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Sample records for aspergillus fumigatus scleritis

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Fumitoxins, new mycotoxins from Aspergillus fumigatus Fres.

    PubMed Central

    Debeaupuis, J P; Lafont, P

    1978-01-01

    Extracts of cultures of Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from silage were lethal to chicken embryos. Using this test and thin-layer chromatography, four UV-absorbing toxins, designated as fumitoxins A, B, C and D, were isolated. Analysis and mass spectrometry of crystallized fumitoxin A, the most abundant in the extract, established its molecular formula to be C31H42O8. Infrared, UV spectroscopy, and chemical reactions suggested that fumitoxin A is a steroid. Fumitoxins appear to be clearly different from the previously described toxins recognized in A. fumigatus. PMID:358921

  5. [Aspergillus fumigatus endocarditis in a patient with a biventricular pacemaker].

    PubMed

    Cuesta, José M; Fariñas, María C; Rodilla, Irene G; Salesa, Ricardo; de Berrazueta, José R

    2005-05-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus endocarditis is one of the rarest and severest complications in cardiological patients. We describe a patient with an intracardial pacemaker who was diagnosed as having Aspergillus fumigatus endocarditis. Postmortem examination showed a large, Aspergillus-infected thrombus encased in the right ventricle, pulmonary trunk and main pulmonary branches.

  6. 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.

  7. Global Population Genetic Analysis of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Ashu, Eta Ebasi; Hagen, Ferry; Chowdhary, Anuradha

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitous opportunistic fungal pathogen capable of causing invasive aspergillosis, a globally distributed disease with a mortality rate of up to 90% in high-risk populations. Effective control and prevention of this disease require a thorough understanding of its epidemiology. However, despite significant efforts, the global molecular epidemiology of A. fumigatus remains poorly understood. In this study, we analyzed 2,026 A. fumigatus isolates from 13 countries in four continents using nine highly polymorphic microsatellite markers. Genetic cluster analyses suggest that our global sample of A. fumigatus isolates belonged to eight genetic clusters, with seven of the eight clusters showing broad geographic distributions. We found common signatures of sexual recombination within individual genetic clusters and clear evidence of hybridization between several clusters. Limited but statistically significant genetic differentiations were found among geographic and ecological populations. However, there was abundant evidence for gene flow at the local, regional, and global scales. Interestingly, the triazole-susceptible and triazole-resistant populations showed different population structures, consistent with antifungal drug pressure playing a significant role in local adaptation. Our results suggest that global populations of A. fumigatus are shaped by historical differentiation, contemporary gene flow, sexual reproduction, and the localized antifungal drug selection that is driving clonal expansion of genotypes resistant to multiple triazole drugs. IMPORTANCE The genetic diversity and geographic structure of the human fungal pathogen A. fumigatus have been the subject of many studies. However, most previous studies had relatively limited sample ranges and sizes and/or used genetic markers with low-level polymorphisms. In this paper, we characterize a global collection of strains of A. fumigatus using a panel of 9 highly

  8. Receptor-mediated signaling in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Grice, C. M.; Bertuzzi, M.; Bignell, E. M.

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most pathogenic species among the Aspergilli, and the major fungal agent of human pulmonary infection. To prosper in diverse ecological niches, Aspergilli have evolved numerous mechanisms for adaptive gene regulation, some of which are also crucial for mammalian infection. Among the molecules which govern such responses, integral membrane receptors are thought to be the most amenable to therapeutic modulation. This is due to the localization of these molecular sensors at the periphery of the fungal cell, and to the prevalence of small molecules and licensed drugs which target receptor-mediated signaling in higher eukaryotic cells. In this review we highlight the progress made in characterizing receptor-mediated environmental adaptation in A. fumigatus and its relevance for pathogenicity in mammals. By presenting a first genomic survey of integral membrane proteins in this organism, we highlight an abundance of putative seven transmembrane domain (7TMD) receptors, the majority of which remain uncharacterized. Given the dependency of A. fumigatus upon stress adaptation for colonization and infection of mammalian hosts, and the merits of targeting receptor-mediated signaling as an antifungal strategy, a closer scrutiny of sensory perception and signal transduction in this organism is warranted. PMID:23430083

  9. Prospective Multicenter International Surveillance of Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. 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...

  11. Confocal microscopy of Aspergillus fumigatus keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Avunduk, A M; Beuerman, R W; Varnell, E D; Kaufman, H E

    2003-01-01

    Aim: To use a confocal microscope to characterise the treated and untreated courses of fungal keratitis. Methods: In the first experiment, Aspergillus fumigatus stromal keratitis was produced in both eyes of seven New Zealand white rabbits. In the second experiment, keratitis was induced in right eyes of 20 rabbits. Group 1 rabbits were treated with topical fluconazole, group 2 rabbits received oral fluconazole, and group 3 rabbits were used as controls. The rabbits were examined with a slit lamp and confocal microscope 2, 6, 10, 14, and 20 days after inoculation. The corneal cultures were taken on days 2, 14, and 20 and biopsies were taken on days 2 and 22. Results: On days 14 and 22 confocal microscopy was more sensitive than culture technique in both treated and untreated animals, since not all cases of fungal keratitis can be cultured. Conclusion: This study indicates that confocal microscopy is a rapid and sensitive diagnostic tool for both the early diagnosis and non-invasive follow up of fungal keratitis PMID:12642300

  12. Aspergillus fumigatus: contours of an opportunistic human pathogen.

    PubMed

    McCormick, Allison; Loeffler, Jürgen; Ebel, Frank

    2010-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is currently the major air-borne fungal pathogen. It is able to cause several forms of disease in humans of which invasive aspergillosis is the most severe. The high mortality rate of this disease prompts increased efforts to disclose the basic principles of A. fumigatus pathogenicity. According to our current knowledge, A. fumigatus lacks sophisticated virulence traits; it is nevertheless able to establish infection due to its robustness and ability to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions. This review focuses on two crucial aspects of invasive aspergillosis: (i) properties of A. fumigatus that are relevant during infection and may distinguish it from non-pathogenic Aspergillus species and (ii) interactions of the pathogen with the innate and adaptive immune systems.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus by polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed Central

    Spreadbury, C; Holden, D; Aufauvre-Brown, A; Bainbridge, B; Cohen, J

    1993-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic nosocomial pathogen causing an often fatal pneumonia, invasive aspergillosis (IA), in immunosuppressed patients. Oligonucleotide primers were used to amplify a 401-bp fragment spanning the 26S/intergenic spacer region of the rDNA complex of A. fumigatus by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The primers were highly sensitive and specific: as little as 1 pg of A. fumigatus genomic DNA could be detected, and the primers only amplified DNA from A. fumigatus and not any other fungal, bacterial, viral, or human DNA tested. Using the PCR, we were able to detect A. fumigatus DNA in lung homogenates from immunosuppressed mice experimentally infected with A. fumigatus but not from immunosuppressed uninfected controls. There was 93% correlation between the culture results and the PCR results. In a retrospective clinical study, the sensitivity of the PCR for the detection of A. fumigatus in clinical samples was confirmed by positive amplification in three of three culture-positive respiratory samples from confirmed cases of IA. Because isolation of Aspergillus spp. may reflect contamination and colonization without infection, the feasibility of using the PCR was evaluated by analyzing culture-negative samples from both immunosuppressed patients at high risk for IA and immunocompetent patients with other lung infections. Only 2 of 10 patients were culture negative and PCR positive in the high-risk group, and 2 of 7 patients were culture negative and PCR positive in the immunocompetent group. The results indicate that PCR detection might be a valuable adjunct to current laboratory methods to diagnose IA. Images PMID:8458955

  16. Aspergillus fumigatus challenge increases cytokine levels in nasal lavage fluid.

    PubMed

    Stark, H; Roponen, M; Purokivi, M; Randell, J; Tukiainen, H; Hirvonen, M-R

    2006-12-01

    Several studies have shown an association between exposure in moisture-damaged buildings and adverse health effects. There are several indicator microbes of moisture damage, but Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the best-documented molds provoking health problems in different occupational conditions. We assessed whether inhalation of a commercial A. fumigatus solution would affect cytokine levels (tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-alpha, interleukin [IL]-1beta, IL-4, IL-6, interferon [IFN]-gamma) in nasal lavage fluid (NAL) compared with that evoked by placebo challenge. Twenty-seven subjects were studied: 13 had occupational exposure in a moisture-damaged building, 4 were atopic, and 10 were considered as controls. In all the subjects, the IL-1beta levels were increased significantly both at 6 (p = 0.013) and 24 h (p = .005) after the A. fumigatus challenge compared to placebo. In subjects with previous occupational exposure in a moisture-damaged building, IL-4 concentrations were increased significantly both at 6 (p =.046) and 24 h (p =.008) after the A. fumigatus challenge compared with placebo. Furthermore, in the control group, TNF-alpha levels were significantly increased at 6 h after the A. fumigatus challenge compared to placebo (p = .028). Thus, these data show a link between markers of inflammation in NAL and experimental A. fumigatus challenge.

  17. Aspergillus fumigatus colonization in cystic fibrosis: implications for lung function?

    PubMed

    de Vrankrijker, A M M; van der Ent, C K; van Berkhout, F T; Stellato, R K; Willems, R J L; Bonten, M J M; Wolfs, T F W

    2011-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is commonly found in the respiratory secretions of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Although allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is associated with deterioration of lung function, the effects of A. fumigatus colonization on lung function in the absence of ABPA are not clear. This study was performed in 259 adults and children with CF, without ABPA. A. fumigatus colonization was defined as positivity of >50% of respiratory cultures in a given year. A cross-sectional analysis was performed to study clinical characteristics associated with A. fumigatus colonization. A retrospective cohort analysis was performed to study the effect of A. fumigatus colonization on lung function observed between 2002 and 2007. Longitudinal data were analysed with a linear mixed model. Sixty-one of 259 patients were at least intermittently colonized with A. fumigatus. An association was found between A. fumigatus colonization and increased age and use of inhaled antibiotics. In the longitudinal analysis, 163 patients were grouped according to duration of colonization. After adjustment for confounders, there was no significant difference in lung function between patients colonized for 0 or 1 year and patients with 2-3 or more than 3 years of colonization (p 0.40 and p 0.64) throughout the study. There was no significant difference in lung function decline between groups. Although colonization with A. fumigatus is more commonly found in patients with more severe lung disease and increased treatment burden, it is not independently associated with lower lung function or more severe lung function decline over a 5-year period.

  18. [Nasal, pulmonary, and abomasal aspergillosis (Aspergillus fumigatus) in a calf].

    PubMed

    Breuer, W; Stoll, A; Hörmansdorfer, S; Knubben-Schweizer, G; Hafner-Marx, A; Deischl, K

    2015-07-01

    This study presents a case of nasal aspergillosis in a 17-days old calf (German Fleckvieh): it had been admitted moribund to the Clinic for Ruminants of the University of Munich, and died after a short time. Pathologically, the calf was diagnosed with purulent-necrotizing rhinitis, necrotizing pneumonia, and diphtheroid-necrotizing abomasitis. Histologically, fungal elements were found in all the localizations mentioned before, and mycologically, Aspergillus fumigatus was cultured from nasal cavity. Pathogenesis is discussed.

  19. Characteristics of fungal phytases from Aspergillus fumigatus and Sartorya fumigata.

    PubMed

    Brugger, R; Simões Nunes, C; Hug, D; Vogel, K; Guggenbuhl, P; Mascarello, F; Augem, S; Wyss, M; van Loon, A P G M; Pasamontes, L

    2004-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus phytase has previously been identified as a phytase with a series of favourable properties that may be relevant in animal and human nutrition, both for maximising phytic acid degradation and for increasing mineral and amino acid availability. To study the natural variability in amino acid sequence and its impact on the catalytic properties of the enzyme, we cloned and overexpressed the phytase genes and proteins from six new purported A. fumigatus isolates. Five of these phytases displayed < or= 2 amino acid substitutions and had virtually identical stability and catalytic properties when compared with the previously described A. fumigatus ATCC 13073 phytase. In contrast, the phytase from isolate ATCC 32239 ( Sartorya fumigata, the anamorph of which was identified as A. fumigatus) was more divergent (only 86% amino acid sequence identity), had a higher specific activity with phytic acid, and displayed distinct differences in substrate specificity and pH-activity profile. Finally, comparative experiments confirmed the favourable stability and catalytic properties of A. fumigatus phytase.

  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.

  1. Essential Gene Identification and Drug Target Prioritization in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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 (erg11BΔ, 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

  2. Persistence versus Escape: Aspergillus terreus and Aspergillus fumigatus Employ Different Strategies during Interactions with Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Slesiona, Silvia; Gressler, Markus; Mihlan, Michael; Zaehle, Christoph; Schaller, Martin; Barz, Dagmar; Hube, Bernhard; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Brock, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Invasive bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (IBPA) is a life-threatening disease in immunocompromised patients. Although Aspergillus terreus is frequently found in the environment, A. fumigatus is by far the main cause of IBPA. However, once A. terreus establishes infection in the host, disease is as fatal as A. fumigatus infections. Thus, we hypothesized that the initial steps of disease establishment might be fundamentally different between these two species. Since alveolar macrophages represent one of the first phagocytes facing inhaled conidia, we compared the interaction of A. terreus and A. fumigatus conidia with alveolar macrophages. A. terreus conidia were phagocytosed more rapidly than A. fumigatus conidia, possibly due to higher exposure of β-1,3-glucan and galactomannan on the surface. In agreement, blocking of dectin-1 and mannose receptors significantly reduced phagocytosis of A. terreus, but had only a moderate effect on phagocytosis of A. fumigatus. Once phagocytosed, and in contrast to A. fumigatus, A. terreus did not inhibit acidification of phagolysosomes, but remained viable without signs of germination both in vitro and in immunocompetent mice. The inability of A. terreus to germinate and pierce macrophages resulted in significantly lower cytotoxicity compared to A. fumigatus. Blocking phagolysosome acidification by the v-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin increased A. terreus germination rates and cytotoxicity. Recombinant expression of the A. nidulans wA naphthopyrone synthase, a homologue of A. fumigatus PksP, inhibited phagolysosome acidification and resulted in increased germination, macrophage damage and virulence in corticosteroid-treated mice. In summary, we show that A. terreus and A. fumigatus have evolved significantly different strategies to survive the attack of host immune cells. While A. fumigatus prevents phagocytosis and phagolysosome acidification and escapes from macrophages by germination, A. terreus is rapidly phagocytosed, but

  3. Azole preexposure affects the Aspergillus fumigatus population in patients.

    PubMed

    Alanio, Alexandre; Cabaret, Odile; Sitterlé, Emilie; Costa, Jean-Marc; Brisse, Sylvain; Cordonnier, Catherine; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2012-09-01

    The relationship between the azole preexposure of 86 patients and the genotype, azole susceptibility, and cyp51A polymorphisms of 110 corresponding Aspergillus fumigatus isolates was explored. Isolates carrying serial polymorphisms (F46Y and M172V with or without N248T with or without D255E with or without E427K) had higher itraconazole MICs (P = 0.04), although <2 μg/ml using the EUCAST methodology, were associated with two genetic clusters (P < 0.001) and with voriconazole preexposure of patients (P = 0.016). Voriconazole preexposure influences the distribution of A. fumigatus isolates with selection of isolates carrying cyp51A polymorphisms and higher itraconazole MICs.

  4. Fungal siderophore metabolism with a focus on Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Haas, Hubertus

    2014-10-01

    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.

  5. Emphysematous renal tract disease due to Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, M; Dakshinamurty, K V

    2004-06-01

    Emphysematous renal tract disease (ERTD) is a rare necrotizing infection of renal parenchyma and/or urinary tract caused by gas producing organisms. A case of acute emphysematous renal tract disease (ERTD) (emphysematous pyelonephritis along with emphysematous cystitis) caused by Aspergillus fumigatus in a non-diabetic patient, who did not apparently have any risk factor for fungal infection, is presented. Patient had refused for any surgical intervention. He was treated successfully with liposomal amphotericin B and 5-flucytosin and achieved complete recovery. Various causes of ERTD and available therapeutic options are discussed.

  6. In vitro biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Thierry; Smith, Terry K; Crossman, Arthur; Brimacombe, John S; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Ferguson, Michael A J

    2004-12-07

    Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) represents a mechanism for the attachment of proteins to the plasma membrane found in all eukaryotic cells. GPI biosynthesis has been mainly studied in parasites, yeast, and mammalian cells. Aspergillus fumigatus, a filamentous fungus, produces GPI-anchored molecules, some of them being essential in the construction of the cell wall. An in vitro assay was used to study the GPI biosynthesis in the mycelium form of this organism. In the presence of UDP-GlcNAc and coenzyme A, the cell-free system produces the initial intermediates of the GPI biosynthesis: GlcNAc-PI, GlcN-PI, and GlcN-(acyl)PI. Using GDP-Man, two types of mannosylation are observed. First, one or two mannose residues are added to GlcN-PI. This mannosylation, never described in fungi, does not require dolichol phosphomannoside (Dol-P-Man) as the monosaccharide donor. Second, one to five mannose residues are added to GlcN-(acyl)PI using Dol-P-Man as the mannose donor. The addition of ethanolamine phosphate groups to the first, second, and third mannose residue is also observed. This latter series of GPI intermediates identified in the A. fumigatus cell-free system indicates that GPI biosynthesis in this filamentous fungus is similar to the mammalian or yeast systems. Thus, these biochemical data are in agreement with a comparative genome analysis that shows that all but 3 of the 21 genes described in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae GPI pathways are found in A. fumigatus.

  7. Azole drug import into the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Esquivel, Brooke D; Smith, Adam R; Zavrel, Martin; White, Theodore C

    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 [(3)H]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.

  8. Clinical implications of globally emerging azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Meis, Jacques F; Chowdhary, Anuradha; Rhodes, Johanna L; Fisher, Matthew C; Verweij, Paul E

    2016-12-05

    Aspergillus fungi are the cause of an array of diseases affecting humans, animals and plants. The triazole antifungal agents itraconazole, voriconazole, isavuconazole and posaconazole are treatment options against diseases caused by Aspergillus However, resistance to azoles has recently emerged as a new therapeutic challenge in six continents. Although de novo azole resistance occurs occasionally in patients during azole therapy, the main burden is the aquisition of resistance through the environment. In this setting, the evolution of resistance is attributed to the widespread use of azole-based fungicides. Although ubiquitously distributed, A. fumigatus is not a phytopathogen. However, agricultural fungicides deployed against plant pathogenic moulds such as Fusarium, Mycospaerella and A. flavus also show activity against A. fumigatus in the environment and exposure of non-target fungi is inevitable. Further, similarity in molecule structure between azole fungicides and antifungal drugs results in cross-resistance of A. fumigatus to medical azoles. Clinical studies have shown that two-thirds of patients with azole-resistant infections had no previous history of azole therapy and high mortality rates between 50% and 100% are reported in azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis. The resistance phenotype is associated with key mutations in the cyp51A gene, including TR34/L98H, TR53 and TR46/Y121F/T289A resistance mechanisms. Early detection of resistance is of paramount importance and if demonstrated, either with susceptibility testing or through molecular analysis, azole monotherapy should be avoided. Liposomal amphotericin B or a combination of voriconazole and an echinocandin are recomended for azole-resistant aspergillosis.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'.

  9. Aspergillus fumigatus Photobiology Illuminates the Marked Heterogeneity between Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Kevin K.; Cramer, Robert A.; Zegans, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The given strain of Aspergillus fumigatus under study varies across laboratories, ranging from a few widely used “standards,” e.g., Af293 or CEA10, to locally acquired isolates that may be unique to one investigator. Since experiments concerning physiology or gene function are seldom replicated by others, i.e., in a different A. fumigatus background, the extent to which behavioral heterogeneity exists within the species is poorly understood. As a proxy for assessing such intraspecies variability, we analyzed the light response of 15 A. fumigatus isolates and observed striking quantitative and qualitative heterogeneity among them. The majority of the isolates fell into one of two seemingly mutually exclusive groups: (i) “photopigmenters” that robustly accumulate hyphal melanin in the light and (ii) “photoconidiators” that induce sporulation in the light. These two distinct responses were both governed by the same upstream blue light receptor, LreA, indicating that a specific protein’s contribution can vary in a strain-dependent manner. Indeed, while LreA played no apparent role in regulating cell wall homeostasis in strain Af293, it was essential in that regard in strain CEA10. The manifest heterogeneity in the photoresponses led us to compare the virulence levels of selected isolates in a murine model; remarkably, the virulence did vary greatly, although not in a manner that correlated with their overt light response. Taken together, these data highlight the extent to which isolates of A. fumigatus can vary, with respect to both broad physiological characteristics (e.g., virulence and photoresponse) and specific protein functionality (e.g., LreA-dependent phenotypes). PMID:27651362

  10. Characterization of the FKBP12-Encoding Genes in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Amber D.; Vargas-Muñiz, José M.; Renshaw, Hilary; Steinbach, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis, largely caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, is responsible for a growing number of deaths among immunosuppressed patients. Immunosuppressants such as FK506 (tacrolimus) that target calcineurin have shown promise for antifungal drug development. FK506-binding proteins (FKBPs) form a complex with calcineurin in the presence of FK506 (FKBP12-FK506) and inhibit calcineurin activity. Research on FKBPs in fungi is limited, and none of the FKBPs have been previously characterized in A. fumigatus. We identified four orthologous genes of FKBP12, the human FK506 binding partner, in A. fumigatus and designated them fkbp12-1, fkbp12-2, fkbp12-3, and fkbp12-4. Deletional analysis of the four genes revealed that the Δfkbp12-1 strain was resistant to FK506, indicating FKBP12-1 as the key mediator of FK506-binding to calcineurin. The endogenously expressed FKBP12-1-EGFP fusion protein localized to the cytoplasm and nuclei under normal growth conditions but also to the hyphal septa following FK506 treatment, revealing its interaction with calcineurin. The FKBP12-1-EGFP fusion protein didn’t localize at the septa in the presence of FK506 in the cnaA deletion background, confirming its interaction with calcineurin. Testing of all deletion strains in the Galleria mellonella model of aspergillosis suggested that these proteins don’t play an important role in virulence. While the Δfkbp12-2 and Δfkbp12-3 strains didn’t show any discernable phenotype, the Δfkbp12-4 strain displayed slight growth defect under normal growth conditions and inhibition of the caspofungin-mediated “paradoxical growth effect” at higher concentrations of the antifungal caspofungin. Together, these results indicate that while only FKBP12-1 is the bona fide binding partner of FK506, leading to the inhibition of calcineurin in A. fumigatus, FKBP12-4 may play a role in basal growth and the caspofungin-mediated paradoxical growth response. Exploitation of differences between A

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Molecular Insights into Pathogenesis and Infection with Aspergillus Fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Ghazaei, Ciamak

    2017-01-01

    The virulence of fungi is dependent on multiple factors, including the immune status of patients and biological features of fungi. In particular, the virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus is due to the complex interaction among various molecules involved in thermotolerance (such as ribosomal biogenesis proteins, α-mannosyltransferase and heat shock proteins), pigment production (DHN-melanin), immune evasion (like melanin and hydrophobin) and nutrient uptake (such as siderophores and zinc transporters). Other molecules also play important roles in the virulence of A. fumigatus, including cell wall components and those which maintain its integrity (for instance β-1–3 glucan, α-1–3 glucan, chitin, galactomannan and mannoproteins) and adhesion (such as hydrophobins), as well as various hydrolytic enzymes (such as serine and aspartic protease, phospholipases, metalloproteinase and dipeptidyl peptidases). Signalling molecules (including G-protein, cAMP, Ras protein and calcineurin) also increase the virulence through altering the metabolic response to stress conditions and toxins (such as gliotoxin, fumitremorgins, fumagatin and helvolic acid). PMID:28381925

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Hypersensitivity testing for Aspergillus fumigatus IgE is significantly more sensitive than testing for Aspergillus niger IgE.

    PubMed

    Selvaggi, Thomas A; Walco, Jeremy P; Parikh, Sujal; Walco, Gary A

    2012-02-01

    We sought to determine if sufficient redundancy exists between specific IgE testing for Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger to eliminate one of the assays in determining Aspergillus hypersensitivity. We reviewed regional laboratory results comparing A fumigatus-specific IgE with A niger-specific IgE using the Pharmacia UniCAP system (Pharmacia, Kalamazoo, MI). By using the Fisher exact test as an index of concordance among paired results, we showed a significant difference between 109 paired samples for the presence of specific IgE to A fumigatus and A niger (P < .0001). Of these specimens, 94 were negative for IgE to both species, 10 were positive for A fumigatus and negative for A niger; no specimen was positive for A niger and negative for A fumigatus. We conclude that A fumigatus-specific IgE is sufficient to detect Aspergillus hypersensitivity. The assay for A niger-specific IgE is redundant, less sensitive, and unnecessary if the assay for specific IgE for A fumigatus is performed.

  19. 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

  20. Pharmacodynamics of isavuconazole in an Aspergillus fumigatus mouse infection model.

    PubMed

    Seyedmousavi, Seyedmojtaba; Brüggemann, Roger J M; Meis, Jacques F; Melchers, Willem J G; Verweij, Paul E; Mouton, Johan W

    2015-05-01

    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 MIC(EUCAST), 0.5 mg/liter), M220I (ISA MIC(EUCAST), 4 mg/liter), and TR34/L98H (ISA MIC(EUCAST), 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 AUC(0-24)/MIC(EUCAST) 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 (AUC(0-24)/MIC) can be used to optimize the treatment of human infections by A. fumigatus, including strains with decreased susceptibility.

  1. Production, purification, and characterization of exoglucanase by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mahmood, Raja Tahir; Asad, Muhammad Javaid; Mehboob, Nazia; Mushtaq, Maria; Gulfraz, Muhammad; Asgher, Muhammad; Minhas, Nasir M; Hadri, Saqib Hussain

    2013-06-01

    Fungi are considered good producers of industrially valuable enzymes with higher enzymatic activities. Among these cellulases are group of extracellular enzymes commonly employed in many industries for the hydrolysis of cellulolytic material. Aspergillus fumigatus produced exoglucanase having high enzymatic activity (83 U/gds) during the solid-state fermentation of wheat straw under optimum physical and nutritional conditions. Maximum production was obtained after 72 h of fermentation, at 55 °C temperature, pH 5.5, 80 % moisture level, and 2 mL fungal inoculum. Production was further increased by the addition of fructose (0.3 %) as additional carbon source, peptone (0.4 %) as nitrogen source, Tween-80 (0.3 %) as surfactant, and ammonium sulfate (0.2 %) in media. Exoglucanase was 2.30-folds purified by adding 40 % ammonium sulfate with volumetric activity 95.4 U/gds and specific activity 14.74 U/mg. Further, it was 5.18-folds purified by gel filtration chromatography with volumetric activity 115.2 U/gds and specific activity 33.10 U/mg. Purified exoglucanase has maximum activity at 55 °C and pH 4.8 using 1 % Avicel aqueous solution as substrate. The K(m) and V(max) were 4.34 mM and 7.29 μM/min, respectively. Calcium, magnesium, and zinc ions have positive effect on exoglucanase activity.

