douglas, C

    1994-01-01

    The lipopeptide antifungal agents, echinocandins, papulacandins, and pneumocandins, kill Candida albicans by inhibiting glucan synthesis. For this fungus, there is a good correlation of in vitro enzyme inhibition with in vitro assays of MICs. Semisynthetic lipopeptides such as cilofungin, LY303366, L-693,989, and L-733,560 have activity in vivo against Aspergillus infections but appear to be inactive in broth dilution in vitro tests (MICs, > 128 micrograms/ml). To understand how compounds which lack activity in vitro can have good in vivo activity, we monitored the effect of pneumocandins on the morphology of Aspergillus fumigatus and A, flavus strains by light microscopy and electron microscopy and related the changes in growth to inhibition of glucan synthesis. Pneumocandin B0 caused profound changes in hyphal growth; light micrographs showed abnormally swollen germ tubes, highly branched hyphal tips, and many cells with distended balloon shapes. Aspergillus electron micrographs confirmed that lipopeptides produce changes in cell walls; drug-treated germlings showed very stubby growth with thick walls and a conspicuous dark outer layer which was much thicker in the subapical regions. The rest of the hyphal tip ultrastructure was unaffected by the drug, indicating considerable specificity for the primary target. The drug-induced growth alteration produced very compact clumps in broth dilution wells, making it possible to score the morphological effect macroscopically. The morphological changes could be assayed quantitatively by using conventional broth microdilution susceptibility assay conditions. We defined the endpoint as the lowest concentration required to produce the morphological effect and called it the minimum effective concentration to distinguish it from the no-growth endpoints used in MIC determinations. The minimum effective concentration assay was related to inhibition of glucan synthase activity in vitro and may provide a starting point for

  10. Identification and Characterization of an Antifungal Protein, AfAFPR9, Produced by Marine-Derived Aspergillus fumigatus R9.

    PubMed

    Rao, Qi; Guo, Wenbin; Chen, Xinhua

    2015-05-01

    A fungal strain, R9, was isolated from the South Atlantic sediment sample and identified as Aspergillus fumigatus. An antifungal protein, AfAFPR9, was purified from the culture supernatant of Aspergillus fumigatus R9. AfAFPR9 was identified to be restrictocin, which is a member of the ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs), by MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS. AfAFPR9 displayed antifungal activity against plant pathogenic Fusarium oxysporum, Alternaria longipes, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Paecilomyces variotii, and Trichoderma viride at minimum inhibitory concentrations of 0.6, 0.6, 1.2, 1.2, and 2.4 μg/disc, respectively. Moreover, AfAFPR9 exhibited a certain extent of thermostability, and metal ion and denaturant tolerance. The iodoacetamide assay showed that the disulfide bridge in AfAFPR9 was indispensable for its antifungal action. The cDNA encoding for AfAFPR9 was cloned from A. fumigatus R9 by RTPCR and heterologously expressed in E. coli. The recombinant AfAFPR9 protein exhibited obvious antifungal activity against C. gloeosporioides, T. viride, and A. longipes. These results reveal the antifungal properties of a RIP member (AfAFPR9) from marine-derived Aspergillus fumigatus and indicated its potential application in controlling plant pathogenic fungi. PMID:25394604