  2. Neutrophil Interactions Stimulate Evasive Hyphal Branching by Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Jorgensen, Julianne; Frydman, Galit H.; Jones, Caroline N.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis (IA), primarily caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, is an opportunistic fungal infection predominantly affecting immunocompromised and neutropenic patients that is difficult to treat and results in high mortality. Investigations of neutrophil-hypha interaction in vitro and in animal models of IA are limited by lack of temporal and spatial control over interactions. This study presents a new approach for studying neutrophil-hypha interaction at single cell resolution over time, which revealed an evasive fungal behavior triggered by interaction with neutrophils: Interacting hyphae performed de novo tip formation to generate new hyphal branches, allowing the fungi to avoid the interaction point and continue invasive growth. Induction of this mechanism was independent of neutrophil NADPH oxidase activity and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation, but could be phenocopied by iron chelation and mechanical or physiological stalling of hyphal tip extension. The consequence of branch induction upon interaction outcome depends on the number and activity of neutrophils available: In the presence of sufficient neutrophils branching makes hyphae more vulnerable to destruction, while in the presence of limited neutrophils the interaction increases the number of hyphal tips, potentially making the infection more aggressive. This has direct implications for infections in neutrophil-deficient patients and opens new avenues for treatments targeting fungal branching. PMID:28076396

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    Natural product discovery efforts have focused primarily on microbial biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) containing large multi-modular PKSs and NRPSs; 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 novel isoquinoline alkaloids, 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

  4. Isolation and Identification of Aspergillus fumigatus Mycotoxins on Growth Medium and Some Building Materials

    PubMed Central

    Nieminen, Susanna M.; Kärki, Riikka; Auriola, Seppo; Toivola, Mika; Laatsch, Hartmut; Laatikainen, Reino; Hyvärinen, Anne; von Wright, Atte

    2002-01-01

    Genotoxic and cytotoxic compounds were isolated and purified from the culture medium of an indoor air mold, Aspergillus fumigatus. One of these compounds was identified as gliotoxin, a known fungal secondary metabolite. Growth of A. fumigatus and gliotoxin production on some building materials were also studied. Strong growth of the mold and the presence of gliotoxin were detected on spruce wood, gypsum board, and chipboard under saturation conditions. PMID:12324333

  5. 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

  6. Interaction of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia with Acanthamoeba castellanii parallels macrophage-fungus interactions.

    PubMed

    Van Waeyenberghe, Lieven; Baré, Julie; Pasmans, Frank; Claeys, Myriam; Bert, Wim; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Houf, Kurt; Martel, An

    2013-12-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus and free-living amoebae are common inhabitants of soil. Mechanisms of A. fumigatus to circumvent the amoeba's digestion may facilitate overcoming the vertebrate macrophage defence mechanisms. We performed co-culture experiments using A. fumigatus conidia and the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. Approximately 25% of the amoebae ingested A. fumigatus conidia after 1 h of contact. During intra-amoebal passage, part of the ingested conidia was able to escape the food vacuole and to germinate inside the cytoplasm of A. castellanii. Fungal release into the extra-protozoan environment by exocytosis of conidia or by germination was observed with light and transmission electron microscopy. These processes resulted in structural changes in A. castellanii, leading to amoebal permeabilization without cell lysis. In conclusion, A. castellanii internalizes A. fumigatus conidia, resulting in fungal intracellular germination and subsequent amoebal death. As such, this interaction highly resembles that of A. fumigatus with mammalian and avian macrophages. This suggests that A. fumigatus virulence mechanisms to evade macrophage killing may be acquired by co-evolutionary interactions among A. fumigatus and environmental amoebae.

  7. The effects of Aspergillus fumigatus challenge on exhaled and nasal NO levels.

    PubMed

    Stark, H J; Randell, J T; Hirvonen, M-R; Purokivi, M K; Roponen, M H; Tukiainen, H O

    2005-11-01

    Several studies have previously shown that exposure to indoor air microbes from moisture-damaged buildings can cause adverse health effects. Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the best-documented moulds causing health problems to those exposed. In this study, inhalation of a commercial A. fumigatus solution was assessed, to establish if it would have effects on fractional exhaled (FeNO) and nasal (FnNO) nitric oxide levels and on lung function. The results were compared with placebo challenge. A total of 28 subjects were divided into three study groups: group 1 had been exposed to occupational mould; group 2 consisted of atopic subjects; and group 3 was a control group. Some 3 h after A. fumigatus challenge, there was a considerable increase in FeNO, and a significant difference was observed between the A. fumigatus and placebo inhalations. The difference was seen in all study groups. No such differences were found in the levels of FnNO or nitrite in nasal lavage fluid. Subjects reported significantly more frequent respiratory tract symptoms after the A. fumigatus inhalation compared with placebo challenge. In conclusion, it was shown here that inhalation challenge of Aspergillus fumigatus elevated fractional exhaled nitric oxide levels. An increase in fractional exhaled nitric oxide may serve as an indicator of respiratory inflammation of acute mould exposure.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2016-07-14

    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.

  11. Characterization of a novel gene for strain typing reveals substructuring of Aspergillus fumigatus across North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fifty five epidemiologically linked Aspergillus fumigatus isolates obtained from six nosocomial outbreaks of invasive aspergillosis were sub-typed by sequencing the polymorphic region of the gene encoding a putative cell surface protein, Afu3g08990 (denoted as CSP). Comparative sequence analysis sh...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Bacterium induces cryptic meroterpenoid pathway in the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    König, Claudia C; Scherlach, Kirstin; Schroeckh, Volker; Horn, Fabian; Nietzsche, Sandor; Brakhage, Axel A; Hertweck, Christian

    2013-05-27

    Stimulating encounter: The intimate, physical interaction between the soil-derived bacterium Streptomyces rapamycinicus and the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus led to the activation of an otherwise silent polyketide synthase (PKS) gene cluster coding for an unusual prenylated polyphenol (fumicycline A). The meroterpenoid pathway is regulated by a pathway-specific activator gene as well as by epigenetic factors.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Triazole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus Clinical Isolates Obtained in Nanjing, China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ming; Feng, Chun-Lai; Chen, Fei; He, Qian; Su, Xin; Shi, Yi

    2017-01-01

    Background: During the past decades, the incidence of invasive aspergillosis (IA) caused by Aspergillus fumigatus has increased dramatically. The aims of this study were to investigate the susceptibility of clinical isolates of A. fumigatus to triazole and the underlying cyp51A mutations in triazole-resistant A. fumigatus. Methods: A total of 126 A. fumigatus clinical isolates from 126 patients with proven or probable IA were obtained from four large tertiary hospitals in Nanjing, China, between August 2012 and July 2015. The determination of minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole was performed by broth microdilution according to the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing reference method. Results: A total of 4 A. fumigatus isolates (3.17%) were confirmed to be itraconazole resistant, with MICs of ≥8 mg/L, and one isolate (0.8%) was confirmed to be voriconazole resistant and posaconazole resistant, with MICs of 4 mg/L and 0.5 mg/L, respectively. We found that two of the 4 isolates of triazole-resistant A. fumigatus had the L98H amino acid substitution in combination with a 34-base pair tandem repeat in the promoter region, one isolate had an M220I mutation, and another itraconazole-resistant isolate did not have a substitution in the cyp51A gene. Conclusions: This study shows that triazole-resistant A. fumigatus clinical isolates are present in Nanjing, China, which is a new challenge to the clinical management of IA. PMID:28303848

  18. 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

  19. A new experimental murine aspergillosis model to identify strains of Aspergillus fumigatus with reduced virulence.

    PubMed

    Sarfati, J; Diaquin, M; Debeaupuis, J P; Schmidt, A; Lecaque, D; Beauvais, A; Latge, J P

    2002-01-01

    Experimental animals are an obligate screen to investigate microorganism pathogenicity. Numerous animal models have been used to analyse the virulence of the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus but none of the experimental models used previously have been satisfactory. This report discuss these models and presents a murine model of pulmonary aspergillosis that is very easy and the most adapted to compare the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus strains. Strains to be tested are inoculated intranasally and synchronously to mice and strains isolated from the lung of mice killed by the infection are typed. The number of colonies recovered is directly correlated to the virulence of the strain.

  20. Sputum Inflammatory Mediators Are Increased in Aspergillus fumigatus Culture-Positive Asthmatics

    PubMed Central

    Ghebre, Michael A; Desai, Dhananjay; Singapuri, Amisha; Woods, Joanne; Rapley, Laura; Cohen, Suzanne; Herath, Athula; Wardlaw, Andrew J; Pashley, Catherine H; May, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus sensitization and culture in asthma are associated with disease severity and lung function impairment, but their relationship with airway inflammation is poorly understood. We investigated the profile of 24 sputum inflammatory mediators in A. fumigatus culture-positive or-negative moderate-to-severe asthmatics. Fifty-two subjects were recruited from a single center. A. fumigatus was cultured from 19 asthmatics. Asthma control, symptom score, lung function, and sputum cell count were not significantly different between the asthmatics with and without a positive A. fumigatus culture. All of the sputum mediators were numerically increased in subjects with a positive versus negative sputum A. fumigatus culture. Sputum TNF-R2 was significantly elevated (P=0.03) and the mediator that best distinguished A. fumigatus culture-positive from culture-negative subjects (receiver-operator characteristic area under the curve 0.66 [95% CI: 0.51 to 0.82, P=0.045]). A. fumigates-positive culture in moderate-to-severe asthma is associated with increased inflammatory sputum mediators. PMID:28102063

  1. Sputum Inflammatory Mediators Are Increased in Aspergillus fumigatus Culture-Positive Asthmatics.

    PubMed

    Ghebre, Michael A; Desai, Dhananjay; Singapuri, Amisha; Woods, Joanne; Rapley, Laura; Cohen, Suzanne; Herath, Athula; Wardlaw, Andrew J; Pashley, Catherine H; May, Richard; Brightling, Chris E

    2017-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus sensitization and culture in asthma are associated with disease severity and lung function impairment, but their relationship with airway inflammation is poorly understood. We investigated the profile of 24 sputum inflammatory mediators in A. fumigatus culture-positive or-negative moderate-to-severe asthmatics. Fifty-two subjects were recruited from a single center. A. fumigatus was cultured from 19 asthmatics. Asthma control, symptom score, lung function, and sputum cell count were not significantly different between the asthmatics with and without a positive A. fumigatus culture. All of the sputum mediators were numerically increased in subjects with a positive versus negative sputum A. fumigatus culture. Sputum TNF-R2 was significantly elevated (P=0.03) and the mediator that best distinguished A. fumigatus culture-positive from culture-negative subjects (receiver-operator characteristic area under the curve 0.66 [95% CI: 0.51 to 0.82, P=0.045]). A. fumigates-positive culture in moderate-to-severe asthma is associated with increased inflammatory sputum mediators.

  2. 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

  3. SYBR safe(TM) efficiently replaces ethidium bromide in Aspergillus fumigatus gene disruption.

    PubMed

    Canela, H M S; Takami, L A; Ferreira, M E S

    2017-02-08

    Invasive aspergillosis is a disease responsible for high mortality rates, caused mainly by Aspergillus fumigatus. The available drugs are limited and this disease continues to occur at an unacceptable frequency. Gene disruption is essential in the search for new drug targets. An efficient protocol for A. fumigatus gene disruption was described but it requires ethidium bromide, a genotoxic agent, for DNA staining. Therefore, the present study tested SYBR safe(TM), a non-genotoxic DNA stain, in A. fumigatus gene disruption protocol. The chosen gene was cipC, which has already been disrupted successfully in our laboratory. A deletion cassette was constructed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and used in A. fumigatus transformation. There was no statistical difference between the tested DNA stains. The success rate of S. cerevisiae transformation was 63.3% for ethidium bromide and 70% for SYBR safe(TM). For A. fumigatus gene disruption, the success rate for ethidium bromide was 100 and 97% for SYBR safe(TM). In conclusion, SYBR safe(TM) efficiently replaced ethidium bromide, making this dye a safe and efficient alternative for DNA staining in A. fumigatus gene disruption.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    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 (13)C NMR results defined and quantified the carbon contributions in the insoluble ECM, including carbonyls, aromatic carbons, polysaccharide carbons (anomeric and nonanomerics), aliphatics, etc. Additional (15)N and (31)P 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.

  5. Environmental Monitoring for Aspergillus fumigatus in Association with an Immunosuppressed Rabbit Model of Pulmonary Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Such, Kimberly A; Petraitis, Vidmantas; Petraitiene, Ruta; Strauss, Gittel E; Moradi, Patriss-Wais; Walsh, Thomas J

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus causes life-threatening pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. Conidia, the infectious form of the organism, are handled in a biologic safety cabinet under BSL2 conditions. However because germinated conidia form noninfectious hyphae in tissue, we hypothesized that rabbits inoculated intratracheally would grow A. fumigatus in their lungs but that the environment would remain free of this fungus, potentially permitting maintenance of infected animals under ABSL1 conditions. We performed a surveillance study for the presence of A. fumigatus in the environment before proceeding with antifungal therapy studies of experimental pulmonary aspergillosis. The expected outcome included absence of A. fumigatus in the environment, stool, and blood and presence in rabbit lungs. Female SPF New Zealand white rabbits were immunosuppressed and inoculated intratracheally (n = 4) or intraesophageally (n = 2) with 1.25 × 108 conidia of A. fumigatus. Feces, pan liners, and walls were sampled daily during the 11-d experiment, and blood was sampled on days 2, 6, and 8 after inoculation. Samples were cultured on 5% Sabouraud glucose agar plates. Lungs were weighed and scored for hemorrhagic infarcts and homogenized for culture on 5% Sabouraud glucose agar and trypticase soy agar plates. Blood cultures, rabbit stool, and environmental swabs were all negative for A. fumigatus whereas the lungs inoculated intratracheally demonstrated 4.5 × 102 ± 0.8 × 102 CFU/g of A. fumigatus. Therefore, neutropenic rabbits with experimental invasive pulmonary aspergillosis do not shed conidia of A. fumigatus and can be safely housed under ABSL1 conditions after inoculation. PMID:24041208

  6. 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

  7. FunResDB-A web resource for genotypic susceptibility testing of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Weber, Michael; Schaer, Jonas; Walther, Grit; Kaerger, Kerstin; Steinmann, Jörg; Rath, Peter-Michael; Spiess, Birgit; Buchheidt, Dieter; Hamprecht, Axel; Kurzai, Oliver

    2017-03-11

    Therapy of invasive aspergillosis is becoming more difficult due to the emergence of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus. A majority of resistant strains carries mutations in the CYP51A gene. Due to a lack of sensitivity of culture-based methods, molecular detection of A. fumigatus has become an important diagnostic tool. We set up the database FunResDB (www.nrz-myk.de/funresdb) to gather all available information about CYP51A-dependent azole resistance from published literature. In summary, the screening resulted in 79 CYP51A variants, which are linked to 59 nonsynonymous mutations. A tailor-made online sequence analysis tool allows for genotypic susceptibility testing of A. fumigatus.

  8. 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

  9. Multicentric epidemiological study of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis.

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, E; De Meeüs, T; Mallie, M; Renaud, F; Symoens, F; Mondon, P; Piens, M A; Lebeau, B; Viviani, M A; Grillot, R; Nolard, N; Chapuis, F; Tortorano, A M; Bastide, J M

    1996-01-01

    The genotypes of 63 isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus obtained from three hospitals in different geographical areas and of eight culture collection strains were determined by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Twelve of the 17 enzymatic loci studied were polymorphic, giving rise to 48 different electrophoretic types. The existence of fixed multilocus genotypes, significant heterozygote deficits and excesses at the different loci, and linkage disequilibria within subpopulations strongly suggests a clonal reproduction mode for A. fumigatus. Numerical analysis of the comparison and disposition of the different electrophoretic types demonstrates a significant genetic differentiation between the three sampling sites. However, no correlation could be found between geographical distances and genetic differentiation. On account of the multiple discriminatory markers, multilocus enzyme electrophoresis typing seems to be a very powerful tool for epidemiological and reproductive mode studies of A. fumigatus. PMID:8880520

  10. Conidial Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Interferes with the Host Endocytosis Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Thywißen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Schmaler-Ripcke, Jeannette; Nietzsche, Sandor; Zipfel, Peter F.; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen of humans. The interaction of the pathogen with the host's immune system represents a key process to understand pathogenicity. For elimination of invading microorganisms, they need to be efficiently phagocytosed and located in acidified phagolysosomes. However, as shown previously, A. fumigatus is able to manipulate the formation of functional phagolysosomes. Here, we demonstrate that in contrast to pigmentless pksP mutant conidia of A. fumigatus, the gray-green wild-type conidia inhibit the acidification of phagolysosomes of alveolar macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophil granulocytes. Therefore, this inhibition is independent of the cell type and applies to the major immune effector cells required for defense against A. fumigatus. Studies with melanin ghosts indicate that the inhibitory effect of wild-type conidia is due to their dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin covering the conidia, whereas the hydrophobin RodA rodlet layer plays no role in this process. This is also supported by the observation that pksP conidia still exhibit the RodA hydrophobin layer, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Mutants defective in different steps of the DHN-melanin biosynthesis showed stronger inhibition than pksP mutant conidia but lower inhibition than wild-type conidia. Moreover, A. fumigatus and A. flavus led to a stronger inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification than A. nidulans and A. terreus. These data indicate that a certain type of DHN-melanin that is different in the various Aspergillus species, is required for maximal inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification. Finally, we identified the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) as potential target for A. fumigatus based on the finding that addition of bafilomycin which inhibits vATPase, led to complete inhibition of the acidification whereas the fusion of phagosomes containing wild-type conidia and lysosomes was not affected. PMID

  11. Conidial Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Interferes with the Host Endocytosis Pathway.

    PubMed

    Thywißen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Schmaler-Ripcke, Jeannette; Nietzsche, Sandor; Zipfel, Peter F; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen of humans. The interaction of the pathogen with the host's immune system represents a key process to understand pathogenicity. For elimination of invading microorganisms, they need to be efficiently phagocytosed and located in acidified phagolysosomes. However, as shown previously, A. fumigatus is able to manipulate the formation of functional phagolysosomes. Here, we demonstrate that in contrast to pigmentless pksP mutant conidia of A. fumigatus, the gray-green wild-type conidia inhibit the acidification of phagolysosomes of alveolar macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophil granulocytes. Therefore, this inhibition is independent of the cell type and applies to the major immune effector cells required for defense against A. fumigatus. Studies with melanin ghosts indicate that the inhibitory effect of wild-type conidia is due to their dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin covering the conidia, whereas the hydrophobin RodA rodlet layer plays no role in this process. This is also supported by the observation that pksP conidia still exhibit the RodA hydrophobin layer, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Mutants defective in different steps of the DHN-melanin biosynthesis showed stronger inhibition than pksP mutant conidia but lower inhibition than wild-type conidia. Moreover, A. fumigatus and A. flavus led to a stronger inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification than A. nidulans and A. terreus. These data indicate that a certain type of DHN-melanin that is different in the various Aspergillus species, is required for maximal inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification. Finally, we identified the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) as potential target for A. fumigatus based on the finding that addition of bafilomycin which inhibits vATPase, led to complete inhibition of the acidification whereas the fusion of phagosomes containing wild-type conidia and lysosomes was not affected.

  12. Deletion of afpab1 Causes Increased Sensitivity to Oxidative Stress and Hypovirulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Dongyang; Wang, Shunan; He, Dan; Gao, Song; Xue, Baiji; Wang, Li

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus AFPAB1 is the ortholog of the Aspergillus oryzae cytoplasmic messenger ribonucleoprotein granules AOPAB1 that function to depress the initiation of translation during stress. A. fumigatus can regulate its cellular physiology in response to environmental stresses, but there has been no research on Pab1 in A. fumigatus. The associated gene afpab1 was replaced with a hygromycin-selectable marker to generate the strain Δafpab1. Phenotypic analysis showed that the Δafpab1 grew more weakly than the wild-type strain. Also the germination rate of Δafpab1 was decreased when exposed to oxidative stress. The morphology of Δafpab1 spores also showed great changes. The killing rate of Δafpab1 by RAW264.7 murine macrophage cells was increased, and the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging ability of Δafpab1 was decreased. Pathogenicity testing showed that the deletion strain had decreased virulence. Therefore, we conclude that afpab1 activity is correlated with susceptibility to oxidative stress, and deletion of afpab1 from A. fumigatus possibly leads to observed hypovirulence in an immunosuppressed mouse model. PMID:27801871

  13. Contamination of a purified water system by Aspergillus fumigatus in a new endoscopy reprocessing unit.

    PubMed

    Khalsa, Kamaljit; Smith, Andrew; Morrison, Patrick; Shaw, David; Peat, Marie; Howard, Paul; Hamilton, Kate; Stewart, Alan

    2014-12-01

    Use of purified water for the final rinse stage of disinfected endoscopes is an important element of quality control. We describe the detection and management of Aspergillus fumigatus contamination of a new reverse osmosis unit supplying 10 automated endoscope reprocessor basins. Prompt detection and reaction to this contaminant were possible because of the introduction of a comprehensive program for microbiological monitoring of rinse waters, which included total viable counts, endotoxin, conductivity, and Pseudomonas spp.

  14. Immune response to Aspergillus fumigatus in compromised hosts: from bedside to bench.

    PubMed

    Chai, Louis Y A; Vonk, Alieke G; Kullberg, Bart-Jan; Netea, Mihai G

    2011-01-01

    The relevance of studies aimed at understanding host immune response against Aspergillus fumigatus takes on much significance given that all patients with invasive aspergillosis are invariably immunocompromised. This article attempts to correlate relevant findings from recent experimental studies to clinical observations made by the physician at the bedside. It is hoped that the increased understanding of host-fungus immune interaction may pave the way for the development of new management strategies against this difficult-to-treat fungal disease.

  15. Aspergillus fumigatus native valve infective endocarditis in an otherwise healthy adult

    PubMed Central

    Ikediobi, Uchenna

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Fungal endocarditis is a rare cause of infective endocarditis, and Aspergillus spp. account for up to 30 % of all cases. Risk factors include intravenous drug use, immunosuppression, malignancy and the presence of prosthetic valves. Case presentation: We present a case of A. fumigatus endocarditis in a patient without any known or described risk factors. Conclusion: Diagnosis of Aspergillus endocarditis requires a high clinical index of suspicion, given the initial non-specific presentation, and treatment may require both medical and surgical therapies to ensure improved outcomes, but mortality rates still approach 80 %. Voriconazole remains the antifungal agent of choice. PMID:28348749

  16. Genetic diversity among isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus in patients with cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Rath, P M; Ratjen, F; Ansorg, R

    1997-02-01

    Strains of Aspergillus fumigatus (n = 24) were isolated from the sputa of six patients with cystic fibrosis during periods from 3 to 11 months. The genetic polymorphisms of the strains were studied using the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) assay with three single oligonucleotides and pairwise combined primers. The analysis of RAPD patterns resulted in 15 different RAPD types. In four patients, the colonizing type changed, whereas in two others the same types were detected over periods between 3 and 11 months. The genetic diversity as well as the shift of the colonizing strains found in some patients might be important for the epidemiology of Aspergillus infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.

  17. Chitin enhances serum IgE in Aspergillus fumigatus induced allergy in mice.

    PubMed

    Dubey, Lalit Kumar; Moeller, Jesper Bonnet; Schlosser, Anders; Sorensen, Grith Lykke; Holmskov, Uffe

    2015-06-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is a ubiquitous fungus that activates, suppresses or modulates the immune response by changing its cell wall structure and by secreting proteases. In this study, we show that chitin acts as an adjuvant in a murine model of A. fumigatus protease induced allergy. The mice were immunised intraperitoneally with A. fumigatus culture filtrate antigen either with or without chitin and were subsequently challenged with the culture filtrate antigen intranasally. Alum was used as an adjuvant control. Compared to alum, chitin induced a weaker inflammatory response in the lungs, measured as the total cell efflux in BAL, EPO and chitinase production. However, chitin enhanced the total IgE, specific IgE and specific IgG1 production as efficiently as alum. Pre-treatment with chitin but not with alum depressed the concentration of the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 in BAL fluid. These results shows that chitin, in spite of a reduction of the Th2 cytokine levels in the lungs, enhanced the total and specific IgE production in A. fumigatus culture filtrate induced allergy.

  18. Screening of Xylanolytic Aspergillus fumigatus for Prebiotic Xylooligosaccharide Production Using Bagasse.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Ana Flavia Azevedo; Neto, Pedro de Oliva; Zaghetto de Almeida, Paula; Bueno da Silva, Juliana; Escaramboni, Bruna; Pastore, Glaucia Maria

    2015-12-01

    Sugarcane bagasse is an important lignocellulosic material studied for the production of xylooligosaccharides (XOS). Some XOS are considered soluble dietary fibre, with low caloric value and prebiotic effect, but they are expensive and not easily available. In a screening of 138 fungi, only nine were shortlisted, and just Aspergillus fumigatus M51 (35.6 U/mL) and A. fumigatus U2370 (28.5 U/mL) were selected as the most significant producers of xylanases. These fungi had low β-xylosidase activity, which is desirable for the production of XOS. The xylanases from Trichoderma reesei CCT 2768, A. fumigatus M51 and A. fumigatus U2370 gave a significantly higher XOS yield, 11.9, 14.7 and 7.9% respectively, in a 3-hour reaction with hemicellulose from sugarcane bagasse. These enzymes are relatively thermostable at 40-50 °C and can be used in a wide range of pH values. Furthermore, these xylanases produced more prebiotic XOS (xylobiose and xylotriose) when compared with a commercial xylanase. The xylanases from A. fumigatus M51 reached a high level of XOS production (37.6%) in 48-72 h using hemicellulose extracted from sugarcane bagasse. This yield represents 68.8 kg of prebiotic XOS per metric tonne of cane bagasse. In addition, in a biorefinery, after hemicellulose extraction for XOS production, the residual cellulose could be used for the production of second-generation ethanol.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Kevin K.

    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

  2. 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.

  3. Screening of Xylanolytic Aspergillus fumigatus for Prebiotic Xylooligosaccharide Production Using Bagasse

    PubMed Central

    Neto, Pedro de Oliva; Zaghetto de Almeida, Paula; Bueno da Silva, Juliana; Escaramboni, Bruna; Pastore, Glaucia Maria

    2015-01-01

    Summary Sugarcane bagasse is an important lignocellulosic material studied for the production of xylooligosaccharides (XOS). Some XOS are considered soluble dietary fibre, with low caloric value and prebiotic effect, but they are expensive and not easily available. In a screening of 138 fungi, only nine were shortlisted, and just Aspergillus fumigatus M51 (35.6 U/mL) and A. fumigatus U2370 (28.5 U/mL) were selected as the most significant producers of xylanases. These fungi had low β-xylosidase activity, which is desirable for the production of XOS. The xylanases from Trichoderma reesei CCT 2768, A. fumigatus M51 and A. fumigatus U2370 gave a significantly higher XOS yield, 11.9, 14.7 and 7.9% respectively, in a 3-hour reaction with hemicellulose from sugarcane bagasse. These enzymes are relatively thermostable at 40–50 °C and can be used in a wide range of pH values. Furthermore, these xylanases produced more prebiotic XOS (xylobiose and xylotriose) when compared with a commercial xylanase. The xylanases from A. fumigatus M51 reached a high level of XOS production (37.6%) in 48–72 h using hemicellulose extracted from sugarcane bagasse. This yield represents 68.8 kg of prebiotic XOS per metric tonne of cane bagasse. In addition, in a biorefinery, after hemicellulose extraction for XOS production, the residual cellulose could be used for the production of second-generation ethanol. PMID:27904377

  4. Exposure of Aspergillus fumigatus to caspofungin results in the release, and de novo biosynthesis, of gliotoxin.

    PubMed

    Eshwika, Ahmed; Kelly, Judy; Fallon, John P; Kavanagh, Kevin

    2013-02-01

    Caspofungin is a member of the echinocandin class of antifungal agents that inhibit the synthesis of β 1,3 glucan thus disrupting fungal cell wall structure and function. Exposure of the Aspergillus fumigatus cultures to caspofungin (0.01, 0.1 or 1.0 μg/ml) resulted in a reduction in cell growth, but the production of the epipolythiodioxopiperazine toxin, gliotoxin, was comparable, or greater, in cultures exposed to caspofungin than untreated controls. Exposure of A. fumigatus hyphae to 1.0 μg/ml caspofungin for 4 h resulted in the release of amino acids (P = 0.01), protein (P = 0.002) and gliotoxin (P = 0.02). Cultures of A. fumigatus incubated in the presence of caspofungin for 4 or 24 h demonstrated enhanced gliotoxin release (P = 0.04 and 0.03, respectively) and biosynthesis (P = 0.04 and 0.03, respectively) compared to that by control cultures. The results presented here indicate that exposure of A. fumigatus to caspofungin results in increased cell permeability and an increase in the synthesis and release of gliotoxin. Since gliotoxin has well established immunosuppressive properties it is possible that exposure of A. fumigatus to caspofungin may potentiate the production of this toxin at the site of infection. Elevated gliotoxin biosynthesis may be an attempt by the fungus to restore the redox balance of the cell following exposure to the antifungal agent but the overall effect appears to be enhanced synthesis and release.

  5. Optimisation of a 2-D gel electrophoresis protocol for the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Kniemeyer, Olaf; Lessing, Franziska; Scheibner, Olaf; Hertweck, Christian; Brakhage, Axel A

    2006-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen causing life-threatening infections in immunosuppressed patients. One of the important questions concerning A. fumigatus is the identification of pathogenicity determinants. To obtain a comprehensive overview about the proteins produced at different physiological conditions that are related to the infectious process a proteomic approach has been applied. Here, 2-D gel electrophoresis for filamentous fungi was optimised concerning removal of interfering compounds, protein extraction and separation methods. A trichloroacetic acid-based precipitation method of proteins with their subsequent solubilisation by the use of a combination of CHAPS with a second sulfobetaine detergent gave the best results. The optimised protocol was evaluated by the analysis of the proteomes of A. fumigatus grown on two different carbon sources, i.e., glucose and ethanol. Carbon catabolite repression has not been studied in detail at the protein level in A. fumigatus yet. In addition, growth on ethanol leads to activation of the glyoxylate cycle which was shown to be essential for pathogenesis in bacteria and fungi. In A. fumigatus, differential patterns of enzymes of the gluconeogenesis, glyoxylate cycle and ethanol degradation pathway during growth on glucose and ethanol were observed.

  6. 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

  7. Aspergillus fumigatus in the cystic fibrosis lung: pros and cons of azole therapy.

    PubMed

    Burgel, Pierre-Régis; Paugam, André; Hubert, Dominique; Martin, Clémence

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main fungus cultured in the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis occurs in ~10% of CF patients and is clearly associated with airway damage and lung function decline. The effects of A. fumigatus colonization in the absence of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis are less well established. Retrospective clinical studies found associations of A. fumigatus-positive cultures with computed tomography scan abnormalities, greater risk of CF exacerbations and hospitalizations, and/or lung function decline. These findings were somewhat variable among studies and provided only circumstantial evidence for a role of A. fumigatus colonization in CF lung disease progression. The availability of a growing number of oral antifungal triazole drugs, together with the results of nonrandomized case series suggesting positive effects of azole therapies, makes it tempting to treat CF patients with these antifungal drugs. However, the only randomized controlled trial that has used itraconazole in CF patients showed no significant benefit. Because triazoles may have significant adverse effects and drug interactions, and because their prolonged use has been associated with the emergence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates, it remains unclear whether or not CF patients benefit from azole therapy.

  8. Aspergillus fumigatus in the cystic fibrosis lung: pros and cons of azole therapy

    PubMed Central

    Burgel, Pierre-Régis; Paugam, André; Hubert, Dominique; Martin, Clémence

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main fungus cultured in the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis occurs in ~10% of CF patients and is clearly associated with airway damage and lung function decline. The effects of A. fumigatus colonization in the absence of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis are less well established. Retrospective clinical studies found associations of A. fumigatus-positive cultures with computed tomography scan abnormalities, greater risk of CF exacerbations and hospitalizations, and/or lung function decline. These findings were somewhat variable among studies and provided only circumstantial evidence for a role of A. fumigatus colonization in CF lung disease progression. The availability of a growing number of oral antifungal triazole drugs, together with the results of nonrandomized case series suggesting positive effects of azole therapies, makes it tempting to treat CF patients with these antifungal drugs. However, the only randomized controlled trial that has used itraconazole in CF patients showed no significant benefit. Because triazoles may have significant adverse effects and drug interactions, and because their prolonged use has been associated with the emergence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates, it remains unclear whether or not CF patients benefit from azole therapy. PMID:27703383

  9. Vermamoeba vermiformis-Aspergillus fumigatus relationships and comparison with other phagocytic cells.

    PubMed

    Maisonneuve, Elodie; Cateau, Estelle; Kaaki, Sihem; Rodier, Marie-Hélène

    2016-11-01

    Free living amoebae (FLA) are protists ubiquitously present in the environment. Aspergillus fumigatus is a mould responsible for severe deep-seated infections, and that can be recovered in the same habitats as the FLA. By conducting coculture experiments and fungal incubation with amoebal supernatants, we report herein that Vermamoeba vermiformis, a FLA present in hospital water systems, promotes filamentation and growth of A. fumigatus. This finding is of particular importance to institutions whose water systems might harbor FLA and could potentially be used by immunocompromised patients. Also, the relationships between V. vermiformis and A. fumigatus were compared to those between this fungus and two other phagocytic cells: Acanthamoeba castellanii, another FLA, and macrophage-like THP-1 cells. After 4 h of coincubation, the percentages of the three phagocytic cell types with adhered conidia were similar, even though the types of receptors between FLA and macrophagic cell seemed different. However, the percentage of THP-1 with internalized conidia was considerably lower (40 %) in comparison with the two other cell types (100 %). Thus, this study revealed that interactions between A. fumigatus and these three phagocytic cell types show similarities, even though it is premature to extrapolate these results to interpret relationships between A. fumigatus and macrophages.

  10. Heterogeneity among Isolates Reveals that Fitness in Low Oxygen Correlates with Aspergillus fumigatus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Kowalski, Caitlin H.; Beattie, Sarah R.; Fuller, Kevin K.; McGurk, Elizabeth A.; Tang, Yi-Wei; Hohl, Tobias M.; Obar, Joshua J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Previous work has shown that environmental and clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus represent a diverse population that occupies a variety of niches, has extensive genetic diversity, and exhibits virulence heterogeneity in a number of animal models of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). However, mechanisms explaining differences in virulence among A. fumigatus isolates remain enigmatic. Here, we report a significant difference in virulence of two common lab strains, CEA10 and AF293, in the murine triamcinolone immunosuppression model of IPA, in which we previously identified severe low oxygen microenvironments surrounding fungal lesions. Therefore, we hypothesize that the ability to thrive within these lesions of low oxygen promotes virulence of A. fumigatus in this model. To test this hypothesis, we performed in vitro fitness and in vivo virulence analyses in the triamcinolone murine model of IPA with 14 environmental and clinical isolates of A. fumigatus. Among these isolates, we observed a strong correlation between fitness in low oxygen in vitro and virulence. In further support of our hypothesis, experimental evolution of AF293, a strain that exhibits reduced fitness in low oxygen and reduced virulence in the triamcinolone model of IPA, results in a strain (EVOL20) that has increased hypoxia fitness and a corresponding increase in virulence. Thus, the ability to thrive in low oxygen correlates with virulence of A. fumigatus isolates in the context of steroid-mediated murine immunosuppression. PMID:27651366

  11. Determination of antifungal susceptibility patterns among the environmental isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadi, Faezeh; Dehghan, Parvin; Nekoeian, Shahram; Hashemi, Seyed Jamal

    2016-01-01

    Background: In recent years, triazole-resistant environmental isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus have emerged in Europe and Asia. Azole resistance has been reported in patients who are treated with long-term azole therapy or exposure of the fungus spores to the azole fungicides used in agriculture. To date, a wide range of mutations in A. fumigatus have been described conferring azole-resistance, which commonly involves modifications in the cyp51A gene. We investigated antifungal susceptibility pattern of environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Materials and Methods: In this study, 170 environmental samples collected from indoors surfaces of three hospitals in Iran. It was used β-tubulin gene to confirm the all of A. fumigatus isolates, which was identified by conventional methods. Furthermore, the antifungal susceptibility of itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole was investigated using broth microdilution test, according to European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility testing reference method. Results: From a total of 158 environmental molds fungi obtained from the hospitals, 58 isolates were identified as A. fumigatus by amplification of expected size of β-tubulin gene (~500 bp). In this study, in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing has shown that there were not high minimum inhibitory concentration values of triazole antifungals in all of the 58 environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that there was not azole-resistant among environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. Medical triazoles compounds have structural similarity with triazole fungicide compounds in agriculture, therefore, resistance development through exposure to triazole fungicide compounds in the environment is important but it sounds there is not a serious health problem in drug resistance in environmental isolates in Iran. PMID:27656605

  12. Physiological behaviour of gliotoxigenic Aspergillus fumigatus sensu stricto isolated from maize silage under simulated environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Alonso, V; Vergara, L Díaz; Aminahuel, C; Pereyra, C; Pena, G; Torres, A; Dalcero, A; Cavaglieri, L

    2015-01-01

    Environmental conditions play a key role in fungal development. During the silage production process, humidity, oxygen availability and pH vary among lactic-fermentation phases and among different silage sections. The aim of this work was to study the physiological behaviour of gliotoxicogenic Aspergillus fumigatus strains isolated from maize silage under simulated natural physicochemical conditions - different water activities (a(W)), temperatures (Tº), pH and oxygen pressure - on the growth parameters (growth rate and lag phase) and gliotoxin production. The silage was made with the harvested whole maize plant that was chopped and used for trench-type silo fabrication. Water activity and pH of the silage samples were determined. Total fungal counts were performed on Dichloran Rose Bengal Chloramphenicol agar and Dichloran 18% Glycerol agar. The morphological identification of A. fumigatus was performed with different culture media and at different growth temperature to observe microscopic and macroscopic characteristics. Gliotoxin production by A. fumigatus was determined by HPLC. All strains isolated were morphologically identified as A. fumigatus. Two A. fumigatus strains isolated from the silage samples were selected for the ecophysiological study (A. fumigatus sensu stricto RC031 and RC032). The results of this investigation showed that the fungus grows in the simulated natural physicochemical conditions of corn silage and produces gliotoxin. The study of the physiological behaviour of gliotoxigenic A. fumigatus under simulated environmental conditions allowed its behaviour to be predicted in silage and this will in future enable appropriate control strategies to be developed to prevent the spread of this fungus and toxin production that leads to impairment and reduced quality of silage.

  13. [Strategy of Aspergillus fumigatus to evade attacks from host--projectile weapons and armor].

    PubMed

    Toyotome, Takahito; Watanabe, Akira; Iwasaki, Aya; Kamei, Katsuhiko

    2009-01-01

    Humans are continually inhaling environmental fungi. When the host immune system is competent, the inhaled fungi are cleared away from the lung by host defense mechanisms. But in immunocompromised individuals, the environmental fungi (e.g., Aspergillus fumigatus) sometimes cause infection. Pathogenic fungi possess various mechanisms to invade the host. A. fumigatus is no exception in possessing several virulence factors and defense mechanisms against host immune attack.One of the virulence factors is secondary metabolite. A. fumigatus produces a variety of secondary metabolites, and the fungal products in culture supernatant have a strong apoptosis-inducing activity to macrophages and alveolar epithelial cells. These data suggest that A. fumigatus is equipped with special projectile weapons for destroying host physical barriers and immunological barriers in lung.The fungal cell wall is an easy target for the host to recognize the pathogen. One of the fungal cell wall components, beta- (1,3) -glucan, is a major fungal PAMP (pathogen-associated molecular pattern), which is recognized by one of the pattern recognition receptors, dectin-1. The interaction induces activation of transcription factors and production of proinflammatory cytokines in the host cell. However, beta-glucan of A. fumigatus is strongly exposed to the surface only during the "swollen-conidia" phase. In the hyphal phase, the fungus is covered with "armor", i.e., other cell wall components to minimize the exposure of the beta-glucan structure. These findings suggest that A. fumigatus evades the recognition and the attack from host by masking beta-glucan. A. fumigatus has clever mechanisms to defend itself and to attack the host immune system.

  14. In silico Identification of Potential Peptides or Allergen Shot Candidates Against Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Thakur, Raman; Shankar, Jata

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Aspergillus fumigatus is capable of causing invasive aspergillosis or acute bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and the current situation is alarming. There are no vaccine or allergen shots available for Aspergillus-induced allergies. Thus, a novel approach in designing of an effective vaccine or allergen shot candidate against A. fumigatus is needed. Using immunoinformatics approaches from the characterized A. fumigatus allergens, we have mapped epitopic regions to predict potential peptides that elicit both Aspergillus-specific T cells and B cell immune response. Experimentally derived immunodominant allergens were retrieved from www.allergen.org. A total of 23 allergenic proteins of A. fumigatus were retrieved. Out of 23 allergenic proteins, 13 of them showed high sequence similarity to both human and mouse counterparts and thus were eliminated from analysis due to possible cross-reactivity. Remaining allergens were subjected to T cell (major histocompatibility complex class I and II alleles) and B cell epitope prediction using immune epitope database analysis resource. Only five allergens have shown a common B and T cell epitopic region between human and mouse. They are Asp f1 {147–156 region (RVIYTYPNKV); Mitogillin}, Asp f2 {5–19 region (LRLAVLLPLAAPLVA); Hypothetical protein}, Asp f5 {305–322 region (LNNYRPSSSSLSFKY); Metalloprotease}, Asp f17 {98–106 region (AANAGGTVY); Hypothetical protein}, and Asp f34 {74–82 region (YIQDGSLYL); PhiA cell wall protein}. The epitopic region from these five allergenic proteins showed potential for development of single peptide- or multipeptide-based vaccine or allergen shots for experimental prioritization. PMID:27872794

  15. IL-1α Signaling Is Critical for Leukocyte Recruitment after Pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Alayna K.; Lehmann, Margaret M.; Zickovich, Julianne M.; Espinosa, Vanessa; Shepardson, Kelly M.; Watschke, Christopher P.; Hilmer, Kimberly M.; Thammahong, Arsa; Barker, Bridget M.; Rivera, Amariliz; Cramer, Robert A.; Obar, Joshua J.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a mold that causes severe pulmonary infections. Our knowledge of how A. fumigatus growth is controlled in the respiratory tract is developing, but still limited. Alveolar macrophages, lung resident macrophages, and airway epithelial cells constitute the first lines of defense against inhaled A. fumigatus conidia. Subsequently, neutrophils and inflammatory CCR2+ monocytes are recruited to the respiratory tract to prevent fungal growth. However, the mechanism of neutrophil and macrophage recruitment to the respiratory tract after A. fumigatus exposure remains an area of ongoing investigation. Here we show that A. fumigatus pulmonary challenge induces expression of the inflammasome-dependent cytokines IL-1β and IL-18 within the first 12 hours, while IL-1α expression continually increases over at least the first 48 hours. Strikingly, Il1r1-deficient mice are highly susceptible to pulmonary A. fumigatus challenge exemplified by robust fungal proliferation in the lung parenchyma. Enhanced susceptibility of Il1r1-deficient mice correlated with defects in leukocyte recruitment and anti-fungal activity. Importantly, IL-1α rather than IL-1β was crucial for optimal leukocyte recruitment. IL-1α signaling enhanced the production of CXCL1. Moreover, CCR2+ monocytes are required for optimal early IL-1α and CXCL1 expression in the lungs, as selective depletion of these cells resulted in their diminished expression, which in turn regulated the early accumulation of neutrophils in the lung after A. fumigatus challenge. Enhancement of pulmonary neutrophil recruitment and anti-fungal activity by CXCL1 treatment could limit fungal growth in the absence of IL-1α signaling. In contrast to the role of IL-1α in neutrophil recruitment, the inflammasome and IL-1β were only essential for optimal activation of anti-fungal activity of macrophages. As such, Pycard-deficient mice are mildly susceptible to A. fumigatus infection. Taken together, our data reveal

  16. The Involvement of the Mid1/Cch1/Yvc1 Calcium Channels in Aspergillus fumigatus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Chiaratto, Jéssica; Winkelströter, Lizziane K.; Bom, Vinícius Leite Pedro; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Goldman, Maria Helena S.; Brown, Neil Andrew; Goldman, Gustavo H.

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a major opportunistic pathogen and allergen of mammals. Calcium homeostasis and signaling is essential for numerous biological processes and also influences A. fumigatus pathogenicity. The presented study characterized the function of the A. fumigatus homologues of three Saccharomyces cerevisiae calcium channels, voltage-gated Cch1, stretch-activated Mid1 and vacuolar Yvc1. The A. fumigatus calcium channels cchA, midA and yvcA were regulated at transcriptional level by increased calcium levels. The YvcA::GFP fusion protein localized to the vacuoles. Both ΔcchA and ΔmidA mutant strains showed reduced radial growth rate in nutrient-poor minimal media. Interestingly, this growth defect in the ΔcchA strain was rescued by the exogenous addition of CaCl2. The ΔcchA, ΔmidA, and ΔcchA ΔmidA strains were also sensitive to the oxidative stress inducer, paraquat. Restriction of external Ca2+ through the addition of the Ca2+-chelator EGTA impacted upon the growth of the ΔcchA and ΔmidA strains. All the A. fumigatus ΔcchA, ΔmidA, and ΔyvcA strains demonstrated attenuated virulence in a neutropenic murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Infection with the parental strain resulted in a 100% mortality rate at 15 days post-infection, while the mortality rate of the ΔcchA, ΔmidA, and ΔyvcA strains after 15 days post-infection was only 25%. Collectively, this investigation strongly indicates that CchA, MidA, and YvcA play a role in A. fumigatus calcium homeostasis and virulence. PMID:25083783

  17. Complementary Roles of the Classical and Lectin Complement Pathways in the Defense against Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Rosbjerg, Anne; Genster, Ninette; Pilely, Katrine; Skjoedt, Mikkel-Ole; Stahl, Gregory L.; Garred, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus infections are associated with a high mortality rate for immunocompromised patients. The complement system is considered to be important in protection against this fungus, yet the course of activation is unclear. The aim of this study was to unravel the role of the classical, lectin, and alternative pathways under both immunocompetent and immunocompromised conditions to provide a relevant dual-perspective on the response against A. fumigatus. Conidia (spores) from a clinical isolate of A. fumigatus were combined with various human serum types (including serum deficient of various complement components and serum from umbilical cord blood). We also combined this with inhibitors against C1q, mannose-binding lectin (MBL), and ficolin-2 before complement activation products and phagocytosis were detected by flow cytometry. Our results showed that alternative pathway amplified complement on A. fumigatus, but required classical and/or lectin pathway for initiation. In normal human serum, this initiation came primarily from the classical pathway. However, with a dysfunctional classical pathway (C1q-deficient serum), lectin pathway activated complement and mediated opsonophagocytosis through MBL. To model the antibody-decline in a compromised immune system, we used serum from normal umbilical cords and found MBL to be the key complement initiator. In another set of experiments, serum from patients with different kinds of immunoglobulin insufficiencies showed that the MBL lectin pathway contribution was highest in the samples with the lowest IgG/IgM binding. In conclusion, lectin pathway appears to be the primary route of complement activation in the absence of anti-A. fumigatus antibodies, whereas in a balanced immune state classical pathway is the main activator. This suggests a crucial role for the lectin pathway in innate immune protection against A. fumigatus in immunocompromised patients. PMID:27857715

  18. Targeted Disruption of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase pes3 Augments the Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    O'Hanlon, Karen A.; Cairns, Timothy; Stack, Deirdre; Schrettl, Markus; Bignell, Elaine M.; Kavanagh, Kevin; Miggin, Sinéad M.; O'Keeffe, Grainne; Larsen, Thomas O.; Doyle, Sean

    2011-01-01

    Nonribosomal peptide synthesis (NRPS) is a documented virulence factor for the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and other fungi. Secreted or intracellularly located NRP products include the toxic molecule gliotoxin and the iron-chelating siderophores triacetylfusarinine C and ferricrocin. No structural or immunologically relevant NRP products have been identified in the organism. We investigated the function of the largest gene in A. fumigatus, which encodes the NRP synthetase Pes3 (AFUA_5G12730), by targeted gene deletion and extensive phenotypic analysis. It was observed that in contrast to other NRP synthetases, deletion of pes3 significantly increases the virulence of A. fumigatus, whereby the pes3 deletion strain (A. fumigatus Δpes3) exhibited heightened virulence (increased killing) in invertebrate (P < 0.001) and increased fungal burden (P = 0.008) in a corticosteroid model of murine pulmonary aspergillosis. Complementation restored the wild-type phenotype in the invertebrate model. Deletion of pes3 also resulted in increased susceptibility to the antifungal, voriconazole (P < 0.01), shorter germlings, and significantly reduced surface β-glucan (P = 0.0325). Extensive metabolite profiling revealed that Pes3 does not produce a secreted or intracellularly stored NRP in A. fumigatus. Macrophage infections and histological analysis of infected murine tissue indicate that Δpes3 heightened virulence appears to be mediated by aberrant innate immune recognition of the fungus. Proteome alterations in A. fumigatus Δpes3 strongly suggest impaired germination capacity. Uniquely, our data strongly indicate a structural role for the Pes3-encoded NRP, a finding that appears to be novel for an NRP synthetase. PMID:21746855

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. A Modified Recombineering Protocol for the Genetic Manipulation of Gene Clusters in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. Caspofungin exposure alters the core septin AspB interactome of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Vargas-Muñiz, José M; Renshaw, Hilary; Waitt, Greg; Soderblom, Erik J; Moseley, M Arthur; Palmer, Jonathan M; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Keller, Nancy P; Steinbach, William J

    2017-04-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, the main etiological agent of invasive aspergillosis, is a leading cause of death in immunocompromised patients. Septins, a conserved family of GTP-binding proteins, serve as scaffolding proteins to recruit enzymes and key regulators to different cellular compartments. Deletion of the A. fumigatus septin aspB increases susceptibility to the echinocandin antifungal caspofungin. However, how AspB mediates this response to caspofungin is unknown. Here, we characterized the AspB interactome under basal conditions and after exposure to a clinically relevant concentration of caspofungin. While A. fumigatus AspB interacted with 334 proteins, including kinases, cell cycle regulators, and cell wall synthesis-related proteins under basal growth conditions, caspofungin exposure altered AspB interactions. A total of 69 of the basal interactants did not interact with AspB after exposure to caspofungin, and 54 new interactants were identified following caspofungin exposure. We generated A. fumigatus deletion strains for 3 proteins (ArpB, Cyp4, and PpoA) that only interacted with AspB following exposure to caspofungin that were previously annotated as induced after exposure to antifungal agents, yet only PpoA was implicated in the response to caspofungin. Taken together, we defined how the septin AspB interactome is altered in the presence of a clinically relevant antifungal.

  5. 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

  6. Aspergillus fumigatus contamination of lymphokine-activated killer cells infused into cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Arnow, P M; Houchins, S G; Richards, J M; Chudy, R

    1991-05-01

    Lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, prepared by incubating autologous lymphocytes in cell culture medium with interleukin-2, selectively lyse tumor cells and are effective immunotherapy of some cancers. During a 3-month period, two patients at our center were infused with LAK cells subsequently found to have been contaminated by Aspergillus fumigatus. Each case was investigated by obtaining environmental cultures and assessing aseptic practices during LAK cell preparation. Investigation of the first case demonstrated a malfunction of the laminar air flow hood, under which interleukin-2 and the patient's lymphocytes had been added to cell culture medium, and showed heavy A. fumigatus contamination of the hood, adjacent countertop, and cell culture incubator. Despite repair of the laminar air flow hood and cleaning of the laboratory, a second case occurred, and cultures at that time implicated the humidified cell culture incubators as the source of A. fumigatus. Following incubator sterilization and removal of the humidification apparatus from the incubators, weekly environmental cultures in the LAK cell laboratory were negative, and none of the LAK cell cultures from the 20 patients treated during the ensuing 15 months grew A. fumigatus. Our findings show that growth of fungi in humidified incubators, which previously has caused contamination problems in tissue culture and clinical microbiology laboratories, can result in patient infections when humidified incubators are used to prepare cells for reinfusion.

  7. Myeloid derived hypoxia inducible factor 1-alpha is required for protection against pulmonary Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Shepardson, Kelly M; Jhingran, Anupam; Caffrey, Alayna; Obar, Joshua J; Suratt, Benjamin T; Berwin, Brent L; Hohl, Tobias M; Cramer, Robert A

    2014-09-01

    Hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) is the mammalian transcriptional factor that controls metabolism, survival, and innate immunity in response to inflammation and low oxygen. Previous work established that generation of hypoxic microenvironments occurs within the lung during infection with the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we demonstrate that A. fumigatus stabilizes HIF1α protein early after pulmonary challenge that is inhibited by treatment of mice with the steroid triamcinolone. Utilizing myeloid deficient HIF1α mice, we observed that HIF1α is required for survival and fungal clearance early following pulmonary challenge with A. fumigatus. Unlike previously reported research with bacterial pathogens, HIF1α deficient neutrophils and macrophages were surprisingly not defective in fungal conidial killing. The increase in susceptibility of the myeloid deficient HIF1α mice to A. fumigatus was in part due to decreased early production of the chemokine CXCL1 (KC) and increased neutrophil apoptosis at the site of infection, resulting in decreased neutrophil numbers in the lung. Addition of recombinant CXCL1 restored neutrophil survival and numbers, murine survival, and fungal clearance. These results suggest that there are unique HIF1α mediated mechanisms employed by the host for protection and defense against fungal pathogen growth and invasion in the lung. Additionally, this work supports the strategy of exploring HIF1α as a therapeutic target in specific immunosuppressed populations with fungal infections.

  8. 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

  9. N-Myristoyltransferase Is a Cell Wall Target in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of filamentous fungal infections relies on a limited repertoire of antifungal agents. Compounds possessing novel modes of action are urgently required. N-myristoylation is a ubiquitous modification of eukaryotic proteins. The enzyme N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) has been considered a potential therapeutic target in protozoa and yeasts. Here, we show that the filamentous fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus possesses an active NMT enzyme that is essential for survival. Surprisingly, partial repression of the gene revealed downstream effects of N-myristoylation on cell wall morphology. Screening a library of inhibitors led to the discovery of a pyrazole sulphonamide compound that inhibits the enzyme and is fungicidal under partially repressive nmt conditions. Together with a crystallographic complex showing the inhibitor binding in the peptide substrate pocket, we provide evidence of NMT being a potential drug target in A. fumigatus. PMID:25706802

  10. The crystal structure of Aspergillus fumigatus cyclophilin reveals 3D domain swapping of a central element.

    PubMed

    Limacher, Andreas; Kloer, Daniel P; Flückiger, Sabine; Folkers, Gerd; Crameri, Reto; Scapozza, Leonardo

    2006-02-01

    The crystal structure of Aspergillus fumigatus cyclophilin (Asp f 11) was solved by the multiwavelength anomalous dispersion method and was refined to a resolution of 1.85 A with R and R(free) values of 18.9% and 21.4%, respectively. Many cyclophilin structures have been solved to date, all showing the same monomeric conformation. In contrast, the structure of A. fumigatus cyclophilin reveals dimerization by 3D domain swapping and represents one of the first proteins with a swapped central domain. The domain-swapped element consists of two beta strands and a subsequent loop carrying a conserved tryptophan. The tryptophan binds into the active site, inactivating cis-trans isomerization. This might be a means of biological regulation. The two hinge loops leave the protein prone to misfolding. In this context, alternative forms of 3D domain swapping that can lead to N- or C-terminally swapped dimers, oligomers, and aggregates are discussed.

  11. Effects of carboxymethylcellulose and carboxypolymethylene on morphology of Aspergillus fumigatus NRRL 2346 and fumagillin production.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen; Hartwieg, Erika A; Fang, Aiqi; Demain, Arnold L

    2003-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus NRRL 2346 is the producer of fumagillin, an antitumor antibiotic that inhibits angiogenesis. This strain is very difficult to grow reproducibly in shake flasks owing to an extreme form of pellet growth and extensive wall growth. The effects of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) and carboxypolymethylene (Carbopol) on growth and fumagillin production by A. fumigatus were investigated. By adding the polymers to the fermentation medium, the growth form of the mold was changed from a single large glob to small reproducible pellets, and wall growth was diminished to a minimum. Carbopol, at a lower concentration, was more effective than CMC in improving both morphology and production. Small pellets were produced which favored fumagillin biosynthesis. 1.5% (wt/vol) CMC and 0.3% (wt/vol) Carbopol were found to be the optimum concentrations; higher levels increased viscosity to an unacceptable level.

  12. Resistance to Voriconazole Due to a G448S Substitution in Aspergillus fumigatus in a Patient with Cerebral Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Pelaez, Teresa; Gijón, Paloma; Bunsow, Eleonora; Bouza, Emilio; Sánchez-Yebra, Waldo; Gama, Beatriz; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel; Mellado, Emilia

    2012-01-01

    A voriconazole-resistant isolate of Aspergillus fumigatus was recovered from an immunocompetent patient receiving long-term antifungal therapy for cerebral aspergillosis. A G448S amino acid substitution in the azole target (Cyp51A) was identified as the cause of the resistance phenotype. This article describes the first isolation of a voriconazole-resistant A. fumigatus isolate from an immunocompetent patient in Spain. PMID:22573589

  13. Resistance to voriconazole due to a G448S substitution in Aspergillus fumigatus in a patient with cerebral aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Pelaez, Teresa; Gijón, Paloma; Bunsow, Eleonora; Bouza, Emilio; Sánchez-Yebra, Waldo; Valerio, Maricela; Gama, Beatriz; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel; Mellado, Emilia

    2012-07-01

    A voriconazole-resistant isolate of Aspergillus fumigatus was recovered from an immunocompetent patient receiving long-term antifungal therapy for cerebral aspergillosis. A G448S amino acid substitution in the azole target (Cyp51A) was identified as the cause of the resistance phenotype. This article describes the first isolation of a voriconazole-resistant A. fumigatus isolate from an immunocompetent patient in Spain.

  14. Sph3 Is a Glycoside Hydrolase Required for the Biosynthesis of Galactosaminogalactan in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Bamford, Natalie C; Snarr, Brendan D; Gravelat, Fabrice N; Little, Dustin J; Lee, Mark J; Zacharias, Caitlin A; Chabot, Josée C; Geller, Alexander M; Baptista, Stefanie D; Baker, Perrin; Robinson, Howard; Howell, P Lynne; Sheppard, Donald C

    2015-11-13

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most virulent species within the Aspergillus genus and causes invasive infections with high mortality rates. The exopolysaccharide galactosaminogalactan (GAG) contributes to the virulence of A. fumigatus. A co-regulated five-gene cluster has been identified and proposed to encode the proteins required for GAG biosynthesis. One of these genes, sph3, is predicted to encode a protein belonging to the spherulin 4 family, a protein family with no known function. Construction of an sph3-deficient mutant demonstrated that the gene is necessary for GAG production. To determine the role of Sph3 in GAG biosynthesis, we determined the structure of Aspergillus clavatus Sph3 to 1.25 Å. The structure revealed a (β/α)8 fold, with similarities to glycoside hydrolase families 18, 27, and 84. Recombinant Sph3 displayed hydrolytic activity against both purified and cell wall-associated GAG. Structural and sequence alignments identified three conserved acidic residues, Asp-166, Glu-167, and Glu-222, that are located within the putative active site groove. In vitro and in vivo mutagenesis analysis demonstrated that all three residues are important for activity. Variants of Asp-166 yielded the greatest decrease in activity suggesting a role in catalysis. This work shows that Sph3 is a glycoside hydrolase essential for GAG production and defines a new glycoside hydrolase family, GH135.

  15. GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase is essential for cell wall integrity, morphogenesis and viability of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Hechun; Ouyang, Haomiao; Zhou, Hui; Jin, Cheng

    2008-09-01

    GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase (GMPP) catalyses the synthesis of GDP-mannose, which is the precursor for the mannose residues in glycoconjugates, using mannose 1-phosphate and GTP as substrates. Repression of GMPP in yeast leads to phenotypes including cell lysis, defective cell wall, and failure of polarized growth and cell separation. Although several GMPPs have been isolated and characterized in filamentous fungi, the physiological consequences of their actions are not clear. In this study, Afsrb1, which is a homologue of yeast SRB1/PSA1/VIG9, was identified in the Aspergillus fumigatus genome. The Afsrb1 gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and recombinant AfSrb1 was functionally confirmed as a GMPP. By the replacement of the native Afsrb1 promoter with an inducible Aspergillus nidulans alcA promoter, the conditional inactivation mutant strain YJ-gmpp was constructed. The presence of 3 % glucose completely blocked transcription of P(alcA)-Afsrb1, and was lethal to strain YJ-gmpp. Repression of Afsrb1 expression in strain YJ-gmpp led to phenotypes including hyphal lysis, defective cell wall, impaired polarity maintenance, and branching site selection. Also, rapid germination and reduced conidiation were documented. However, in contrast to yeast, strain YJ-gmpp retained the ability to direct polarity establishment and septation. Our results showed that the Afsrb1 gene is essential for cell wall integrity, morphogenesis and viability of Aspergillus fumigatus.

  16. Characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates from Air and Surfaces of the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Knox, Benjamin P; Blachowicz, Adriana; Palmer, Jonathan M; Romsdahl, Jillian; Huttenlocher, Anna; Wang, Clay C C; Keller, Nancy P; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2016-01-01

    One mission of the Microbial Observatory Experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) is to examine the traits and diversity of fungal isolates to gain a better understanding of how fungi may adapt to microgravity environments and how this may affect interactions with humans in a closed habitat. Here, we report an initial characterization of two isolates, ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4, of Aspergillus fumigatus collected from the ISS and a comparison to the experimentally established clinical isolates Af293 and CEA10. Whole-genome sequencing of ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4 showed 54,960 and 52,129 single nucleotide polymorphisms, respectively, compared to Af293, which is consistent with observed genetic heterogeneity among sequenced A. fumigatus isolates from diverse clinical and environmental sources. Assessment of in vitro growth characteristics, secondary metabolite production, and susceptibility to chemical stresses revealed no outstanding differences between ISS and clinical strains that would suggest special adaptation to life aboard the ISS. Virulence assessment in a neutrophil-deficient larval zebrafish model of invasive aspergillosis revealed that both ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4 were significantly more lethal than Af293 and CEA10. Taken together, these genomic, in vitro, and in vivo analyses of two A. fumigatus strains isolated from the ISS provide a benchmark for future investigations of these strains and for continuing research on specific microbial isolates from manned space environments. IMPORTANCE As durations of manned space missions increase, it is imperative to understand the long-term consequence of microbial exposure on human health in a closed human habitat. To date, studies aimed at bacterial and fungal contamination of space vessels have highlighted species compositions biased toward hardy, persistent organisms capable of withstanding harsh conditions. In the current study, we assessed traits of two independent Aspergillus fumigatus strains isolated

  17. Characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates from Air and Surfaces of the International Space Station

    PubMed Central

    Knox, Benjamin P.; Blachowicz, Adriana; Romsdahl, Jillian; Huttenlocher, Anna; Wang, Clay C. C.; Keller, Nancy P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT One mission of the Microbial Observatory Experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) is to examine the traits and diversity of fungal isolates to gain a better understanding of how fungi may adapt to microgravity environments and how this may affect interactions with humans in a closed habitat. Here, we report an initial characterization of two isolates, ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4, of Aspergillus fumigatus collected from the ISS and a comparison to the experimentally established clinical isolates Af293 and CEA10. Whole-genome sequencing of ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4 showed 54,960 and 52,129 single nucleotide polymorphisms, respectively, compared to Af293, which is consistent with observed genetic heterogeneity among sequenced A. fumigatus isolates from diverse clinical and environmental sources. Assessment of in vitro growth characteristics, secondary metabolite production, and susceptibility to chemical stresses revealed no outstanding differences between ISS and clinical strains that would suggest special adaptation to life aboard the ISS. Virulence assessment in a neutrophil-deficient larval zebrafish model of invasive aspergillosis revealed that both ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4 were significantly more lethal than Af293 and CEA10. Taken together, these genomic, in vitro, and in vivo analyses of two A. fumigatus strains isolated from the ISS provide a benchmark for future investigations of these strains and for continuing research on specific microbial isolates from manned space environments. IMPORTANCE As durations of manned space missions increase, it is imperative to understand the long-term consequence of microbial exposure on human health in a closed human habitat. To date, studies aimed at bacterial and fungal contamination of space vessels have highlighted species compositions biased toward hardy, persistent organisms capable of withstanding harsh conditions. In the current study, we assessed traits of two independent Aspergillus fumigatus strains

  18. Automated image analysis of the host-pathogen interaction between phagocytes and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mech, Franziska; Thywissen, Andreas; Guthke, Reinhard; Brakhage, Axel A; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2011-05-05

    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.

  19. Gβ-like CpcB plays a crucial role for growth and development of Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Kong, Qing; Wang, Long; Liu, Zengran; Kwon, Nak-Jung; Kim, Sun Chang; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2013-01-01

    Growth, development, virulence and secondary metabolism in fungi are governed by heterotrimeric G proteins (G proteins). A Gβ-like protein called Gib2 has been shown to function as an atypical Gβ in Gpa1-cAMP signaling in Cryptococcus neoformans. We found that the previously reported CpcB (cross pathway control B) protein is the ortholog of Gib2 in Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus. In this report, we further characterize the roles of CpcB in governing growth, development and toxigenesis in the two aspergilli. The deletion of cpcB results in severely impaired cellular growth, delayed spore germination, and defective asexual sporulation (conidiation) in both aspergilli. Moreover, CpcB is necessary for proper expression of the key developmental activator brlA during initiation and progression of conidiation in A. nidulans and A. fumigatus. Somewhat in accordance with the previous study, the absence of cpcB results in the formation of fewer, but not micro-, cleistothecia in A. nidulans in the presence of wild type veA, an essential activator of sexual development. However, the cpcB deletion mutant cleistothecia contain no ascospores, validating that CpcB is required for progression and completion of sexual fruiting including ascosporogenesis. Furthermore, unlike the canonical GβSfaD, CpcB is not needed for the biosynthesis of the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin (ST) as the cpcB null mutant produced reduced amount of ST with unaltered STC gene expression. However, in A. fumigatus, the deletion of cpcB results in the blockage of gliotoxin (GT) production. Further genetic analyses in A. nidulans indicate that CpcB may play a central role in vegetative growth, which might be independent of FadA- and GanB-mediated signaling. A speculative model summarizing the roles of CpcB in conjunction with SfaD in A. nidulans is presented.

  20. 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.

  1. Methods for reducing particle concentrations of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and mouldy hay dust.

    PubMed

    Edwards, J H; Trotman, D M; Mason, O F

    1985-08-01

    The effectiveness of commercially available domestic air purifiers to reduce airborne Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and mouldy hay dust was investigated. It was found that the rate of particle clearance is a function of the volume of air passing through the purifiers but that the low throughflow of air makes their use of little value in clearing particles from a normal sized room. Vacuum cleaners were more effective than air purifiers because of their higher air throughput, so too were high volume fan systems in conjunction with simple filtration units. Ionizers had no effect but steam condensation was very efficient at clearing airborne particles.

  2. Phosphate uptake and involvement of binding protein in Tween-80 supplemented culture of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Rao, K K; Mehta, A M; Gupta, A R

    1977-01-01

    Tween-80 supplementation in submerged culture of Aspergillus fumigatus resulted in an increase of phosphate uptake. The uptake system was characterized as saturable, energy-dependent and operating against the concentration gradient. Control and Tween 80 cultures showed similar Km values for phosphate uptake (50 micrometer). Cold osmotic shock treatment of the cultures was found to cause considerable reduction in the ability to take up phosphorus with concomitant release of the binding protein into the shock fluid. Binding protein preparation from Tween-80 supplemented cells showed more activity than that from control cells.

  3. 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.

  4. Terpenoids from the Marine-Derived Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus YK-7.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu; Li, Da-Hong; Li, Zhan-Lin; Sun, Yan-Jun; Hua, Hui-Ming; Liu, Tao; Bai, Jiao

    2015-12-28

    Two new β-bergamotane sesquiterpenoids, E-β-trans-5,8,11-trihydroxybergamot-9-ene (1) and β-trans-2β,5,15-trihydroxybergamot-10-ene (2), were isolated from the marine-derived fungus Aspergillus fumigatus YK-7, along with three known terpenoids 3-5. Their structures were determined by spectroscopic methods (1D and 2D NMR, HR-ESI-MS). Antiproliferative effects on human leukemic monocyte lymphoma U937 and human prostate cancer PC-3 cell lines were measured in vitro. Compound 4 exhibited potent activity against the U937 cell line with an IC50 value of 4.2 μM.

  5. Anthraquinone derivatives from Rumex plants and endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus and their effects on diabetic nephropathy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Yan, Yong-Ming; Wei, Wei; Luo, Jie; Zhang, Lan-Sheng; Zhou, Xiao-Jiang; Wang, Peng-Cheng; Yang, Yong-Xun; Cheng, Yong-Xian

    2013-07-01

    Two new oxanthrone C-glycosides, patientosides A (14) and B (15), together with three known ones (11-13), were isolated from Rumex patientia. Their structures were identified on the basis of spectroscopic methods. The absolute configuration for 14 and 15 were deduced by analysis of their CD spectra and comparison with those of known similar compounds. Compounds 11-15, and 14 known anthraquinones (1-4, 6-10, 16-20) previously isolated from Rumex nepalensis, Rumex hastatus, and endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus, respectively, as well as a commercially available compound rhein (5) were evaluated for their inhibitory effects on IL-6 and extracellular matrix production in mesangial cells.

  6. Comparison of two highly discriminatory molecular fingerprinting assays for analysis of multiple Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from patients with invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    de Valk, Hanneke A; Meis, Jacques F G M; de Pauw, Ben E; Donnelly, Peter J; Klaassen, Corné H W

    2007-05-01

    Two highly discriminatory fingerprinting assays, short tandem repeat typing and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), were compared to determine the genetic relatedness between 55 isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus obtained from 15 different patients suffering from proven invasive aspergillosis. Both techniques showed that interpatient isolates belonged to different genotypes and that intrapatient isolates from deep sites were all of the same genotype. By contrast, multiple genotypes were found among isolates originating from respiratory samples. Both techniques have specific advantages and disadvantages. AFLP is more universally applicable, but short tandem repeat analysis offers better discriminatory power and should be the preferred method for standardizing typing of clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus.

  7. 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

  8. Activation of vitamin D regulates response of human bronchial epithelial cells to Aspergillus fumigatus in an autocrine fashion.

    PubMed

    Li, Pei; Wu, Ting; Su, Xin; Shi, Yi

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is one of the most common fungi to cause diseases in humans. Recent evidence has demonstrated that airway epithelial cells play an important role in combating A. fumigatus through inflammatory responses. Human airway epithelial cells have been proven to synthesize the active vitamin D, which plays a key role in regulating inflammation. The present study was conducted to investigate the impact of A. fumigatus infection on the activation of vitamin D and the role of vitamin D activation in A. fumigatus-elicited antifungal immunity in normal human airway epithelial cells. We found that A. fumigatus swollen conidia (SC) induced the expression of 1α-hydroxylase, the enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of active vitamin D, and vitamin D receptor (VDR) in 16HBE cells and led to increased local generation of active vitamin D. Locally activated vitamin D amplified SC-induced expression of antimicrobial peptides in 16HBE cells but attenuated SC-induced production of cytokines in an autocrine fashion. Furthermore, we identified β-glucan, the major A. fumigatus cell wall component, as the causative agent for upregulation of 1α-hydroxylase and VDR in 16HBE cells. Therefore, activation of vitamin D is inducible and provides a bidirectional regulation of the responses to A. fumigatus in 16HBE cells.

  9. Regulation of Sterol Biosynthesis in the Human Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus: Opportunities for Therapeutic Development

    PubMed Central

    Dhingra, Sourabh; Cramer, Robert A.

    2017-01-01

    Sterols are a major component of eukaryotic cell membranes. For human fungal infections caused by the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, antifungal drugs that target sterol biosynthesis and/or function remain the standard of care. Yet, an understanding of A. fumigatus sterol biosynthesis regulatory mechanisms remains an under developed therapeutic target. The critical role of sterol biosynthesis regulation and its interactions with clinically relevant azole drugs is highlighted by the basic helix loop helix (bHLH) class of transcription factors known as Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins (SREBPs). SREBPs regulate transcription of key ergosterol biosynthesis genes in fungi including A. fumigatus. In addition, other emerging regulatory pathways and target genes involved in sterol biosynthesis and drug interactions provide additional opportunities including the unfolded protein response, iron responsive transcriptional networks, and chaperone proteins such as Hsp90. Thus, targeting molecular pathways critical for sterol biosynthesis regulation presents an opportunity to improve therapeutic options for the collection of diseases termed aspergillosis. This mini-review summarizes our current understanding of sterol biosynthesis regulation with a focus on mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by the SREBP family of transcription factors. PMID:28203225

  10. HapX-Mediated Adaption to Iron Starvation Is Crucial for Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Schrettl, Markus; Beckmann, Nicola; Varga, John; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Jöchl, Christoph; Moussa, Tarek A.; Wang, Shaohua; Gsaller, Fabio; Blatzer, Michael; Werner, Ernst R.; Niermann, William C.; Brakhage, Axel A.; Haas, Hubertus

    2010-01-01

    Iron is essential for a wide range of cellular processes. Here we show that the bZIP-type regulator HapX is indispensable for the transcriptional remodeling required for adaption to iron starvation in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. HapX represses iron-dependent and mitochondrial-localized activities including respiration, TCA cycle, amino acid metabolism, iron-sulfur-cluster and heme biosynthesis. In agreement with the impact on mitochondrial metabolism, HapX-deficiency decreases resistance to tetracycline and increases mitochondrial DNA content. Pathways positively affected by HapX include production of the ribotoxin AspF1 and siderophores, which are known virulence determinants. Iron starvation causes a massive remodeling of the amino acid pool and HapX is essential for the coordination of the production of siderophores and their precursor ornithine. Consistent with HapX-function being limited to iron depleted conditions and A. fumigatus facing iron starvation in the host, HapX-deficiency causes significant attenuation of virulence in a murine model of aspergillosis. Taken together, this study demonstrates that HapX-dependent adaption to conditions of iron starvation is crucial for virulence of A. fumigatus. PMID:20941352

  11. The Aspergillus fumigatus Transcription Factor Ace2 Governs Pigment Production, Conidiation and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Ejzykowicz, Daniele E.; Cunha, Marcel M.; Rozental, Sonia; Solis, Norma V.; Gravelat, Fabrice N.; Sheppard, Donald C.; Filler, Scott G.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Aspergillus fumigatus causes serious and frequently fatal infections in immunocompromised patients. To investigate the regulation of virulence of this fungus, we constructed and analyzed an A. fumigatus mutant that lacked the transcription factor Ace2, which influences virulence in other fungi. The Δace2 mutant had dysmorphic conidiophores, reduced conidia production, and abnormal conidial cell wall architecture. This mutant produced an orange pigment when grown on solid media, although its conidia had normal pigmentation. Conidia of the Δace2 mutant were larger and had accelerated germination. The resulting germlings were resistant to hydrogen peroxide, but not other stressors. Non-neutropenic mice that were immunosuppressed with cortisone acetate and infected with the Δace2 mutant had accelerated mortality, greater pulmonary fungal burden, and increased pulmonary inflammatory responses compared to mice infected with the wild-type or Δace2∷ace2 complemented strains. The Δace2 mutant had reduced ppoC, ecm33, and ags3 mRNA expression. It is known that A. fumigatus mutants with absent or reduced expression of these genes have increased virulence in mice, as well as other phenotypic similarities to the Δace2 mutant. Therefore, reduced expression of these genes likely contributes to the increased virulence of the Δace2 mutant. PMID:19220748

  12. Functional Investigation of Iron-Responsive Microsomal Proteins, including MirC, in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Mulvihill, Eoin D.; Moloney, Nicola M.; Owens, Rebecca A.; Dolan, Stephen K.; Russell, Lauren; Doyle, Sean

    2017-01-01

    The functionality of many microsome-associated proteins which exhibit altered abundance in response to iron limitation in Aspergillus fumigatus is unknown. Here, we generate and characterize eight gene deletion strains, and of most significance reveal that MirC (AFUA_2G05730) contributes to the maintenance of intracellular siderophore [ferricrocin (FC)] levels, augments conidiation, confers protection against oxidative stress, exhibits an intracellular localization and contributes to fungal virulence in the Galleria mellonella animal model system. FC levels were unaffected following deletion of all other genes encoding microsome-associated proteins. MirC does not appear to play a role in either siderophore export from, or uptake into, A. fumigatus. Label-free quantitative proteomic analysis unexpectedly revealed increased abundance of siderophore biosynthetic enzymes. In addition, increased expression of hapX (7.2 and 13.8-fold at 48 and 72 h, respectively; p < 0.001) was observed in ΔmirC compared to wild-type under iron-replete conditions by qRT-PCR. This was complemented by significantly elevated extracellular triacetylfusarinine C (TAFC; p < 0.01) and fusarinine C (FSC; p < 0.05) siderophore secretion. We conclude that MirC plays an important role in FC biosynthesis and contributes to the maintenance of iron homeostasis in A. fumigatus. PMID:28367141

  13. Aspergillus fumigatus melanins: interference with the host endocytosis pathway and impact on virulence

    PubMed Central

    Heinekamp, Thorsten; Thywißen, Andreas; Macheleidt, Juliane; Keller, Sophia; Valiante, Vito; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2013-01-01

    The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus produces at least two types of melanin, namely pyomelanin and dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin. Pyomelanin is produced during tyrosine catabolism via accumulation of homogentisic acid. Although pyomelanin protects the fungus against reactive oxygen species (ROS) and acts as a defense compound in response to cell wall stress, mutants deficient for pyomelanin biosynthesis do not differ in virulence when tested in a murine infection model for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. DHN melanin is responsible for the characteristic gray-greenish color of A. fumigatus conidia. Mutants lacking a functional polyketide synthase PksP, the enzyme responsible for the initial step in DHN-melanin formation, i.e., the synthesis of naphthopyrone, produce white spores and are attenuated in virulence. The activity of PksP was found to be essential not only for inhibition of apoptosis of phagocytes by interfering with the host PI3K/Akt signaling cascade but also for effective inhibition of acidification of conidia-containing phagolysosomes. These features allow A. fumigatus to survive in phagocytes and thereby to escape from human immune effector cells and to become a successful pathogen. PMID:23346079

  14. 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

  15. Characterization of a New β(1–3)-Glucan Branching Activity of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Gastebois, Amandine; Mouyna, Isabelle; Simenel, Catherine; Clavaud, Cécile; Coddeville, Bernadette; Delepierre, Muriel; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Fontaine, Thierry

    2010-01-01

    A new HPLC method was developed to separate linear from β(1–6)-branched β(1–3)-glucooligosaccharides. This methodology has permitted the isolation of the first fungal β(1–6)/β(1–3)-glucan branching transglycosidase using a cell wall autolysate of Aspergillus fumigatus (Af). The encoding gene, AfBGT2 is an ortholog of AfBGT1, another transglycosidase of A. fumigatus previously analyzed (Mouyna, I., Hartland, R. P., Fontaine, T., Diaquin, M., Simenel, C., Delepierre, M., Henrissat, B., and Latgé, J. P. (1998) Microbiology 144, 3171–3180). Both enzymes release laminaribiose from the reducing end of a β(1–3)-linked oligosaccharide and transfer the remaining chain to another molecule of the original substrate. The AfBgt1p transfer occurs at C-6 of the non-reducing end group of the acceptor, creating a kinked β(1–3;1–6) linear molecule. The AfBgt2p transfer takes place at the C-6 of an internal group of the acceptor, resulting in a β(1–3)-linked product with a β(1–6)-linked side branch. The single Afbgt2 mutant and the double Afbgt1/Afbgt2 mutant in A. fumigatus did not display any cell wall phenotype showing that these activities were not responsible for the construction of the branched β(1–3)-glucans of the cell wall. PMID:19948732

  16. 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

  17. Phytase production through response surface methodology and molecular characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus NF191.

    PubMed

    Gangoliya, Shivraj Singh; Gupta, Raj Kishor; Singh, Nand Kumar

    2015-06-01

    Phytase play an important role in phytic acid catalysis that act as a food inhibitor in cereals. Here, we isolated high phytase producing isolates NF191 closely related to Aspergillus fumigatus sp. from piggery soil. DNA was isolated from the fungal culture and amplified the ITS region using ITS1 and ITS4 primer using PCR. The 400-900 bp amplicon was gel eluted and subjected to sequencing. The sequencing results were assembled and compared with NCBI data base which showed the 99% identity of Aspergillus fumigatus. Different carbon sources viz., fructose, galactose, lactose, dextrose, sucrose, maltose and different nitrogen sources (organic & inorganic) NH4Cl, NH4NO3, (NH4)2SO4, KNO3, NaNO3, urea, yeast extract, peptone, beef extract were tested for optimal production. The 0.3% dextrose, 0.5% NH4NO3 and 96 h incubation time showed the best production and enzyme activity at 45 degrees C incubation temperature. The selected parameters, dextrose, ammonium sulphate and incubation time, when employed with statistical optimization approach involving response surface optimization using Box Behnken Design, gave a 1.3 fold increase in phytase production compared to unoptimized condition.

  18. Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles by a new strain of Streptomyces sp. compared with Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Alani, Faiez; Moo-Young, Murray; Anderson, William

    2012-03-01

    Locally isolated strains of a thermoalkalotolerant Streptomyces sp. and Aspergillus fumigatus were used for the in vitro biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles from AgNO(3) solutions. An autolysed cell-free culture filtrate from each strain was used, indicating that the formation mechanism depends on intra-cellular components for both organisms, since culture broths had no significant nanoparticle formation potential. Nanoparticle formation was indicated by a change of the solution from colourless or light brown to dark brown after 24 h or more, and UV-visible spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction analysis confirmed the formation by both organisms. The initial formation kinetics were faster with Aspergillus, but formation continued for a longer period with Streptomyces, resulting in higher concentrations after 48 h. Transmission electron microscope images revealed well dispersed nanoparticles with diameters ranging from 15 to 45 nm from A. fumigatus, while those from Streptomyces sp. had a narrower size distribution of 15-25 nm. The higher productivity and preferred narrower size distribution of Streptomyces, together with its well established industrial use, may make it the preferred choice for further optimization studies.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Global Transcriptome Changes Underlying Colony Growth in the Opportunistic Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Gibbons, John G.; Beauvais, Anne; Beau, Remi; McGary, Kriston L.

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common and deadly pulmonary fungal infection worldwide. In the lung, the fungus usually forms a dense colony of filaments embedded in a polymeric extracellular matrix. To identify candidate genes involved in this biofilm (BF) growth, we used RNA-Seq to compare the transcriptomes of BF and liquid plankton (PL) growth. Sequencing and mapping of tens of millions sequence reads against the A. fumigatus transcriptome identified 3,728 differentially regulated genes in the two conditions. Although many of these genes, including the ones coding for transcription factors, stress response, the ribosome, and the translation machinery, likely reflect the different growth demands in the two conditions, our experiment also identified hundreds of candidate genes for the observed differences in morphology and pathobiology between BF and PL. We found an overrepresentation of upregulated genes in transport, secondary metabolism, and cell wall and surface functions. Furthermore, upregulated genes showed significant spatial structure across the A. fumigatus genome; they were more likely to occur in subtelomeric regions and colocalized in 27 genomic neighborhoods, many of which overlapped with known or candidate secondary metabolism gene clusters. We also identified 1,164 genes that were downregulated. This gene set was not spatially structured across the genome and was overrepresented in genes participating in primary metabolic functions, including carbon and amino acid metabolism. These results add valuable insight into the genetics of biofilm formation in A. fumigatus and other filamentous fungi and identify many relevant, in the context of biofilm biology, candidate genes for downstream functional experiments. PMID:21724936

  2. 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

  3. Aspergillus fumigatus and other thermophilic fungi in nests of wetland birds.

    PubMed

    Korniłłowicz-Kowalska, Teresa; Kitowski, Ignacy

    2013-02-01

    A study was performed on the numbers and species diversity of thermophilic fungi (growing at 45 °C in vitro) in 38 nests of 9 species of wetland birds, taking into account the physicochemical properties of the nests and the bird species. It was found that in nests with the maximum weight (nests of Mute Swan), the number and diversity of thermophilic fungi were significantly greater than in other nests, with lower weight. The diversity of the thermophilic biota was positively correlated with the individual mass of bird and with the level of phosphorus in the nests. The dominant species within the mycobiota under study was Aspergillus fumigatus which inhabited 95% of the nests under study, with average frequency of ca. 650 cfu g(-1) of dry mass of the nest material. In a majority of the nests studied (nests of 7 bird species), the share of A. fumigatus exceeded 50% of the total fungi growing at 45 °C. Significantly higher frequencies of the fungal species were characteristic of the nests of small and medium-sized piscivorous species, compared with the other bird species. The number of A. fumigatus increased with increase in the moisture level of the nests, whereas the frequency of occurrence of that opportunistic pathogen, opposite to the general frequency of thermophilic mycobiota, was negatively correlated with the level of phosphorus in the nest material, and with the body mass and length of the birds. The authors indicate the causes of varied growth of thermophilic fungi in nests of wetland birds and, in particular, present a discussion of the causes of accumulation of A. fumigatus, the related threats to the birds, and its role as a source of transmission in the epidemiological chain of aspergillosis.

  4. Evaluation of exposure of pemphigus vulgaris patients to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Ali, R A; Elsherif, R H; Saleh, M A; Ismail, M H

    2016-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to screen pemphigus vulgaris (PV) (autoimmune bullous skin disease) for the presence of immunoglobulin G against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Aspergillus fumigatus. The sera of 60 PV patients and 28 controls were screened for the presence of immunoglobulin G against M. tuberculosis and A. fumigatus by enzyme-linked immune-sorbent assay. Forty patients were females and 20 were males. The range of IgG against M. tuberculosis was from 0.9 to 152.6 (median = 2.95) in the patients and was from 0 to 2.2 (median = 1.6) in the controls. Seven (11.7 %) patients and none of the controls exceeded the cut-off value. Four patients were on systemic steroids and azathioprine and three did not receive treatment before. The results showed that PV patients had significantly more IgG against M. tuberculosis than the controls; the p value was 0.006. The range of IgG against A. fumigatus was from 1.3 to 76.3 (median = 4.9) in the patients and was from 1 to 105.3 (median = 5.25) in the controls. Six (10 %) patients and eight (28.6 %) controls exceeded the cut-off value. The six patients were on systemic steroids and azathioprine. No significant difference was detected between PV patients and controls regarding exposure to A. fumigatus; the p value was 0.308. PV patients showed significantly more exposure to the M. tuberculosis than the controls. This suggests that M. tuberculosis may contribute to the pathogenesis of PV.

  5. Aspergillus fumigatus evades immune recognition during germination through loss of toll-like receptor-4-mediated signal transduction.

    PubMed

    Netea, Mihai G; Warris, Adilia; Van der Meer, Jos W M; Fenton, Matthew J; Verver-Janssen, Trees J G; Jacobs, Liesbeth E H; Andresen, Tonje; Verweij, Paul E; Kullberg, Bart Jan

    2003-07-15

    Peritoneal macrophages from Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4-deficient ScCr mice produced less tumor necrosis factor, interleukin (IL)-1alpha, and IL-1beta than did macrophages of control mice, when stimulated with conidia, but not with hyphae, of Aspergillus fumigatus, a finding suggesting that TLR4-mediated signals are lost during germination. This hypothesis was confirmed by use of a TLR4-specific fibroblast reporter cell line (3E10) that responded to the conidia, but not to the hyphae, of A. fumigatus. In contrast, macrophages from TLR2-knockout mice had a decreased production of proinflammatory cytokines in response to both Aspergillus conidia and Aspergillus hyphae, and these results were confirmed in 3E10 cells transfected with human TLR2. In addition, Aspergillus hyphae, but not Aspergillus conidia, stimulated production of IL-10 through TLR2-dependent mechanisms. In conclusion, TLR4-mediated proinflammatory signals, but not TLR2-induced anti-inflammatory signals, are lost on Aspergillus germination to hyphae. Therefore, phenotypic switching during germination may be an important escape mechanism of A. fumigatus that results in counteracting the host defense.

  6. Effects of retinoic acid receptor-γ on the Aspergillus fumigatus induced innate immunity response in human corneal epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiao-Chen; Zhao, Gui-Qiu; Lin, Jing; Li, Cui; Jiang, Nan; Zhang, Jie

    2016-01-01

    AIM To explore the effects of retinoic acid receptor-γ (RARγ) on innate immune responses against Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) in cultured human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs). METHODS The HCECs were stimulated with A. fumigatus hyphae for 0, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16h. RARγ mRNA and protein levels were tested by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot. Then HCECs were pretreated with or without BMS961 (RARγ agonist, 1 µg/mL). The mRNA and protein expression of Dectin-1 and the downstream cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6) were determined by qRT-PCR, Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS The expression of RARγ was upregulated after stimulation with A. fumigatus. RARγ mRNA began to rise at 4h and peaked at 8h (P<0.001). The protein of RARγ reached to the peak at 16h (P<0.001). Pretreated with BMS961 before A. fumigatus hyphae stimulation, expression of Dectin-1, TNF-α and IL-6 decreased dramatically at mRNA and protein levels. CONCLUSION HCECs can express RARγ and A. fumigatus hyphae infection can increase RARγ expression. BMS961 can inhibit the expression of Dectin-1 and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and play an anti-inflammatory role in innate immune responses against A. fumigatus. PMID:28003968

  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. 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.

  9. Aspergillus fumigatus Intrinsic Fluconazole Resistance Is Due to the Naturally Occurring T301I Substitution in Cyp51Ap

    PubMed Central

    Leonardelli, Florencia; Macedo, Daiana; Dudiuk, Catiana; Cabeza, Matias S.; Gamarra, Soledad

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus intrinsic fluconazole resistance has been demonstrated to be linked to the CYP51A gene, although the precise molecular mechanism has not been elucidated yet. Comparisons between A. fumigatus Cyp51Ap and Candida albicans Erg11p sequences showed differences in amino acid residues already associated with fluconazole resistance in C. albicans. The aim of this study was to analyze the role of the natural polymorphism I301 in Aspergillus fumigatus Cyp51Ap in the intrinsic fluconazole resistance phenotype of this pathogen. The I301 residue in A. fumigatus Cyp51Ap was replaced with a threonine (analogue to T315 at Candida albicans fluconazole-susceptible Erg11p) by changing one single nucleotide in the CYP51A gene. Also, a CYP51A knockout strain was obtained using the same parental strain. Both mutants' antifungal susceptibilities were tested. The I301T mutant exhibited a lower level of resistance to fluconazole (MIC, 20 μg/ml) than the parental strain (MIC, 640 μg/ml), while no changes in MIC were observed for other azole- and non-azole-based drugs. These data strongly implicate the A. fumigatus Cyp51Ap I301 residue in the intrinsic resistance to fluconazole. PMID:27381395

  10. 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.

  11. Early neutrophil recruitment and aggregation in the murine lung inhibit germination of Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia.

    PubMed

    Bonnett, Colin R; Cornish, E Jean; Harmsen, Allen G; Burritt, James B

    2006-12-01

    Several types of polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) deficiency are a predisposing condition for fatal Aspergillus fumigatus infection. In order to study the defensive role of PMNs in the lungs, with particular reference to PMN recruitment and antimicrobial oxidant activity, responses to pulmonary instillation of A. fumigatus conidia were examined. Responses in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were compared with those in CXCR2(-/-) and gp91(phox-/-) mice, which are known to have delayed recruitment of PMN to the lungs in response to inflammatory stimuli and inactive NADPH oxidase, respectively. In BALB/c mice, PMNs were recruited to the lungs and formed oxidase-active aggregates with conidia, which inhibited germination. In C57BL/6, gp91(phox-/-), and CXCR2(-/-) mice, PMN recruitment was slower and there was increased germination compared to that in BALB/c mice at 6 and 12 h. In gp91(phox-/-) mice, germination was extensive in PMN aggregates but negligible in alveolar macrophages (AM). Lung sections taken at 6 and 48 h from BALB/c mice showed PMN accumulation at peribronchiolar sites but no germinating conidia. Those from C57BL/6 and CXCR2(-/-) mice showed germinating conidia at 6 h but not at 48 h and few inflammatory cells. In contrast, those from gp91(phox-/-) mice showed germination at 6 h with more-extensive hyphal proliferation and tissue invasion at 48 h. These results indicate that when the lungs are exposed to large numbers of conidia, in addition to the phagocytic activity of AM, early PMN recruitment and formation of oxidative-active aggregates are essential in preventing germination of A. fumigatus conidia.

  12. Identification of a Putative Crf Splice Variant and Generation of Recombinant Antibodies for the Specific Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Schütte, Mark; Thullier, Philippe; Pelat, Thibaut; Wezler, Xenia; Rosenstock, Philip; Hinz, Dominik; Kirsch, Martina Inga; Hasenberg, Mike; Frank, Ronald; Schirrmann, Thomas; Gunzer, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus is a common airborne fungal pathogen for humans. It frequently causes an invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised patients with poor prognosis. Potent antifungal drugs are very expensive and cause serious adverse effects. Their correct application requires an early and specific diagnosis of IA, which is still not properly achievable. This work aims to a specific detection of A. fumigatus by immunofluorescence and the generation of recombinant antibodies for the detection of A. fumigatus by ELISA. Results The A. fumigatus antigen Crf2 was isolated from a human patient with proven IA. It is a novel variant of a group of surface proteins (Crf1, Asp f9, Asp f16) which belong to the glycosylhydrolase family. Single chain fragment variables (scFvs) were obtained by phage display from a human naive antibody gene library and an immune antibody gene library generated from a macaque immunized with recombinant Crf2. Two different selection strategies were performed and shown to influence the selection of scFvs recognizing the Crf2 antigen in its native conformation. Using these antibodies, Crf2 was localized in growing hyphae of A. fumigatus but not in spores. In addition, the antibodies allowed differentiation between A. fumigatus and related Aspergillus species or Candida albicans by immunofluorescence microscopy. The scFv antibody clones were further characterized for their affinity, the nature of their epitope, their serum stability and their detection limit of Crf2 in human serum. Conclusion Crf2 and the corresponding recombinant antibodies offer a novel approach for the early diagnostics of IA caused by A. fumigatus. PMID:19675673

  13. Cell wall alpha1-3glucans induce the aggregation of germinating conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Thierry; Beauvais, Anne; Loussert, Céline; Thevenard, Benoît; Fulgsang, Claus C; Ohno, Naohito; Clavaud, Cécile; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2010-08-01

    The germination of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia can be divided into four stages: breaking of dormancy, isotropic swelling, establishment of cell polarity, and formation of a germ tube. Swelling of conidia is associated in liquid medium with a multi-cellular aggregation that produced large clumps of conidia. Conidial aggregation can be specifically prevented by the addition of alpha1-3glucanase. Swollen conidia specifically adhere to insoluble alpha1-3glucan chains. Electron microscopy studies showed that cell wall alpha1-3glucan chains became exposed at the cell surface during the swelling. These results demonstrate that cell wall alpha1-3glucans play an essential role in the aggregation between swollen conidia. Experiments with alpha1-3glucan coated latex beads show that alpha1-3glucan chains interacted between them without the requirement of any other cell wall component suggesting that biophysical properties of alpha1-3glucans are solely responsible for conidial aggregation.

  14. Accumulation of gliotoxin, a cytotoxic mycotoxin from Aspergillus fumigatus, in blue mussel (Mytilus edulis).

    PubMed

    Grovel, Olivier; Pouchus, Yves François; Verbist, Jean-François

    2003-09-01

    A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus has been isolated from sediments of a mussel bed. When cultured in hyper saline conditions (with sea-water), it produces a cytotoxic and immunosuppressive toxin, gliotoxin, which is excreted in an exudate. In order to know if this toxin could represent a risk for shellfish consumers, an experiment of bioaccumulation of gliotoxin in mussel has been carried out. After 6 days of contamination, toxin was accumulated in the meat of the mussels, at a level up to 2.9 microg/mg of extract weight, with a mode of contamination different to the classical digestive process described for a majority of marine toxins, but similar to the contamination mode of domoic acid.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Human Platelets Damage Aspergillus fumigatus Hyphae and May Supplement Killing by Neutrophils

    PubMed Central

    Christin, Laurent; Wysong, Deborah R.; Meshulam, Tova; Hastey, Ryan; Simons, Elizabeth R.; Diamond, Richard D.

    1998-01-01

    Neutropenia is considered a significant risk factor for invasive aspergillosis but is almost always associated with concurrent thrombocytopenia. Studies determined that platelets, like neutrophils, attached to cell walls of the invasive hyphal form of Aspergillus fumigatus. Organisms were damaged as shown by loss of cell wall integrity in scanning laser confocal microscopy and release of defined hyphal surface glycoproteins. Rapid expression appearance of surface antigen CD63 and release of markers of platelet degranulation confirmed activation during attachment to hyphae. Optimal platelet activation required opsonization of hyphae with fresh or heat-inactivated whole plasma. These effects of opsonization with whole plasma could not be duplicated by pooled human serum, immunoglobulin G, or fibrinogen, whether used separately or combined. Thus, platelets in the presence of whole plasma have the potential to play an important role in normal host defenses against invasive aspergillosis. PMID:9488412

  18. Structure of an Aspergillus fumigatus old yellow enzyme (EasA) involved in ergot alkaloid biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Chilton, Annemarie S.; Ellis, Ashley L.; Lamb, Audrey L.

    2014-01-01

    The Aspergillus fumigatus old yellow enzyme (OYE) EasA reduces chano­clavine-I aldehyde to dihydrochanoclavine aldehyde and works in conjunction with festuclavine synthase at the branchpoint for ergot alkaloid pathways. The crystal structure of the FMN-loaded EasA was determined to 1.8 Å resolution. The active-site amino acids of OYE are conserved, supporting a similar mechanism for reduction of the α/β-unsaturated aldehyde. The C-terminal tail of one monomer packs into the active site of a monomer in the next asymmetric unit, which is most likely to be a crystallization artifact and not a mechanism of self-regulation. PMID:25286934

  19. Adsorption characteristics and preparative separation of chaetominine from Aspergillus fumigatus mycelia by macroporous resin.

    PubMed

    Liu, Changqing; Jiao, Ruihua; Yao, Lingyun; Zhang, Yupeng; Lu, Yanhua; Tan, Renxiang

    2016-03-15

    Chaetominine (CHA) is a quinazolinone alkaloid with strong anti-cancer activity produced by Aspergillus fumigatus CY018. For recovering CHA from A. fumigates efficiently, adsorption and desorption capacities of eight macroporous resins were tested in this work. Based on batch experiments, XAD-16 resin was revealed the best adsorption and desorption performance among all the tested resins. Then, adsorption kinetics and adsorption isotherms were constructed on XAD-16 resin, and the experimental data were fitted well to the pseudo first-order kinetics and Freundlick isotherm model. In the dynamic adsorption and desorption, the purity of CHA increased from 0.0314% (w/w) in the crude extract to 57.86% in the final product with recovery yield of 70.56% by a one-step treatment. Moreover, the experiments were also performed in a lab scale-up scale, in which the purity and recovery of CHA were 56.12% (w/w) and 68.02%, respectively. In addition, XAD-16 resin could be recycled 3 times for CHA separation after regeneration without adverse effects on adsorption/desorption performance. These results suggested that XAD-16 resin adsorption could act as a useful and economic method for recovering CHA from A. fumigatus.

  20. FAD2-DGAT2 Genes Coexpressed in Endophytic Aspergillus fumigatus Derived from Tung Oilseeds

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yi-Cun; Wang, Yang-Dong; Cui, Qin-Qin; Zhan, Zhi-Yong

    2012-01-01

    Recent efforts to genetically engineer plants that contain fatty acid desaturases to produce valuable fatty acids have made only modest progress. Diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2), which catalyzes the final step in triacylglycerol (TAG) assembly, might potentially regulate the biosynthesis of desired fatty acids in TAGs. To study the effects of tung tree (Vernicia fordii) vfDGAT2 in channeling the desired fatty acids into TAG, vfDGAT2 combined with the tung tree fatty acid desaturase-2 (vfFAD2) gene was co-introduced into Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus isolated from healthy tung oilseed. Two transformants coexpressing vfFAD2 and vfDGAT2 showed a more than 6-fold increase in linoleic acid production compared to the original A. fumigatus strain, while a nearly 2-fold increase was found in the transformant expressing only vfFAD2. Our data suggest that vfDGAT2 plays a pivotal role in promoting linoleic acid accumulation in TAGs. This holds great promise for further genetic engineering aimed at producing valuable fatty acids. PMID:22919314

  1. Early events in macrophage killing of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia: new flow cytometric viability assay.

    PubMed

    Marr, K A; Koudadoust, M; Black, M; Balajee, S A

    2001-11-01

    Detailed investigations of macrophage phagocytosis and killing of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia have been limited by technical difficulties in quantifying fungal uptake and viability. In order to study early events in cell pathogen ingestion and killing, we developed a new flow cytometry assay that utilizes the fungus-specific viability dye FUN-1. Metabolically active A. fumigatus conidia accumulate orange fluorescence in vacuoles, while dormant or dead conidia stain green. After incubation within THP-1 cells, recovered conidia are costained with propidium iodide (PI) to discriminate between dormant and dead cells. Flow cytometric measurements of FUN-1 metabolism and PI uptake provide indicators of conidial viability, dormancy, and death. Conidial phagocytosis and killing are also assessed by measurement of green and orange FUN-1 fluorescence within the THP-1 cell population. Compared to previously described methods, this assay has less error introduced by membrane permeability changes and serial dilution of filamentous fungal forms. Results suggest that the THP-1 cells kill conidia rapidly (within 6 h) after exposure. Conidia that are preexposed to human serum are ingested and killed more quickly than are nonopsonized conidia.

  2. Cloning and characterization of a sialidase from the filamentous fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Warwas, Mark L; Yeung, Juliana H F; Indurugalla, Deepani; Mooers, Arne O; Bennet, Andrew J; Moore, Margo M

    2010-07-01

    A gene encoding a putative sialidase was identified in the genome of the opportunistic fungal pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus. Computational analysis showed that this protein has Asp box and FRIP domains, it was predicted to have an extracellular localization, and a mass of 42 kDa, all of which are characteristics of sialidases. Structural modeling predicted a canonical 6-bladed beta-propeller structure with the model's highly conserved catalytic residues aligning well with those of an experimentally determined sialidase structure. The gene encoding the putative Af sialidase was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Enzymatic characterization found that the enzyme was able to cleave the synthetic sialic acid substrate, 4-methylumbelliferyl alpha-D-N-acetylneuraminic acid (MUN), and had a pH optimum of 3.5. Further kinetic characterization using 4-methylumbelliferyl alpha-D-N-acetylneuraminylgalactopyranoside revealed that Af sialidase preferred alpha2-3-linked sialic acids over the alpha2-6 isomers. No trans-sialidase activity was detected. qPCR studies showed that exposure to MEM plus human serum induced expression. Purified Af sialidase released sialic acid from diverse substrates such as mucin, fetuin, epithelial cell glycans and colominic acid, though A. fumigatus was unable to use either sialic acid or colominic acid as a sole source of carbon. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the fungal sialidases were more closely related to those of bacteria than to sialidases from other eukaryotes.

  3. Passive Surveillance for Azole-Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus, United States, 2011–2013

    PubMed Central

    Reiss, Errol; Hagen, Ferry; Meis, Jacques F.; Lockhart, Shawn R.

    2014-01-01

    Emergence of Aspergillus fumigatus strains containing mutations that lead to azole resistance has become a serious public health threat in many countries. Nucleotide polymorphisms leading to amino acid substitutions in the lanosterol demethylase gene (cyp51A) are associated with reduced susceptibility to azole drugs. The most widely recognized mutation is a lysine to histidine substitution at aa 98 (L98H) and a duplication of the untranscribed promoter region, together known as TR34/L98H. This mechanism of resistance has been reported in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and is associated with resistance to all azole drugs and subsequent treatment failures. To determine whether isolates with this mutation are spreading into the United States, we conducted a passive surveillance–based study of 1,026 clinical isolates of A. fumigatus from 22 US states during 2011–2013. No isolates harboring the TR34/L98H mutation were detected, and MICs of itraconazole were generally low. PMID:25148217

  4. Network Modeling Reveals Cross Talk of MAP Kinases during Adaptation to Caspofungin Stress in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Altwasser, Robert; Baldin, Clara; Weber, Jakob; Guthke, Reinhard; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Brakhage, Axel A; Linde, Jörg; Valiante, Vito

    2015-01-01

    Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are highly conserved in eukaryotic organisms. In pathogenic fungi, their activities were assigned to different physiological functions including drug adaptation and resistance. Aspergillus fumigatus is a human pathogenic fungus, which causes life-threatening invasive infections. Therapeutic options against invasive mycoses are still limited. One of the clinically used drugs is caspofungin, which specifically targets the fungal cell wall biosynthesis. A systems biology approach, based on comprehensive transcriptome data sets and mathematical modeling, was employed to infer a regulatory network and identify key interactions during adaptation to caspofungin stress in A. fumigatus. Mathematical modeling and experimental validations confirmed an intimate cross talk occurring between the cell wall-integrity and the high osmolarity-glycerol signaling pathways. Specifically, increased concentrations of caspofungin promoted activation of these signalings. Moreover, caspofungin affected the intracellular transport, which caused an additional osmotic stress that is independent of glucan inhibition. High concentrations of caspofungin reduced this osmotic stress, and thus decreased its toxic activity. Our results demonstrated that MAPK signaling pathways play a key role during caspofungin adaptation and are contributing to the paradoxical effect exerted by this drug.

  5. Efficacy of voriconazole in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) experimentally infected with Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Tell, Lisa A; Clemons, Karl V; Kline, Yvonne; Woods, Leslie; Kass, Philip H; Martinez, Marife; Stevens, David A

    2010-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus causes disease in birds. Our objectives were to determine pharmacokinetic parameters and evaluate efficacy of voriconazole (VCZ) in a novel experimental quail model. After a single oral VCZ dose of 20 or 40 mg/kg, plasma concentrations peaked 2 h postdose (5.8 and 6.9 microg/ml) and remained above 0.5 microg/ml for 4 and 12 h postdose, respectively. For the efficacy study, ten-day-old Japanese quail (n = 60) were infected intratracheally with A. fumigatus conidia. Daily oral VCZ at 20 or 40 mg/kg was initiated 24 h postinfection (PI); infected diluent-treated birds were given de-ionized water orally. Preassigned birds were euthanized on days 5 or 10 PI. VCZ at 40 mg/kg prolonged survival compared to 20 mg/kg or diluent-treatment (P < 0.05) and lungs from birds given VCZ at 40 mg/kg had fewer colony forming units (CFU) than diluent-treated (P = 0.03). At day 10 PI, birds treated with VCZ at 20 mg/kg had significantly fewer fungi in the lungs as demonstrated by methenamine silver stain (P = 0.017) or immunohistochemistry, as compared to diluent-treated (P = 0.034). Histopathologically, VCZ-treated birds did not have necrotic lesions and showed a trend toward fewer with acute inflammatory changes. VCZ at 40 mg/kg was efficacious in quail with experimental pulmonary aspergillosis.

  6. Anti-Aspergillus fumigatus Efficacy of Pentraxin 3 Alone and in Combination with Antifungals

    PubMed Central

    Gaziano, Roberta; Bozza, Silvia; Bellocchio, Silvia; Perruccio, Katia; Montagnoli, Claudia; Pitzurra, Lucia; Salvatori, Giovanni; De Santis, Rita; Carminati, Paolo; Mantovani, Alberto; Romani, Luigina

    2004-01-01

    The collectin pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is an essential component of host resistance to pulmonary aspergillosis. Here we examined the protective effects of administration of PTX3 alone or together with deoxycholate amphotericin B (Fungizone) or liposomal amphotericin B (AmBisome) against invasive aspergillosis in a murine model of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. PTX3, alone or in combination with the polyenes, was given intranasally or parenterally either before, in concomitance with, or after the intranasal infection with Aspergillus fumigatus conidia. Mice were monitored for resistance to infection and parameters of innate and adaptive T-helper immunity. The results showed the following: (i) complete resistance to infection and reinfection was observed in mice treated with PTX3 alone; (ii) the protective effect of PTX3 was similar or superior to that observed with liposomal amphotericin B or deoxycholate amphotericin B, respectively; (iii) protection was associated with accelerated recovery of lung phagocytic cells and T-helper-1 lymphocytes and concomitant decrease of inflammatory pathology; and (iv) PTX3 potentiated the therapeutic efficacy of suboptimal doses of either antimycotic drug. Together, these data suggest the potential therapeutic use of PTX3 either alone or as an adjunctive therapy in A. fumigatus infections. PMID:15504871

  7. Asexual sporulation facilitates adaptation: The emergence of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhua; Debets, Alfons J M; Verweij, Paul E; Melchers, Willem J G; Zwaan, Bas J; Schoustra, Sijmen E

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the occurrence and spread of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is crucial for public health. It has been hypothesized that asexual sporulation, which is abundant in nature, is essential for phenotypic expression of azole resistance mutations in A. fumigatus facilitating subsequent spread through natural selection. Furthermore, the disease aspergilloma is associated with asexual sporulation within the lungs of patients and the emergence of azole resistance. This study assessed the evolutionary advantage of asexual sporulation by growing the fungus under pressure of one of five different azole fungicides over seven weeks and by comparing the rate of adaptation between scenarios of culturing with and without asexual sporulation. Results unequivocally show that asexual sporulation facilitates adaptation. This can be explained by the combination of more effective selection because of the transition from a multicellular to a unicellular stage, and by increased mutation supply due to the production of spores, which involves numerous mitotic divisions. Insights from this study are essential to unravel the resistance mechanisms of sporulating pathogens to chemical compounds and disease agents in general, and for designing strategies that prevent or overcome the emerging threat of azole resistance in particular.

  8. Ergothioneine Biosynthesis and Functionality in the Opportunistic Fungal Pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Sheridan, Kevin J; Lechner, Beatrix Elisabeth; Keeffe, Grainne O'; Keller, Markus A; Werner, Ernst R; Lindner, Herbert; Jones, Gary W; Haas, Hubertus; Doyle, Sean

    2016-10-17

    Ergothioneine (EGT; 2-mercaptohistidine trimethylbetaine) is a trimethylated and sulphurised histidine derivative which exhibits antioxidant properties. Here we report that deletion of Aspergillus fumigatus egtA (AFUA_2G15650), which encodes a trimodular enzyme, abrogated EGT biosynthesis in this opportunistic pathogen. EGT biosynthetic deficiency in A. fumigatus significantly reduced resistance to elevated H2O2 and menadione, respectively, impaired gliotoxin production and resulted in attenuated conidiation. Quantitative proteomic analysis revealed substantial proteomic remodelling in ΔegtA compared to wild-type under both basal and ROS conditions, whereby the abundance of 290 proteins was altered. Specifically, the reciprocal differential abundance of cystathionine γ-synthase and β-lyase, respectively, influenced cystathionine availability to effect EGT biosynthesis. A combined deficiency in EGT biosynthesis and the oxidative stress response regulator Yap1, which led to extreme oxidative stress susceptibility, decreased resistance to heavy metals and production of the extracellular siderophore triacetylfusarinine C and increased accumulation of the intracellular siderophore ferricrocin. EGT dissipated H2O2 in vitro, and elevated intracellular GSH levels accompanied abrogation of EGT biosynthesis. EGT deficiency only decreased resistance to high H2O2 levels which suggests functionality as an auxiliary antioxidant, required for growth at elevated oxidative stress conditions. Combined, these data reveal new interactions between cellular redox homeostasis, secondary metabolism and metal ion homeostasis.

  9. Nanoscale biophysical properties of the cell surface galactosaminogalactan from the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaussart, Audrey; El-Kirat-Chatel, Sofiane; Fontaine, Thierry; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Dufrêne, Yves F.

    2015-09-01

    Many fungal pathogens produce cell surface polysaccharides that play essential roles in host-pathogen interactions. In Aspergillus fumigatus, the newly discovered polysaccharide galactosaminogalactan (GAG) mediates adherence to a variety of substrates through molecular mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here we use atomic force microscopy to unravel the localization and adhesion of GAG on living fungal cells. Using single-molecule imaging with tips bearing anti-GAG antibodies, we found that GAG is massively exposed on wild-type (WT) germ tubes, consistent with the notion that this glycopolymer is secreted by the mycelium of A. fumigatus, while it is lacking on WT resting conidia and on germ tubes from a mutant (Δuge3) deficient in GAG. Imaging germ tubes with tips bearing anti-β-glucan antibodies shows that exposure of β-glucan is strongly increased in the Δuge3 mutant, indicating that this polysaccharide is masked by GAG during hyphal growth. Single-cell force measurements show that expression of GAG on germ tubes promotes specific adhesion to pneumocytes and non-specific adhesion to hydrophobic substrates. These results provide a molecular foundation for the multifunctional adhesion properties of GAG, thus suggesting it could be used as a potential target in anti-adhesion therapy and immunotherapy. Our methodology represents a powerful approach for characterizing the nanoscale organization and adhesion of cell wall polysaccharides during fungal morphogenesis, thereby contributing to increase our understanding of their role in biofilm formation and immune responses.

  10. Interactions of Aspergillus fumigatus with endothelial cells: internalization, injury, and stimulation of tissue factor activity.

    PubMed

    Lopes Bezerra, Leila M; Filler, Scott G

    2004-03-15

    Invasive aspergillosis causes significant mortality among patients with hematologic malignancies. This infection is characterized by vascular invasion and thrombosis. To study the pathogenesis of invasive aspergillosis, we investigated the interactions of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia and hyphae with endothelial cells in vitro. We found that both forms of the organism induced endothelial cell microfilament rearrangement and subsequent endocytosis. Conidia were endocytosed 2-fold more avidly than hyphae, and endocytosis was independent of fungal viability. Endocytosed conidia and hyphae caused progressive endothelial cell injury after 4 hours of infection. Live conidia induced more endothelial cell injury than did live hyphae. However, endothelial cell injury caused by conidia was dependent on fungal viability, whereas injury caused by hyphae was not, indicating that conidia and hyphae injure endothelial cells by different mechanisms. Neither live nor killed conidia increased tissue factor activity of endothelial cells. In contrast, both live and killed hyphae stimulated significant endothelial cell tissue factor activity, as well as the expression of tissue factor antigen on the endothelial cell surface. These results suggest that angioinvasion and thrombosis caused by A fumigatus hyphae in vivo may be due in part to endothelial cell invasion, induction of injury, and stimulation of tissue factor activity.

  11. Chemical and immunological characterization of the extracellular galactomannan of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Latgé, J P; Kobayashi, H; Debeaupuis, J P; Diaquin, M; Sarfati, J; Wieruszeski, J M; Parra, E; Bouchara, J P; Fournet, B

    1994-01-01

    The galactomannan (GM) produced extracellularly by Aspergillus fumigatus has been purified by a double sequential hydrazine-nitrous acid treatment of the ethanol precipitate of the culture filtrate. Nuclear magnetic resonance and gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis have been performed on intact GM, acid-hydrolyzed GM, and oligomers resulting from the acetolysis of the acid-hydrolyzed GM. Results show that A. fumigatus GM is composed of a linear mannan core with an alpha-(1-2)-linked mannotetraose repeating unit attached via alpha-(1-6) linkage. Side chains composed of an average of 4 to 5 beta-(1-5)-galactofuranose units are linked to C-6 and C-3 positions of alpha-(1-2)-linked mannose units of the mannan. The immunoreactivity of GM and HCl-hydrolyzed GM was studied by use of human sera from aspergillosis patients and an antigalactofuran monoclonal antibody. The alpha-(1-2) (1-6)-mannan core is not antigenic. The immunogenic galactofuran is found amongst several exocellular glycoproteins. According to a direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with GM as the detector antigen, only 26% of the serum samples from aspergilloma patients (all positive by immunodiffusion assays) give optical density values superior to a cutoff estimated as the mean +/- 3 standard deviations of values obtained with control sera. Images PMID:7960122

  12. Production and biochemical characterization of insecticidal enzymes from Aspergillus fumigatus toward Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Jackeline L; Franco, Octávio L; Noronha, Eliane F

    2006-06-01

    In the present work, Aspergillus fumigatus is described as a higher producer of hydrolytic enzymes secreted in response to the presence of the Callosobruchus maculatus bruchid pest. This fungus was able to grow over cowpea weevil shells as a unique carbon source, secreting alkaline proteolytic and chitinolytic enzymes. Enzyme secretion in A. fumigatus was induced by both C. maculatus exoskeleton as well as commercial chitin, and alkaline proteolytic and chitinolytic activities were detected after 48 hours of growth. Furthermore, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis showed the production of specific proteins. Among them, two extracellular alkaline proteinases from culture enriched with C. maculatus exoskeleton were purified after chromatographic procedures using ion exchange and affinity columns. These proteins, named AP15 and AP30, had apparent molecular masses of 15,500 and 30,000 Da, respectively, as estimated by SDS-PAGE electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. AP30 was classified as a serine proteinase because it was inhibited by 5 mM: phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (100%) and 50 microM leupeptin (67.94%).

  13. Structural, mechanistic and functional insight into gliotoxin bis-thiomethylation in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Stephen K.; Bock, Tobias; Hering, Vanessa; Owens, Rebecca A.; Jones, Gary W.

    2017-01-01

    Gliotoxin is an epipolythiodioxopiperazine (ETP) class toxin, contains a disulfide bridge that mediates its toxic effects via redox cycling and is produced by the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Self-resistance against gliotoxin is effected by the gliotoxin oxidase GliT, and attenuation of gliotoxin biosynthesis is catalysed by gliotoxin S-methyltransferase GtmA. Here we describe the X-ray crystal structures of GtmA-apo (1.66 Å), GtmA complexed to S-adenosylhomocysteine (1.33 Å) and GtmA complexed to S-adenosylmethionine (2.28 Å), providing mechanistic insights into this important biotransformation. We further reveal that simultaneous elimination of the ability of A. fumigatus to dissipate highly reactive dithiol gliotoxin, via deletion of GliT and GtmA, results in the most significant hypersensitivity to exogenous gliotoxin observed to date. Indeed, quantitative proteomic analysis of ΔgliT::ΔgtmA reveals an uncontrolled over-activation of the gli-cluster upon gliotoxin exposure. The data presented herein reveal, for the first time, the extreme risk associated with intracellular dithiol gliotoxin biosynthesis—in the absence of an efficient dismutation capacity. Significantly, a previously concealed protective role for GtmA and functionality of ETP bis-thiomethylation as an ancestral protection strategy against dithiol compounds is now evident. PMID:28179499

  14. Ergothioneine Biosynthesis and Functionality in the Opportunistic Fungal Pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Sheridan, Kevin J.; Lechner, Beatrix Elisabeth; Keeffe, Grainne O’; Keller, Markus A.; Werner, Ernst R.; Lindner, Herbert; Jones, Gary W.; Haas, Hubertus; Doyle, Sean

    2016-01-01

    Ergothioneine (EGT; 2-mercaptohistidine trimethylbetaine) is a trimethylated and sulphurised histidine derivative which exhibits antioxidant properties. Here we report that deletion of Aspergillus fumigatus egtA (AFUA_2G15650), which encodes a trimodular enzyme, abrogated EGT biosynthesis in this opportunistic pathogen. EGT biosynthetic deficiency in A. fumigatus significantly reduced resistance to elevated H2O2 and menadione, respectively, impaired gliotoxin production and resulted in attenuated conidiation. Quantitative proteomic analysis revealed substantial proteomic remodelling in ΔegtA compared to wild-type under both basal and ROS conditions, whereby the abundance of 290 proteins was altered. Specifically, the reciprocal differential abundance of cystathionine γ-synthase and β-lyase, respectively, influenced cystathionine availability to effect EGT biosynthesis. A combined deficiency in EGT biosynthesis and the oxidative stress response regulator Yap1, which led to extreme oxidative stress susceptibility, decreased resistance to heavy metals and production of the extracellular siderophore triacetylfusarinine C and increased accumulation of the intracellular siderophore ferricrocin. EGT dissipated H2O2 in vitro, and elevated intracellular GSH levels accompanied abrogation of EGT biosynthesis. EGT deficiency only decreased resistance to high H2O2 levels which suggests functionality as an auxiliary antioxidant, required for growth at elevated oxidative stress conditions. Combined, these data reveal new interactions between cellular redox homeostasis, secondary metabolism and metal ion homeostasis. PMID:27748436

  15. Gliotoxin promotes Aspergillus fumigatus internalization into type II human pneumocyte A549 cells by inducing host phospholipase D activation.

    PubMed

    Jia, Xiaodong; Chen, Fangyan; Pan, Weihua; Yu, Rentao; Tian, Shuguang; Han, Gaige; Fang, Haiqin; Wang, Shuo; Zhao, Jingya; Li, Xianping; Zheng, Dongyu; Tao, Sha; Liao, Wanqing; Han, Xuelin; Han, Li

    2014-06-01

    The internalization of Aspergillus fumigatus into lung epithelial cells is critical for the infection process in the host. Gliotoxin is the most potent toxin produced by A. fumigatus. However, its role in A. fumigatus internalization into the lung epithelial cells is still largely unknown. In the present study, the deletion of the gliP gene regulating the production of gliotoxin in A. fumigatus suppressed the internalization of conidia into the A549 lung epithelial cells, and this suppression could be rescued by the exogenous addition of gliotoxin. At lower concentrations, gliotoxin enhanced the internalization of the conidia of A. fumigatus into A549 cells; in contrast, it inhibited the phagocytosis of J774 macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. Under a concentration of 100 ng/ml, gliotoxin had no effect on A549 cell viability but attenuated ROS production in a dose-dependent manner. Gliotoxin significantly stimulated the phospholipase D activity in the A549 cells at a concentration of 50 ng/ml. This stimulation was blocked by the pretreatment of host cells with PLD1- but not PLD2-specific inhibitor. Morphological cell changes induced by gliotoxin were observed in the A549 cells accompanying with obvious actin cytoskeleton rearrangement and a moderate alteration of phospholipase D distribution. Our data indicated that gliotoxin might be responsible for modulating the A. fumigatus internalization into epithelial cells through phospholipase D1 activation and actin cytoskeleton rearrangement.

  16. Secreted Aspergillus fumigatus Protease Alp1 Degrades Human Complement Proteins C3, C4, and C5▿

    PubMed Central

    Behnsen, Judith; Lessing, Franziska; Schindler, Susann; Wartenberg, Dirk; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Thoen, Marcel; Zipfel, Peter F.; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2010-01-01

    The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is a major cause of fungal infections in immunocompromised patients. Innate immunity plays an important role in the defense against infections. The complement system represents an essential part of the innate immune system. This cascade system is activated on the surface of A. fumigatus conidia and hyphae and enhances phagocytosis of conidia. A. fumigatus conidia but not hyphae bind to their surface host complement regulators factor H, FHL-1, and CFHR1, which control complement activation. Here, we show that A. fumigatus hyphae possess an additional endogenous activity to control complement activation. A. fumigatus culture supernatant efficiently cleaved complement components C3, C4, C5, and C1q as well as immunoglobulin G. Secretome analysis and protease inhibitor studies identified the secreted alkaline protease Alp1, which is present in large amounts in the culture supernatant, as the central molecule responsible for this cleavage. An alp1 deletion strain was generated, and the culture supernatant possessed minimal complement-degrading activity. Moreover, protein extract derived from an Escherichia coli strain overproducing Alp1 cleaved C3b, C4b, and C5. Thus, the protease Alp1 is responsible for the observed cleavage and degrades a broad range of different substrates. In summary, we identified a novel mechanism in A. fumigatus that contributes to evasion from the host complement attack. PMID:20498262

  17. Modified release itraconazole amorphous solid dispersion to treat Aspergillus fumigatus: importance of the animal model selection.

    PubMed

    Maincent, Julien P; Najvar, Laura K; Kirkpatrick, William R; Huang, Siyuan; Patterson, Thomas F; Wiederhold, Nathan P; Peters, Jay I; Williams, Robert O

    2017-02-01

    Previously, modified release itraconazole in the form of a melt-extruded amorphous solid dispersion based on a pH dependent enteric polymer combined with hydrophilic additives (HME-ITZ), exhibited improved in vitro dissolution properties. These properties agreed with pharmacokinetic results in rats showing high and sustained itraconazole (ITZ) systemic levels. The objective of the present study was to better understand the best choice of rodent model for evaluating the pharmacokinetic and efficacy of this orally administered modified release ITZ dosage form against invasive Aspergillus fumigatus. A mouse model and a guinea pig model were investigated and compared to results previously published. In the mouse model, despite similar levels as previously reported values, plasma and lung levels were variable and fungal burden was not statistically different for placebo controls, HME-ITZ and Sporanox(®) (ITZ oral solution). This study demonstrated that the mouse model is a poor choice for studying modified release ITZ dosage forms based on pH dependent enteric polymers due to low fluid volume available for dissolution and low intestinal pH. To the contrary, guinea pig was a suitable model to evaluate modified release ITZ dosage forms. Indeed, a significant decrease in lung fungal burden as a result of high and sustained ITZ tissue levels was measured. Sufficiently high intestinal pH and fluids available for dissolution likely facilitated the dissolution process. Despite high ITZ tissue level, the primary therapeutic agent voriconazole exhibited an even more pronounced decrease in fungal burden due to its reported higher clinical efficacy specifically against Aspergillus fumigatus.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. A monoclonal IgM directed against immunodominant catalase B of cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus exerts anti-A. fumigatus activities.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, Ashok K; Kumar, Rohitashw; Kumar, Awanit; Shukla, Praveen K

    2009-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, a ubiquitous fungus, has been reported to cause human diseases like allergic pulmonary aspergillosis, aspergilloma and invasive infection. Limited spectrum and emergence of resistance has become a serious problem with available antifungals. Therefore, an alternative approach is required for successful treatment of mycoses. In the present study, immunogenic protein profile of A. fumigatus cell wall was generated using two-dimensional-gel electrophoresis and three hybridomas producing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs; IgM) were selected after fusion experiments. Of these three MAbs, MAb-7 exhibited potent in vitro inhibitory activity, which was confirmed by MTT assay, fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis and immuno-fluorescence studies, and the protein was identified as catalase B using MALDI-TOF-MS.

  20. Aspergillus fumigatus responds to natural killer (NK) cells with upregulation of stress related genes and inhibits the immunoregulatory function of NK cells

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Andreas; Blatzer, Michael; Posch, Wilfried; Schubert, Ralf; Lass-Flörl, Cornelia; Schmidt, Stanislaw; Lehrnbecher, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Natural Killer (NK) cells are active against Aspergillus fumigatus, which in turn is able to impair the host defense. Unfortunately, little is known on the mutual interaction of NK cells and A. fumigatus. We coincubated human NK cells with A. fumigatus hyphae and assessed the gene expression and protein concentration of selected molecules. We found that A. fumigatus up-regulates the gene expression of pro-inflammatory molecules in NK cells, but inhibited the release of these molecules resulting in intracellular accumulation and limited extracellular availability. A. fumigatus down-regulatedmRNA levels of perforin in NK cells, but increased its intra- and extracellular protein concentration. The gene expression of stress related molecules of A. fumigatus such as heat shock protein hsp90 was up-regulated by human NK cells. Our data characterize for the first time the immunosuppressive effect of A. fumigatus on NK cells and may help to develop new therapeutic antifungal strategies. PMID:27738337

  1. Analysis of glycosylinositol phosphorylceramides expressed by the opportunistic mycopathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Toledo, Marcos S; Levery, Steven B; Bennion, Beau; Guimaraes, Luciana L; Castle, Sherry A; Lindsey, Rebecca; Momany, Michelle; Park, Chaeho; Straus, Anita H; Takahashi, Helio K

    2007-08-01

    Acidic glycosphingolipid components were extracted from the opportunistic mycopathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and identified as inositol phosphorylceramide and glycosylinositol phosphorylceramides (GIPCs). Using nuclear magnetic resonance sppectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and other techniques, the structures of six major components were elucidated as Ins-P-Cer (Af-0), Manp(alpha1-->3)Manp(alpha1-->2)Ins-P-Cer (Af-2), Manp(alpha1-->2)Manp(alpha1-->3)Manp(alpha1-->2)Ins-P-Cer (Af-3a), Manp(alpha1-->3)[Galf(beta1-->6)]Manp(alpha1-->2)-Ins-P-Cer (Af-3b), Manp(alpha1-->2)-Manp(alpha1-->3)[Galf(beta1-->6)]Manp(alpha1-->2)Ins-P-Cer (Af-4), and Manp(alpha1-->3)Manp(alpha1-->6)GlcpN(alpha1-->2)Ins-P-Cer (Af-3c) (where Ins = myo-inositol and P = phosphodiester). A minor A. fumigatus GIPC was also identified as the N-acetylated version of Af-3c (Af-3c*), which suggests that formation of the GlcNalpha1-->2Ins linkage may proceed by a two-step process, similar to the GlcNalpha1-->6Ins linkage in glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors (transfer of GlcNAc, followed by enzymatic de-N-acetylation). The glycosylinositol of Af-3b, which bears a distinctive branching Galf(beta1-->6) residue, is identical to that of a GIPC isolated previously from the dimorphic mycopathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis (designated Pb-3), but components Af-3a and Af-4 have novel structures. Overlay immunostaining of A. fumigatus GIPCs separated on thin-layer chromatograms was used to assess their reactivity against sera from a patient with aspergillosis and against a murine monoclonal antibody (MEST-1) shown previously to react with the Galf(beta1-->6) residue in Pb-3. These results are discussed in relation to pathogenicity and potential approaches to the immunodiagnosis of A. fumigatus.

  2. Mutant characterization and in vivo conditional repression identify aromatic amino acid biosynthesis to be essential for Aspergillus fumigatus virulence

    PubMed Central

    Sasse, Anna; Hamer, Stefanie N; Amich, Jorge; Binder, Jasmin; Krappmann, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenicity of the saprobe Aspergillus fumigatus strictly depends on nutrient acquisition during infection, as fungal growth determines colonisation and invasion of a susceptible host. Primary metabolism has to be considered as a valid target for antimycotic therapy, based on the fact that several fungal anabolic pathways are not conserved in higher eukaryotes. To test whether fungal proliferation during invasive aspergillosis relies on endogenous biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids, defined auxotrophic mutants of A. fumigatus were generated and assessed for their infectious capacities in neutropenic mice and found to be strongly attenuated in virulence. Moreover, essentiality of the complete biosynthetic pathway could be demonstrated, corroborated by conditional gene expression in infected animals and inhibitor studies. This brief report not only validates the aromatic amino acid biosynthesis pathway of A. fumigatus to be a promising antifungal target but furthermore demonstrates feasibility of conditional gene expression in a murine infection model of aspergillosis. PMID:26605426

  3. Secretome diversity and quantitative analysis of cellulolytic Aspergillus fumigatus Z5 in the presence of different carbon sources

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Aspergillus fumigatus Z5 has a strong ability to decompose lignocellulose biomass, and its extracellular protein secretion has been reported in earlier studies employing traditional techniques. However, a comprehensive analysis of its secretion in the presence of different carbon sources is still lacking. The goal of this work was to identify, quantify and compare the secretome of A. fumigatus Z5 in the presence of different carbon sources to understand in more details the mechanisms of lignocellulose decomposition by Aspergillus fumigatus Z5. Results Cellulolytic A. fumigatus Z5 was grown in the presence of glucose (Gl), Avicel (Av) and rice straw (RS), and the activities of several lignocellulosic enzymes were determined with chromatometry method. The maximum activities of endoglucanase, exoglucanase, β-glucosidase, laminarinase, lichenase, xylanase and pectin lyase were 12.52, 0.59, 2.30, 2.37, 1.68, 15.02 and 11.40 U·ml-1, respectively. A total of 152, 125 and 61 different proteins were identified in the presence of RS, Av and Gl, respectively, and the proteins were functionally divided into glycoside hydrolases, lipases, peptidases, peroxidases, esterases, protein translocating transporters and hypothetical proteins. A total of 49 proteins were iTRAQ-quantified in all the treatments, and the quantification results indicated that most of the cellulases, hemicellulases and glycoside hydrolases were highly upregulated when rice straw and Avicel were used as carbon sources (compared with glucose). Conclusions The proteins secreted from A. fumigatus Z5 in the present of different carbon source conditions were identified by LC-MS/MS and quantified by iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomics. The results indicated that A. fumigatus Z5 could produce considerable cellulose-, hemicellulose-, pectin- and lignin-degrading enzymes that are valuable for the lignocellulosic bioenergy industry. PMID:24131596

  4. Azole Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus: Can We Retain the Clinical Use of Mold-Active Antifungal Azoles?

    PubMed Central

    Verweij, Paul E.; Chowdhary, Anuradha; Melchers, Willem J. G.; Meis, Jacques F.

    2016-01-01

    Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus has emerged as a global health problem. Although the number of cases of azole-resistant aspergillosis is still limited, resistance mechanisms continue to emerge, thereby threatening the role of the azole class in the management of diseases caused by Aspergillus. The majority of cases of azole-resistant disease are due to resistant A. fumigatus originating from the environment. Patient management is difficult due to the absence of patient risk factors, delayed diagnosis, and limited treatment options, resulting in poor treatment outcome. International and collaborative efforts are required to understand how resistance develops in the environment to allow effective measures to be implemented aimed at retaining the use of azoles both for food production and human medicine. PMID:26486705

  5. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of the (R)-selective amine transaminase from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Maren; Skalden, Lilly; Palm, Gottfried J; Höhne, Matthias; Bornscheuer, Uwe T; Hinrichs, Winfried

    2013-12-01

    The (R)-selective amine transaminase from Aspergillus fumigatus was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. Bright yellow crystals appeared while storing the concentrated solution in the refrigerator and belonged to space group C222(1). X-ray diffraction data were collected to 1.27 Å resolution, as well as an anomalous data set to 1.84 Å resolution that was suitable for S-SAD phasing.

  6. Immunoblotting technique for the detection of allergens of Aspergillus fumigatus: influence of Nonidet P-40 on the sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Wijnands, L M; Deisz, W D; van Leusden, F M

    1999-01-01

    Immunoblotting provides a useful technique for the study of antigens, antibodies and allergens. To overcome problems regarding the loss of antigenic properties during the blotting and developing procedures, several solutions have been described. The inclusion of Nonidet P-40, recommended to increase the sensitivity of developing procedures for immunoblots, in an existing procedure for the detection of allergens of Aspergillus fumigatus, however, led to decreased sensitivity of the method.

  7. A New Aspergillus fumigatus Typing Method Based on Hypervariable Tandem Repeats Located within Exons of Surface Protein Coding Genes (TRESP)

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Rubio, Rocio; Gil, Horacio; Monteiro, Maria Candida; Pelaez, Teresa; Mellado, Emilia

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprotrophic mold fungus ubiquitously found in the environment and is the most common species causing invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised individuals. For A. fumigatus genotyping, the short tandem repeat method (STRAf) is widely accepted as the first choice. However, difficulties associated with PCR product size and required technology have encouraged the development of novel typing techniques. In this study, a new genotyping method based on hypervariable tandem repeats within exons of surface protein coding genes (TRESP) was designed. A. fumigatus isolates were characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing with a panel of three TRESP encoding genes: cell surface protein A; MP-2 antigenic galactomannan protein; and hypothetical protein with a CFEM domain. The allele sequence repeats of each of the three targets were combined to assign a specific genotype. For the evaluation of this method, 126 unrelated A. fumigatus strains were analyzed and 96 different genotypes were identified, showing a high level of discrimination [Simpson’s index of diversity (D) 0.994]. In addition, 49 azole resistant strains were analyzed identifying 26 genotypes and showing a lower D value (0.890) among them. This value could indicate that these resistant strains are closely related and share a common origin, although more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis. In summary, a novel genotyping method for A. fumigatus has been developed which is reproducible, easy to perform, highly discriminatory and could be especially useful for studying outbreaks. PMID:27701437

  8. Administration of Zinc Chelators Improves Survival of Mice Infected with Aspergillus fumigatus both in Monotherapy and in Combination with Caspofungin

    PubMed Central

    Laskaris, Paris; Atrouni, Ahmad; Calera, José Antonio; d'Enfert, Christophe; Munier-Lehmann, Hélène; Cavaillon, Jean-Marc; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus can infect immunocompromised patients, leading to high mortality rates due to the lack of reliable treatment options. This pathogen requires uptake of zinc from host tissues in order to successfully grow and cause virulence. Reducing the availability of that micronutrient could help treat A. fumigatus infections. In this study, we examined the in vitro effects of seven chelators using a bioluminescent strain of A. fumigatus. 1,10-Phenanthroline and N,N,N′,N′-tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)ethane-1,2-diamine (TPEN) proved to be the chelators most effective at inhibiting fungal growth. Intraperitoneal administration of either phenanthroline or TPEN resulted in a significant improvement in survival and decrease of weight loss and fungal burden for immunosuppressed mice intranasally infected with A. fumigatus. In vitro both chelators had an indifferent effect when employed in combination with caspofungin. The use of TPEN in combination with caspofungin also significantly increased survival compared to that when using these drugs individually. Our results suggest that zinc chelation may be a valid strategy for dealing with A. fumigatus infections and that both phenanthroline and TPEN could potentially be used either independently or in combination with caspofungin, indicating that their use in combination with other antifungal treatments might also be applicable. PMID:27401578

  9. Insight into Enzymatic Degradation of Corn, Wheat, and Soybean Cell Wall Cellulose Using Quantitative Secretome Analysis of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Sharma Ghimire, Prakriti; Ouyang, Haomiao; Wang, Qian; Luo, Yuanming; Shi, Bo; Yang, Jinghua; Lü, Yang; Jin, Cheng

    2016-12-02

    Lignocelluloses contained in animal forage cannot be digested by pigs or poultry with 100% efficiency. On contrary, Aspergillus fumigatus, a saprophytic filamentous fungus, is known to harbor 263 glycoside hydrolase encoding genes, suggesting that A. fumigatus is an efficient lignocellulose degrader. Hence the present study uses corn, wheat, or soybean as a sole carbon source to culture A. fumigatus under animal physiological condition to understand how cellulolytic enzymes work together to achieve an efficient degradation of lignocellulose. Our results showed that A. fumigatus produced different sets of enzymes to degrade lignocelluloses derived from corn, wheat, or soybean cell wall. In addition, the cellulolytic enzymes produced by A. fumigatus were stable under acidic condition or at higher temperatures. Using isobaric tags for a relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) approach, a total of ∼600 extracellular proteins were identified and quantified, in which ∼50 proteins were involved in lignocellulolysis, including cellulases, hemicellulases, lignin-degrading enzymes, and some hypothetical proteins. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD004670. On the basis of quantitative iTRAQ results, 14 genes were selected for further confirmation by RT-PCR. Taken together, our results indicated that the expression and regulation of lignocellulolytic proteins in the secretome of A. fumigatus were dependent on both nature and complexity of cellulose, thus suggesting that a different enzyme system is required for degradation of different lignocelluloses derived from plant cells. Although A. fumigatus is a pathogenic fungus and cannot be directly used as an enzyme source, as an efficient lignocellulose degrader its strategy to synergistically degrade various lignocelluloses with different enzymes can be used to design enzyme combination for optimal digestion and absorption of corn, wheat, or soybean that are used as forage of pig and poultry.

  10. Two C4-sterol methyl oxidases (Erg25) catalyse ergosterol intermediate demethylation and impact environmental stress adaptation in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Blosser, Sara J.; Merriman, Brittney; Grahl, Nora; Chung, Dawoon

    2014-01-01

    The human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus adapts to stress encountered in the mammalian host as part of its ability to cause disease. The transcription factor SrbA plays a significant role in this process by regulating genes involved in hypoxia and low-iron adaptation, antifungal drug responses and virulence. SrbA is a direct transcriptional regulator of genes encoding key enzymes in the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway, including erg25A and erg25B, and ΔsrbA accumulates C4-methyl sterols, suggesting a loss of Erg25 activity [C4-sterol methyl oxidase (SMO)]. Characterization of the two genes encoding SMOs in Aspergillus fumigatus revealed that both serve as functional C4-demethylases, with Erg25A serving in a primary role, as Δerg25A accumulates more C4-methyl sterol intermediates than Δerg25B. Single deletion of these SMOs revealed alterations in canonical ergosterol biosynthesis, indicating that ergosterol may be produced in an alternative fashion in the absence of SMO activity. A Δerg25A strain displayed moderate susceptibility to hypoxia and the endoplasmic reticulum stress-inducing agent DTT, but was not required for virulence in murine or insect models of invasive aspergillosis. Inducing expression of erg25A partially restored the hypoxia growth defect of ΔsrbA. These findings implicated Aspergillus fumigatus SMOs in the maintenance of canonical ergosterol biosynthesis and indicated an overall involvement in the fungal stress response. PMID:25107308

  11. Kinetic and structural evaluation of selected active site mutants of the Aspergillus fumigatus KDNase (sialidase).

    PubMed

    Yeung, Juliana H F; Telford, Judith C; Shidmoossavee, Fahimeh S; Bennet, Andrew J; Taylor, Garry L; Moore, Margo M

    2013-12-23

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an airborne fungal pathogen. We previously cloned and characterized an exo-sialidase from A. fumigatus and showed that it preferred 2-keto-3-deoxynononic acid (KDN) as a substrate to N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac). The purpose of this study was to investigate the structure-function relationships of critical catalytic site residues. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to create three mutant recombinant enzymes: the catalytic nucleophile (Y358H), the general acid/base catalyst (D84A), and an enlargement of the binding pocket to attempt to accommodate the N-acetyl group of Neu5Ac (R171L). Crystal structures for all enzymes were determined. The D84A mutation had an effect in decreasing the activity of AfKDNase that was stronger than that of the same mutation in the structurally similar sialidase from the bacterium Micromonospora viridifaciens. These data suggest that the catalytic acid is more important in the reaction of AfKDNase and that catalysis is less dependent on nucleophilic or electrostatic stabilization of the developing positive charge at the transition state for hydrolysis. Removal of the catalytic nucleophile (Y358H) significantly lowered the activity of the enzyme, but this mutant remained a retaining glycosidase as demonstrated by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic analysis. This is a novel finding that has not been shown with other sialidases. Kinetic activity measured at pH 5.2 revealed that R171L had higher activity on a Neu5Ac-based substrate than wild-type KDNase; hence, leucine in place of arginine in the binding pocket improved catalysis toward Neu5Ac substrates. Hence, whether a sialidase is primarily a KDNase or a neuraminidase is due in part to the presence of an amino acid that creates a steric clash with the N-acetyl group.

  12. A Murine Inhalation Model to Characterize Pulmonary Exposure to Dry Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia

    PubMed Central

    Buskirk, Amanda D.; Green, Brett J.; Lemons, Angela R.; Nayak, Ajay P.; Goldsmith, W. Travis; Kashon, Michael L.; Anderson, Stacey E.; Hettick, Justin M.; Templeton, Steven P.; Germolec, Dori R.; Beezhold, Donald H.

    2014-01-01

    Most murine models of fungal exposure are based on the delivery of uncharacterized extracts or liquid conidia suspensions using aspiration or intranasal approaches. Studies that model exposure to dry fungal aerosols using whole body inhalation have only recently been described. In this study, we aimed to characterize pulmonary immune responses following repeated inhalation of conidia utilizing an acoustical generator to deliver dry fungal aerosols to mice housed in a nose only exposure chamber. Immunocompetent female BALB/cJ mice were exposed to conidia derived from Aspergillus fumigatus wild-type (WT) or a melanin-deficient (Δalb1) strain. Conidia were aerosolized and delivered to mice at an estimated deposition dose of 1×105 twice a week for 4 weeks (8 total). Histopathological and immunological endpoints were assessed 4, 24, 48, and 72 hours after the final exposure. Histopathological analysis showed that conidia derived from both strains induced lung inflammation, especially at 24 and 48 hour time points. Immunological endpoints evaluated in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and the mediastinal lymph nodes showed that exposure to WT conidia led to elevated numbers of macrophages, granulocytes, and lymphocytes. Importantly, CD8+ IL17+ (Tc17) cells were significantly higher in BALF and positively correlated with germination of A. fumigatus WT spores. Germination was associated with specific IgG to intracellular proteins while Δalb1 spores elicited antibodies to cell wall hydrophobin. These data suggest that inhalation exposures may provide a more representative analysis of immune responses following exposures to environmentally and occupationally prevalent fungal contaminants. PMID:25340353

  13. The Aspergillus fumigatus Damage Resistance Protein Family Coordinately Regulates Ergosterol Biosynthesis and Azole Susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jinxing; Zhai, Pengfei; Zhang, Yuanwei; Zhang, Caiyun; Sang, Hong; Han, Guanzhu; Keller, Nancy P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Ergosterol is a major and specific component of the fungal plasma membrane, and thus, the cytochrome P450 enzymes (Erg proteins) that catalyze ergosterol synthesis have been selected as valuable targets of azole antifungals. However, the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus has developed worldwide resistance to azoles largely through mutations in the cytochrome P450 enzyme Cyp51 (Erg11). In this study, we demonstrate that a cytochrome b5-like heme-binding damage resistance protein (Dap) family, comprised of DapA, DapB, and DapC, coordinately regulates the functionality of cytochrome P450 enzymes Erg5 and Erg11 and oppositely affects susceptibility to azoles. The expression of all three genes is induced in an azole concentration-dependent way, and the decreased susceptibility to azoles requires DapA stabilization of cytochrome P450 protein activity. In contrast, overexpression of DapB and DapC causes dysfunction of Erg5 and Erg11, resulting in abnormal accumulation of sterol intermediates and further accentuating the sensitivity of ΔdapA strains to azoles. The results of exogenous-hemin rescue and heme-binding-site mutagenesis experiments demonstrate that the heme binding of DapA contributes the decreased azole susceptibility, while DapB and -C are capable of reducing the activities of Erg5 and Erg11 through depletion of heme. In vivo data demonstrate that inactivated DapA combined with activated DapB yields an A. fumigatus mutant that is easily treatable with azoles in an immunocompromised mouse model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Compared to the single Dap proteins found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we suggest that this complex Dap family regulatory system emerged during the evolution of fungi as an adaptive means to regulate ergosterol synthesis in response to environmental stimuli. PMID:26908577

  14. Aspergillus fumigatus SidA is a highly specific ornithine hydroxylase with bound flavin cofactor.

    PubMed

    Chocklett, Samuel W; Sobrado, Pablo

    2010-08-10

    Ferrichrome is a hydroxamate-containing siderophore produced by the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus under iron-limiting conditions. This siderophore contains N(5)-hydroxylated l-ornithines essential for iron binding. A. fumigatus siderophore A (Af SidA) catalyzes the flavin- and NADPH-dependent hydroxylation of l-ornithine in ferrichrome biosynthesis. Af SidA was recombinantly expressed and purified as a soluble tetramer and is the first member of this class of flavin monooxygenases to be isolated with a bound flavin cofactor. The enzyme showed typical saturation kinetics with respect to l-ornithine while substrate inhibition was observed at high concentrations of NADPH and NADH. Increasing amounts of hydrogen peroxide were measured as a function of reduced nicotinamide coenzyme concentration, indicating that inhibition was caused by increased uncoupling. Af SidA is highly specific for its amino acid substrate, only hydroxylating l-ornithine. An 8-fold preference in the catalytic efficiency was determined for NADPH compared to NADH. In the absence of substrate, Af SidA can be reduced by NADPH, and a C4a-(hydro)peroxyflavin intermediate is observed. The decay of this intermediate is accelerated by l-ornithine binding. This intermediate was only stabilized by NADPH and not by NADH, suggesting a role for NADP(+) in the stabilization of intermediates in the reaction of Af SidA. NADP(+) is a competitive inhibitor with respect to NADPH, demonstrating that Af SidA forms a ternary complex with NADP(+) and l-ornithine during catalysis. The data suggest that Af SidA likely proceeds by a sequential kinetic mechanism.

  15. Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus pulmonary fungal infections in mice with 99mTc-labeledMORF oligomers targeting ribosomal RNA

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yuzhen; Chen, Ling; Liu, Xinrong; Cheng, Dengfeng; Liu, Guozheng; Liu, Yuxia; Dou, Shuping; Hnatowich, Donald J.; Rusckowski, Mary

    2012-01-01

    Purpose Invasive aspergillosis is a major cause of infectious morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised hosts. The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is the primary causative agent of invasive aspergillosis. However, A. fumigatus infections remain difficult to diagnose particularly in the early stages due to the lack of a rapid, sensitive and specific diagnostic approach. In this study, we investigated 99mTc labeled MORF oligomers targeting fungal ribosomal RNA (rRNA) for the imaging detection of fungal infections. Procedures Three phosphorodiamidate morpholino (MORF) oligomer (a DNA analogue) probes were designed: AGEN, complementary to a sequence of the fungal 28S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) of Aspergillus, as a genus-specific probe; AFUM, complementary to the 28S rRNA sequence of A. fumigatus, as a fungus species-specific probe; and cMORF, irrelevant to all fungi species, as a control probe. The probes were conjugated with Alexa Fluor 633 carboxylic acid succinimidyl ester (AF633) for fluorescence imaging or with NHS-mercaptoacetyl triglycine (NHS-MAG3) for nuclear imaging with 99mTc and then evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Results The specific binding of AGEN and AFUM to fungal total RNA was confirmed by dot blot hybridization while specific binding of AGEN and AFUM in fixed and live A. fumigatus was demonstrated by both fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis and accumulation in live cells. SPECT imaging of BALB/c mice with pulmonary A. fumigatus infections and administered 99mTc labeled AGEN and AFUM showed immediate and obvious accumulation in the infected lungs, while no significant accumulation of the control 99mTc-cMORF in the infected lung was observed. Compared to non-infected mice, with sacrifice at 1 hour, the accumulation of 99mTc-AGEN and 99mTc-AFUM in the lungs of mice infected with A. fumigatus were 2 and 2.7 fold higher respectively. Conclusions In vivo targeting fungal ribosomal RNA with 99mTc labeled MORF probes AGEN and AFUM may

  16. Triazole Fungicides Can Induce Cross-Resistance to Medical Triazoles in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Karawajczyk, Anna; Schaftenaar, Gijs; Kema, Gert H. J.; van der Lee, Henrich A.; Klaassen, Corné H.; Melchers, Willem J. G.; Verweij, Paul E.

    2012-01-01

    Background Azoles play an important role in the management of Aspergillus diseases. Azole resistance is an emerging global problem in Aspergillus fumigatus, and may develop through patient therapy. In addition, an environmental route of resistance development has been suggested through exposure to 14α-demethylase inhibitors (DMIs). The main resistance mechanism associated with this putative fungicide-driven route is a combination of alterations in the Cyp51A-gene (TR34/L98H). We investigated if TR34/L98H could have developed through exposure to DMIs. Methods and Findings Thirty-one compounds that have been authorized for use as fungicides, herbicides, herbicide safeners and plant growth regulators in the Netherlands between 1970 and 2005, were investigated for cross-resistance to medical triazoles. Furthermore, CYP51-protein homology modeling and molecule alignment studies were performed to identify similarity in molecule structure and docking modes. Five triazole DMIs, propiconazole, bromuconazole, tebuconazole, epoxiconazole and difenoconazole, showed very similar molecule structures to the medical triazoles and adopted similar poses while docking the protein. These DMIs also showed the greatest cross-resistance and, importantly, were authorized for use between 1990 and 1996, directly preceding the recovery of the first clinical TR34/L98H isolate in 1998. Through microsatellite genotyping of TR34/L98H isolates we were able to calculate that the first isolate would have arisen in 1997, confirming the results of the abovementioned experiments. Finally, we performed induction experiments to investigate if TR34/L98H could be induced under laboratory conditions. One isolate evolved from two copies of the tandem repeat to three, indicating that fungicide pressure can indeed result in these genomic changes. Conclusions Our findings support a fungicide-driven route of TR34/L98H development in A. fumigatus. Similar molecule structure characteristics of five triazole DMIs

  17. Distinct Roles for Dectin-1 and TLR4 in the Pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus Keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Sixto M.; Cowden, Susan; Hsia, Yen-Cheng; Ghannoum, Mahmoud A.; Momany, Michelle; Pearlman, Eric

    2010-01-01

    Aspergillus species are a major worldwide cause of corneal ulcers, resulting in visual impairment and blindness in immunocompetent individuals. To enhance our understanding of the pathogenesis of Aspergillus keratitis, we developed a murine model in which red fluorescent protein (RFP)-expressing A. fumigatus (Af293.1RFP) conidia are injected into the corneal stroma, and disease progression and fungal survival are tracked over time. Using Mafia mice in which c-fms expressing macrophages and dendritic cells can be induced to undergo apoptosis, we demonstrated that the presence of resident corneal macrophages is essential for production of IL-1β and CXCL1/KC, and for recruitment of neutrophils and mononuclear cells into the corneal stroma. We found that β-glucan was highly expressed on germinating conidia and hyphae in the cornea stroma, and that both Dectin-1 and phospho-Syk were up-regulated in infected corneas. Additionally, we show that infected Dectin-1−/− corneas have impaired IL-1β and CXCL1/KC production, resulting in diminished cellular infiltration and fungal clearance compared with control mice, especially during infection with clinical isolates expressing high β-glucan. In contrast to Dectin 1−/− mice, cellular infiltration into infected TLR2−/−, TLR4−/−, and MD-2−/− mice corneas was unimpaired, indicating no role for these receptors in cell recruitment; however, fungal killing was significantly reduced in TLR4−/− mice, but not TLR2−/− or MD-2−/− mice. We also found that TRIF−/− and TIRAP−/− mice exhibited no fungal-killing defects, but that MyD88−/− and IL-1R1−/− mice were unable to regulate fungal growth. In conclusion, these data are consistent with a model in which β-glucan on A.fumigatus germinating conidia activates Dectin-1 on corneal macrophages to produce IL-1β, and CXCL1, which together with IL-1R1/MyD88-dependent activation, results in recruitment of neutrophils to the corneal stroma and TLR4

  18. The Aspergillus fumigatus Sialidase Is a 3-Deoxy-d-glycero-d-galacto-2-nonulosonic Acid Hydrolase (KDNase)

    PubMed Central

    Telford, Judith C.; Yeung, Juliana H. F.; Xu, Guogang; Kiefel, Milton J.; Watts, Andrew G.; Hader, Stefan; Chan, Jefferson; Bennet, Andrew J.; Moore, Margo M.; Taylor, Garry L.

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a filamentous fungus that can cause severe respiratory disease in immunocompromised individuals. A putative sialidase from A. fumigatus was recently cloned and shown to be relatively poor in cleaving N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) in comparison with bacterial sialidases. Here we present the first crystal structure of a fungal sialidase. When the apo structure was compared with bacterial sialidase structures, the active site of the Aspergillus enzyme suggested that Neu5Ac would be a poor substrate because of a smaller pocket that normally accommodates the acetamido group of Neu5Ac in sialidases. A sialic acid with a hydroxyl in place of an acetamido group is 2-keto-3-deoxynononic acid (KDN). We show that KDN is the preferred substrate for the A. fumigatus sialidase and that A. fumigatus can utilize KDN as a sole carbon source. A 1.45-Å resolution crystal structure of the enzyme in complex with KDN reveals KDN in the active site in a boat conformation and nearby a second binding site occupied by KDN in a chair conformation, suggesting that polyKDN may be a natural substrate. The enzyme is not inhibited by the sialidase transition state analog 2-deoxy-2,3-dehydro-N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac2en) but is inhibited by the related 2,3-didehydro-2,3-dideoxy-d-glycero-d-galacto-nonulosonic acid that we show bound to the enzyme in a 1.84-Å resolution crystal structure. Using a fluorinated KDN substrate, we present a 1.5-Å resolution structure of a covalently bound catalytic intermediate. The A. fumigatus sialidase is therefore a KDNase with a similar catalytic mechanism to Neu5Ac exosialidases, and this study represents the first structure of a KDNase. PMID:21247893

  19. Molecular detection of Candida spp. and Aspergillus fumigatus in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia

    PubMed Central

    Khorvash, Farzin; Abbasi, Saeed; Yaran, Majid; Abdi, Fateme; Ataei, Behrooz; Fereidooni, Farzaneh; Hoseini, Shervin Ghaffari; Ahmadi-Ahvaz, Nasrin; Parsazadeh, Malihe; Haghi, Fariba

    2014-01-01

    Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common nosocomial infection in critically ill patients with high morbidity and mortality rates. The etiology of VAP is usually bacterial. Opportunistic fungi such as Candida and Aspergillus species (spp.) are found frequently in the respiratory track secretions of immunocompetent critically ill patients known as colonization. Contribution of fungi colonization to severe bacterial VAP and poor prognosis of these patients has been documented in several studies. The aim of this study was to detect Candida spp. and Aspergillus fumigatus colonization in patients with a clinical diagnosis of VAP as a marker of high risk pneumonia. Materials and Methods: Bronchoscopic alveolar lavage (BAL) fluids from patients with VAP in central intensive care unit (ICU) of a tertiary university hospital in Isfahan were examined by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect Candida spp. or A. fumigatus. Rate of fungi colonization and its association with clinical criteria of the patients was determined. Results: BAL fluids from 38 patients were tested from which six samples (15.8%) were positive for Candida spp. and five (13.2%) for A. fumigatus. Fungi colonization was not associated with age, sex, or mortality rate of patients. Rate of A. fumigatus colonization was significantly more in traumatic patients (P = 0.036), and higher in patients ventilated more than 4 weeks (P = 0.022). Conclusion: High rate of A. fumigatus colonization in our ICU patients indicates that underlying causes such as unfavorable ICU conditions and other patient related factors such as unnecessary antibiotic therapy should be further evaluated. PMID:25002894

  20. Aspergillus fumigatus and mesophilic moulds in air in the surrounding environment downwind of non-hazardous waste landfill sites.

    PubMed

    Schlosser, Olivier; Robert, Samuel; Debeaupuis, Catherine

    2016-05-01

    Non-hazardous waste landfilling has the potential to release biological agents into the air, notably mould spores. Some species, such as Aspergillus fumigatus, may be a cause of concern for at-risk nearby residents. However, air concentration in the surrounding environment of non-hazardous waste landfill sites is poorly documented. An extensive sampling programme was designed to investigate the relationship between culturable mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus concentrations in air and distance downwind of non-hazardous waste landfill sites. On-site and off-site repeated measurements were performed at four landfill sites during cold and warm seasons. A high-flow air-sampler device was selected so as to allow peak concentration measurement. Linear mixed-effects models were used to explain variability in the concentrations in air over time and across sites, seasons, instantaneous meteorological conditions and discharged waste tonnage. Concentrations of mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus at off-site upwind sampling locations were compared with concentrations at each of the downwind sampling locations. At the tipping face location, peak concentration reached 480,000CFUm(-3) for mesophilic moulds and 9300CFUm(-3) for A. fumigatus. Compared with upwind background levels, these concentrations were, on average, approximately 20 and 40 times higher respectively. A steep decline in the concentration of both mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus was observed between the tipping face location and the downwind property boundary (reduction by 77% and 84% respectively), followed by a low decline leading to a 90% and 94% reduction in concentration at 200m from the property boundary and beyond. With the 200m and 500m downwind sampling point values added together, the 97.5th percentile of concentration was 6013CFUm(-3) and 87CFUm(-3) for mesophilic moulds and A. fumigatus, respectively. Other determining factors were the discharged waste tonnage, the season, instantaneous temperature

  1. Transcriptome Profiles of Human Lung Epithelial Cells A549 Interacting with Aspergillus fumigatus by RNA-Seq

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Xiaodong; Wang, Shuo; Wang, Jing; Chen, Yong; Zhao, Jingya; Tian, Shuguang; Han, Xuelin; Han, Li

    2015-01-01

    Lung epithelial cells constitute the first defense line of host against the inhaled Aspergillus fumigatus; however, the transcriptional response of human alveolar type II epithelial cells was still unclear. Here we used RNA-Seq technology to assess the transcriptome profiles of A549 cells following direct interaction with conidia of A. fumigatus. The total number of identified genes was 19118. Compared with uninfected A549 cells, 459 genes were differentially expressed in cells co-incubated with conidia for 8 h, including 302 up-regulated genes and 157 down-regulated genes. GO and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis showed that most of the up-regulated genes were related to immune response, chemotaxis and inflammatory response and enriched in cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, JAK-STAT and MAPK signaling pathways. The down-regulated genes were mainly enriched for terms associated with development, hemopoiesis and ion transport. Among them, EGR4 and HIST1H4J gene had the maximum of fold change in up-regulated and down-regulated genes, respectively. Fourteen up-regulated genes and three down-regulated genes were further validated and significant increase on expression of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α in A549 cells were confirmed by qRT-PCR during the interaction of A549 cells with A. fumigatus. Besides, western blot showed that expression of two proteins (ARC, EGR1) significantly increased in A549 cells during interaction with A. fumigatus conidia for 8h. Interference of endogenous expression of ARC or EGR1 protein in A549 cells reduced the internalization of A. fumigatus. These results provided important insights into dynamic changes of gene expression in lung epithelial cells, especially its strong immunological response against A. fumigatus infection. PMID:26273834

  2. Characterization of the major Woronin body protein HexA of the human pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Beck, Julia; Ebel, Frank

    2013-03-01

    In filamentous fungi, the septal pore controls the exchange between neighbouring hyphal compartments. Woronin bodies are fungal-specific organelles that plug the pore in case of physical damage. The Hex protein is their major and essential component. Hex proteins of different size are predicted in the data base for pathogenic and non-pathogenic Aspergillus species. However, using specific monoclonal antibodies, we identified 2 dominant HexA protein species of 20 and 25kDa in A. fumigatus, A. terreus, A. nidulans, and A. oryzae. HexA and Woronin bodies were found in A. fumigatus hyphae, but also in resting conidia. Using monoclonal antibodies, a GFP-HexA fusion protein, and an RFP protein fused to the putative peroxisomal targeting sequence of HexA, we analyzed the spatial localization and dynamics of Woronin bodies in A. fumigatus as well as their formation from peroxisomes. In intact hyphae, some Woronin bodies were found in close proximity to the septal pore, while the majority was distributed in the cytoplasm. Septum-associated Woronin bodies show a minimal lateral movement, while the cytosolic Woronin bodies are highly dynamic. The distribution of Woronin bodies and their co-localization pattern with peroxisomes revealed no evidence that Woronin bodies arise predominantly at the apical tip of A. fumigatus hyphae. We found that Woronin bodies are able to plug septal pores of A. fumigatus in case of damage. Woronin bodies therefore contribute to the stress resistance and potentially also to the virulence of A. fumigatus, which renders them a potential target for future anti-fungal strategies.

  3. The Aspergillus fumigatus siderophore biosynthetic gene sidA, encoding L-ornithine N5-oxygenase, is required for virulence.

    PubMed

    Hissen, Anna H T; Wan, Adrian N C; Warwas, Mark L; Pinto, Linda J; Moore, Margo M

    2005-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the leading cause of invasive mold infection and is a serious problem in immunocompromised populations worldwide. We have previously shown that survival of A. fumigatus in serum may be related to secretion of siderophores. In this study, we identified and characterized the sidA gene of A. fumigatus, which encodes l-ornithine N(5)-oxygenase, the first committed step in hydroxamate siderophore biosynthesis. A. fumigatus sidA codes for a protein of 501 amino acids with significant homology to other fungal l-ornithine N(5)-oxygenases. A stable DeltasidA strain was created by deletion of A. fumigatus sidA. This strain was unable to synthesize the siderophores N',N",N'''-triacetylfusarinine C (TAF) and ferricrocin. Growth of the DeltasidA strain was the same as that of the wild type in rich media; however, the DeltasidA strain was unable to grow in low-iron defined media or media containing 10% human serum unless supplemented with TAF or ferricrocin. No significant differences in ferric reduction activities were observed between the parental strain and the DeltasidA strain, indicating that blocking siderophore secretion did not result in upregulation of this pathway. Unlike the parental strain, the DeltasidA strain was unable to remove iron from human transferrin. A rescued strain (DeltasidA + sidA) was constructed; it produced siderophores and had the same growth as the wild type on iron-limited media. Unlike the wild-type and rescued strains, the DeltasidA strain was avirulent in a mouse model of invasive aspergillosis, indicating that sidA is necessary for A. fumigatus virulence.

  4. Virulence determinants of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus protect against soil amoeba predation.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Novohradská, Silvia; Mattern, Derek J; Forberger, Tilmann; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Westermann, Martin; Winckler, Thomas; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi represent classical examples for environmentally acquired human pathogens whose major virulence mechanisms are likely to have emerged long before the appearance of innate immune systems. In natural habitats, amoeba predation could impose a major selection pressure towards the acquisition of virulence attributes. To test this hypothesis, we exploited the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to study its interaction with Aspergillus fumigatus, two abundant soil inhabitants for which we found co-occurrence in various sites. Fungal conidia were efficiently taken up by D. discoideum, but ingestion was higher when conidia were devoid of the green fungal spore pigment dihydroxynaphtalene melanin, in line with earlier results obtained for immune cells. Conidia were able to survive phagocytic processing, and intracellular germination was initiated only after several hours of co-incubation which eventually led to a lethal disruption of the host cell. Besides phagocytic interactions, both amoeba and fungus secreted cross inhibitory factors which suppressed fungal growth or induced amoeba aggregation with subsequent cell lysis, respectively. On the fungal side, we identified gliotoxin as the major fungal factor killing Dictyostelium, supporting the idea that major virulence attributes, such as escape from phagocytosis and the secretion of mycotoxins are beneficial to escape from environmental predators.

  5. Xyloglucan breakdown by endo-xyloglucanase family 74 from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Damasio, André Ricardo de Lima; Rubio, Marcelo Ventura; Gonçalves, Thiago Augusto; Persinoti, Gabriela Felix; Segato, Fernando; Prade, Rolf Alexander; Contesini, Fabiano Jares; de Souza, Amanda Pereira; Buckeridge, Marcos Silveira; Squina, Fabio Marcio

    2017-04-01

    Xyloglucan is the most abundant hemicellulose in primary walls of spermatophytes except for grasses. Xyloglucan-degrading enzymes are important in lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysis because they remove xyloglucan, which is abundant in monocot-derived biomass. Fungal genomes encode numerous xyloglucanase genes, belonging to at least six glycoside hydrolase (GH) families. GH74 endo-xyloglucanases cleave xyloglucan backbones with unsubstituted glucose at the -1 subsite or prefer xylosyl-substituted residues in the -1 subsite. In this work, 137 GH74-related genes were detected by examining 293 Eurotiomycete genomes and Ascomycete fungi contained one or no GH74 xyloglucanase gene per genome. Another interesting feature is that the triad of tryptophan residues along the catalytic cleft was found to be widely conserved among Ascomycetes. The GH74 from Aspergillus fumigatus (AfXEG74) was chosen as an example to conduct comprehensive biochemical studies to determine the catalytic mechanism. AfXEG74 has no CBM and cleaves the xyloglucan backbone between the unsubstituted glucose and xylose-substituted glucose at specific positions, along the XX motif when linked to regions deprived of galactosyl branches. It resembles an endo-processive activity, which after initial random hydrolysis releases xyloglucan-oligosaccharides as major reaction products. This work provides insights on phylogenetic diversity and catalytic mechanism of GH74 xyloglucanases from Ascomycete fungi.

  6. Redundant synthesis of a conidial polyketide by two distinct secondary metabolite clusters in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Throckmorton, Kurt; Lim, Fang Yun; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P.; Zheng, Weifa; Keller, Nancy P.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Filamentous fungi are renowned for the production of bioactive secondary metabolites. Typically, one distinct metabolite is generated from a specific secondary metabolite cluster. Here, we characterize the newly described trypacidin (tpc) cluster in the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. We find that this cluster as well as the previously characterized endocrocin (enc) cluster both contribute to the production of the spore metabolite endocrocin. Whereas trypacidin is eliminated when only tpc cluster genes are deleted, endocrocin production is only eliminated when both the tpc and enc non-reducing polyketide synthase-encoding genes, tpcC and encA, respectively, are deleted. EncC, an anthrone oxidase, converts the product released from EncA to endocrocin as a final product. In contrast, endocrocin synthesis by the tpc cluster likely results from incomplete catalysis by TpcK (a putative decarboxylase), as its deletion results in a nearly 10-fold increase in endocrocin production. We suggest endocrocin is likely a shunt product in all related non-reducing polyketide synthase clusters containing homologues of TpcK and TpcL (a putative anthrone oxidase), e.g. geodin and monodictyphenone. This finding represents an unusual example of two physically discrete secondary metabolite clusters generating the same natural product in one fungal species by distinct routes. PMID:26242966

  7. 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

  8. Harnessing Bacterial Signals for Suppression of Biofilm Formation in the Nosocomial Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Reen, F. Jerry; Phelan, John P.; Woods, David F.; Shanahan, Rachel; Cano, Rafael; Clarke, Sarah; McGlacken, Gerard P.; O’Gara, Fergal

    2016-01-01

    Faced with the continued emergence of antibiotic resistance to all known classes of antibiotics, a paradigm shift in approaches toward antifungal therapeutics is required. Well characterized in a broad spectrum of bacterial and fungal pathogens, biofilms are a key factor in limiting the effectiveness of conventional antibiotics. Therefore, therapeutics such as small molecules that prevent or disrupt biofilm formation would render pathogens susceptible to clearance by existing drugs. This is the first report describing the effect of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa alkylhydroxyquinolone interkingdom signal molecules 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4-quinolone and 2-heptyl-4-quinolone on biofilm formation in the important fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Decoration of the anthranilate ring on the quinolone framework resulted in significant changes in the capacity of these chemical messages to suppress biofilm formation. Addition of methoxy or methyl groups at the C5–C7 positions led to retention of anti-biofilm activity, in some cases dependent on the alkyl chain length at position C2. In contrast, halogenation at either the C3 or C6 positions led to loss of activity, with one notable exception. Microscopic staining provided key insights into the structural impact of the parent and modified molecules, identifying lead compounds for further development. PMID:28066389

  9. Genetic and virulence variation in an environmental population of the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Alshareef, Fadwa; Robson, Geoffrey D

    2014-04-01

    Environmental populations of the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus have been shown to be genotypically diverse and to contain a range of isolates with varying pathogenic potential. In this study, we combined two RAPD primers to investigate the genetic diversity of environmental isolates from Manchester collected monthly over 1 year alongside Dublin environmental isolates and clinical isolates from patients. RAPD analysis revealed a diverse genotype, but with three major clinical isolate clusters. When the pathogenicity of clinical and Dublin isolates was compared with a random selection of Manchester isolates in a Galleria mellonella larvae model, as a group, clinical isolates were significantly more pathogenic than environmental isolates. Moreover, when relative pathogenicity of individual isolates was compared, clinical isolates were the most pathogenic, Dublin isolates were the least pathogenic and Manchester isolates showed a range in pathogenicity. Overall, this suggests that the environmental population is genetically diverse, displaying a range in pathogenicity, and that the most pathogenic strains from the environment are selected during patient infection.

  10. Molecular characterization of an adaptive response to alkylating agents in the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    O’Hanlon, Karen A.; Margison, Geoffrey P.; Hatch, Amy; Fitzpatrick, David A.; Owens, Rebecca A.; Doyle, Sean; Jones, Gary W.

    2012-01-01

    An adaptive response to alkylating agents based upon the conformational change of a methylphosphotriester (MPT) DNA repair protein to a transcriptional activator has been demonstrated in a number of bacterial species, but this mechanism appears largely absent from eukaryotes. Here, we demonstrate that the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus elicits an adaptive response to sub-lethal doses of the mono-functional alkylating agent N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG). We have identified genes that encode MPT and O6-alkylguanine DNA alkyltransferase (AGT) DNA repair proteins; deletions of either of these genes abolish the adaptive response and sensitize the organism to MNNG. In vitro DNA repair assays confirm the ability of MPT and AGT to repair methylphosphotriester and O6-methylguanine lesions respectively. In eukaryotes, the MPT protein is confined to a select group of fungal species, some of which are major mammalian and plant pathogens. The evolutionary origin of the adaptive response is bacterial and rooted within the Firmicutes phylum. Inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfer between Firmicutes and Ascomycete ancestors introduced the adaptive response into the Fungal kingdom. Our data constitute the first detailed characterization of the molecular mechanism of the adaptive response in a lower eukaryote and has applications for development of novel fungal therapeutics targeting this DNA repair system. PMID:22669901

  11. Tolerance to silver of an Aspergillus fumigatus strain able to grow on cyanide containing wastes.

    PubMed

    Sabatini, L; Battistelli, M; Giorgi, L; Iacobucci, M; Gobbi, L; Andreozzi, E; Pianetti, A; Franchi, R; Bruscolini, F

    2016-04-05

    We studied the strategy of an Aspergillus fumigatus strain able to grow on metal cyanide wastes to cope with silver. The tolerance test revealed that the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration of Ag(I) was 6mM. In 1mM AgNO3 aqueous solution the fungus was able to reduce and sequestrate silver into the cell in the form of nanoparticles as evidenced by the change in color of the biomass and Electron Microscopy observations. Extracellular silver nanoparticle production also occurred in the filtrate solution after previous incubation of the fungus in sterile, double-distilled water for 72h, therefore evidencing that culture conditions may influence nanoparticle formation. The nanoparticles were characterized by UV-vis spectrometry, X-ray diffraction and Energy Dispersion X-ray analysis. Atomic absorption spectrometry revealed that the optimum culture conditions for silver absorption were at pH 8.5.The research is part of a polyphasic study concerning the behavior of the fungal strain in presence of metal cyanides; the results provide better understanding for further research targeted at a rationale use of the microorganism in bioremediation plans, also in view of possible metal recovery. Studies will be performed to verify if the fungus maintains its ability to produce nanoparticles using KAg(CN)2.

  12. Pf4 bacteriophage produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa inhibits Aspergillus fumigatus metabolism via iron sequestration.

    PubMed

    Penner, Jack C; Ferreira, Jose A G; Secor, Patrick R; Sweere, Johanna M; Birukova, Maria K; Joubert, Lydia-Marie; Haagensen, Janus A J; Garcia, Omar; Malkovskiy, Andrey V; Kaber, Gernot; Nazik, Hasan; Manasherob, Robert; Spormann, Alfred M; Clemons, Karl V; Stevens, David A; Bollyky, Paul L

    2016-09-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) and Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) are major human pathogens known to interact in a variety of disease settings, including airway infections in cystic fibrosis. We recently reported that clinical CF isolates of Pa inhibit the formation and growth of Af biofilms. Here, we report that the bacteriophage Pf4, produced by Pa, can inhibit the metabolic activity of Af biofilms. This phage-mediated inhibition was dose dependent, ablated by phage denaturation, and was more pronounced against preformed Af biofilm rather than biofilm formation. In contrast, planktonic conidial growth was unaffected. Two other phages, Pf1 and fd, did not inhibit Af, nor did supernatant from a Pa strain incapable of producing Pf4. Pf4, but not Pf1, attaches to Af hyphae in an avid and prolonged manner, suggesting that Pf4-mediated inhibition of Af may occur at the biofilm surface. We show that Pf4 binds iron, thus denying Af a crucial resource. Consistent with this, the inhibition of Af metabolism by Pf4 could be overcome with supplemental ferric iron, with preformed biofilm more resistant to reversal. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a bacterium producing a phage that inhibits the growth of a fungus and the first description of a phage behaving as an iron chelator in a biological system.

  13. The role of Dectin-1/Raf-1 signal cascade in innate immune of human corneal epithelial cells against Aspergillus fumigatus infection

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Gui-Qiu; Lin, Jing; Hu, Li-Ting; Yin, Xiao-Ni; Wang, Qian; Xu, Qiang; Li, Hui

    2016-01-01

    AIM To investigate the expression of the v-raf-1 murine leukemia viral oncogene homolog 1 (Raf-1) and its role in the innate immune response of human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) infected by Aspergillus fumigatus. METHODS HCECs were cultured in vitro. They were randomly divided into 4 groups, including control group, Aspergillus fumigatus group, GW5074 (an inhibitor of Raf-1) group and Laminarin [an inhibitor of Dendriti-cell-associated C-type lectin 1 (Dectin-1)] group. The protein expression level of total Raf-1 and p-Raf-1was measured by Western blot. The expression of IL-6 and IL-8 mRNA in each group was detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS In Aspergillus fumigatus group, total Raf-1 protein levels in HCECs remained unchanged at 5, 15, 30 and 45min after infection, while p-Raf-1 expression was significantly enhanced at 30min after infection compared with control group. However, the expression of p-Raf-1 was apparently declined after treated with GW5074 or Laminarin compared with Aspergillus fumigatus group. The expression levels of IL-6, IL-8 mRNA were significantly increased after stimulation with fumigatus compared with control group. Pre-treated with GW5074 significantly inhibited Aspergillus fumigatus-induced upregulation of IL-8 and IL-6. CONCLUSION Aspergillus fumigatus stimulation can elevate the expression of p-Raf-1 in HCECs in vitro. Dectin-1/Raf-1 signal pathway may play a role on regulating the expression of inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6 and IL-8. PMID:27803850

  14. 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.

  15. Aspergillosis, a Natural Infection in Poultry: Mycological and Molecular Characterization and Determination of Gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates.

    PubMed

    de Oca, Verónica Montes; Valdés, Sara Esther; Segundo, Carolina; Gómez, Gabriela Guadalupe; Ramírez, José; Cervantes, Roberto Arnulfo

    2017-03-01

    Aspergillosis affects all types of birds; it causes the loss of specimens with high ecologic value and also leads to significant economic losses within the poultry industry. The main etiologic agent is Aspergillus fumigatus , a filamentary fungus with multiple virulence factors, such as gliotoxin (GT), which is an immunosuppressive epipolythiodioxopiperazine molecule. Necropsy was performed on 73 poultry from different provenances, all of which presented with a respiratory semiology compatible with aspergillosis. A mycological culture was performed on the injured lungs of diseased birds, as was chloroform extraction of the GT, a thin-layer chromatography analysis (TLC), and a histopathology analysis with hematoxylin-eosin and Grocott stainings. The A. fumigatus identification was confirmed by PCR, where the ITS 1 5.1-5.8S-ITS 2 fragment of the rDNA complex was amplified. The in vitro GT production was studied by TLC in the recovered isolates from A. fumigatus . Seven isolates of A. fumigatus were obtained and in six of them, GT-like compounds were detected. In a lung sample, a compound with the same retention time (RF) as the reference GT was detected; whereas RF compounds different from the GT standard were observed in three lung samples.

  16. 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

  17. A new approach to drug discovery: high-throughput screening of microbial natural extracts against Aspergillus fumigatus using resazurin.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Maria Cândida; de la Cruz, Mercedes; Cantizani, Juan; Moreno, Catalina; Tormo, José R; Mellado, Emilia; De Lucas, J Ramón; Asensio, Francisco; Valiante, Vito; Brakhage, Axel A; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Genilloud, Olga; Vicente, Francisca

    2012-04-01

    Natural products are an inexhaustible source for drug discovery. However, the validation and selection of primary screening assays are vital to guarantee a selection of extracts or molecules with relevant pharmacological action and worthy of following up. The assay must be rapid, simple, easy to implement, and produce quick results and preferably at a low cost. In this work, we developed and validated a colorimetric microtiter assay using the resazurin viability dye. The parameters of the resazurin method for high-throughput screening (HTS) using natural extracts against Aspergillus fumigatus were optimized and set up. The extracts plus RPMI-1640 modified medium containing the spores and 0.002% resazurin were added per well. The fluorescence was read after 24 to 30 h of incubation. The resazurin proved to be as suitable as Alamar Blue for determining the minimal inhibitory concentration of different antifungals against A. fumigatus and effective to analyze fungicidal and fungistatic compounds. An HTS of 12 000 microbial extracts was carried out against two A. fumigatus strains, and 2.7% of the extracts displayed antifungal activity. Our group has been the first to use this methodology for screening a collection of natural extracts to identify compounds with antifungal activity against the medically important human pathogen A. fumigatus.

  18. The Aspergillus fumigatus metacaspases CasA and CasB facilitate growth under conditions of endoplasmic reticulum stress.

    PubMed

    Richie, Daryl L; Miley, Michael D; Bhabhra, Ruchi; Robson, Geoffrey D; Rhodes, Judith C; Askew, David S

    2007-01-01

    We have examined the contribution of metacaspases to the growth and stress response of the opportunistic human mould pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, based on increasing evidence implicating the yeast metacaspase Yca1p in apoptotic-like programmed cell death. Single metacaspase-deficient mutants were constructed by targeted disruption of each of the two metacaspase genes in A. fumigatus, casA and casB, and a metacaspase-deficient mutant, DeltacasA/DeltacasB, was constructed by disrupting both genes. Stationary phase cultures of wild-type A. fumigatus were associated with the appearance of typical markers of apoptosis, including elevated proteolytic activity against caspase substrates, phosphatidylserine exposure on the outer leaflet of the membrane, and loss of viability. By contrast, phosphatidylserine exposure was not observed in stationary phase cultures of the DeltacasA/DeltacasB mutant, although caspase activity and viability was indistinguishable from wild type. The mutant retained wild-type virulence and showed no difference in sensitivity to a range of pro-apoptotic stimuli that have been reported to initiate yeast apoptosis. However, the DeltacasA/DeltacasB mutant showed a growth detriment in the presence of agents that disrupt endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis. These findings demonstrate that metacaspase activity in A. fumigatus contributes to the apoptotic-like loss of membrane phospholipid asymmetry at stationary phase, and suggest that CasA and CasB have functions that support growth under conditions of endoplasmic reticulum stress.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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; Goldman, Gustavo H

    2015-08-01

    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.

  1. Dirhamnolipids secreted from Pseudomonas aeruginosa modify anjpegungal susceptibility of Aspergillus fumigatus by inhibiting β1,3 glucan synthase activity.

    PubMed

    Briard, Benoit; Rasoldier, Vero; Bomme, Perrine; ElAouad, Noureddine; Guerreiro, Catherine; Chassagne, Pierre; Muszkieta, Laetitia; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Mulard, Laurence; Beauvais, Anne

    2017-03-24

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Aspergillus fumigatus are the two microorganisms responsible for most of the chronic infections in cystic fibrosis patients. P. aeruginosa is known to produce quorum-sensing controlled rhamnolipids during chronic infections. Here we show that the dirhamnolipids secreted from P. aeruginosa (i) induce A. fumigatus to produce an extracellular matrix, rich in galactosaminogalactan, 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)- and pyo-melanin, surrounding their hyphae, which facilitates P. aeruginosa binding and (ii) inhibit A. fumigatus growth by blocking β1,3 glucan synthase (GS) activity, thus altering the cell wall architecture. A. fumigatus in the presence of diRhls resulted in a growth phenotype similar to that upon its treatment with anjpegungal echinocandins, showing multibranched hyphae and thicker cell wall rich in chitin. The diRhl structure containing two rhamnose moieties attached to fatty acyl chain is essential for the interaction with β1,3 GS; however, the site of action of diRhls on GS is different from that of echinocandins, and showed synergistic anjpegungal effect with azoles.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 24 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.32.

  2. Inhibition of the Flavin-Dependent Monooxygenase Siderophore A (SidA) Blocks Siderophore Biosynthesis and Aspergillus fumigatus Growth.

    PubMed

    Martín Del Campo, Julia S; Vogelaar, Nancy; Tolani, Karishma; Kizjakina, Karina; Harich, Kim; Sobrado, Pablo

    2016-11-18

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic fungal pathogen and the most common causative agent of fatal invasive mycoses. The flavin-dependent monooxygenase siderophore A (SidA) catalyzes the oxygen and NADPH dependent hydroxylation of l-ornithine (l-Orn) to N(5)-l-hydroxyornithine in the biosynthetic pathway of hydroxamate-containing siderophores in A. fumigatus. Deletion of the gene that codes for SidA has shown that it is essential in establishing infection in mice models. Here, a fluorescence polarization high-throughput assay was used to screen a 2320 compound library for inhibitors of SidA. Celastrol, a natural quinone methide, was identified as a noncompetitive inhibitor of SidA with a MIC value of 2 μM. Docking experiments suggest that celastrol binds across the NADPH and l-Orn pocket. Celastrol prevents A. fumigatus growth in blood agar. The addition of purified ferric-siderophore abolished the inhibitory effect of celastrol. Thus, celastrol inhibits A. fumigatus growth by blocking siderophore biosynthesis through SidA inhibiton.

  3. A comparative study of antigens of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from patients and soil of ornamental plants in the immunodiffusion test.

    PubMed

    Staib, F; Folkens, U; Tompak, B; Abel, T; Thiel, D

    1978-11-01

    The strikingly frequent and constant presence of Aspergillus fimigatus in the soil of potted ornamental plants kept in private houses and hospitals has been the reason for studying the antigens of the strains found from the diagnostic and epidemiological angles. Culture-filtrate antigens of A. fumigatus strains isolated from the soil of 4 different ornamental plants, epiphyllum (Epiphyllum truncatum), orange tree (Citrus sinensis), Alpine rose (Azalea indica) and Christmas flower (Euphorbia pulcherrima), were compared, in the immunodiffusion test, with antigens of A. fumigatus strains from aspergillosis patients prepared in an identical way. When tested against 8 different sera from different aspergillosis patients there was a good coincidence of results. Control sera from patients suffering from diseases other than aspergillosis, no false-positive reactions could be observed. The findings are discussed in respect of diagnosis and epidemiology.

  4. Sph3 Is a Glycoside Hydrolase Required for the Biosynthesis of Galactosaminogalactan in Aspergillus fumigatus*♦

    PubMed Central

    Bamford, Natalie C.; Snarr, Brendan D.; Gravelat, Fabrice N.; Little, Dustin J.; Lee, Mark J.; Zacharias, Caitlin A.; Chabot, Josée C.; Geller, Alexander M.; Baptista, Stefanie D.; Baker, Perrin; Robinson, Howard; Howell, P. Lynne; Sheppard, Donald C.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most virulent species within the Aspergillus genus and causes invasive infections with high mortality rates. The exopolysaccharide galactosaminogalactan (GAG) contributes to the virulence of A. fumigatus. A co-regulated five-gene cluster has been identified and proposed to encode the proteins required for GAG biosynthesis. One of these genes, sph3, is predicted to encode a protein belonging to the spherulin 4 family, a protein family with no known function. Construction of an sph3-deficient mutant demonstrated that the gene is necessary for GAG production. To determine the role of Sph3 in GAG biosynthesis, we determined the structure of Aspergillus clavatus Sph3 to 1.25 Å. The structure revealed a (β/α)8 fold, with similarities to glycoside hydrolase families 18, 27, and 84. Recombinant Sph3 displayed hydrolytic activity against both purified and cell wall-associated GAG. Structural and sequence alignments identified three conserved acidic residues, Asp-166, Glu-167, and Glu-222, that are located within the putative active site groove. In vitro and in vivo mutagenesis analysis demonstrated that all three residues are important for activity. Variants of Asp-166 yielded the greatest decrease in activity suggesting a role in catalysis. This work shows that Sph3 is a glycoside hydrolase essential for GAG production and defines a new glycoside hydrolase family, GH135. PMID:26342082

  5. Aspergillus fumigatus infection in two wild Eurasian black vultures (Aegypius monachus Linnaeus) with carbofuran insecticide poisoning: a case report.

    PubMed

    Jung, Kwonil; Kim, Youngjun; Lee, Hang; Kim, Jong-Taek

    2009-02-01

    Aspergillus spp. are opportunistic pathogens which cause pulmonary aspergillosis in animals and humans with compromised immune systems. Two Eurasian black vultures (Aegypius monachus Linnaeus) were found dead or clinically ill from carbofuran insecticide during the winter of 2004. Carbofuran was detected in the stomach contents by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry. Gross lesions showed severe granulomatous pneumonia and serofibrinous pleuropneumonia in both birds, with most lesions restricted to the pulmonary system. Histological lesions included pyogranulomatous pneumonia and suppurative parabronchiolitis/pleuritis/air sacculitis with a number of septated fungal hyphae, suggesting severe pulmonary aspergillosis. Fungal isolates from each vulture were identified as Aspergillus fumigatus by both lactophenol cotton blue staining and genetic analysis. This is the first report of pulmonary aspergillosis caused by A. fumigatus in wild Eurasian black vultures and suggests that Aspergillus infection could be an important cause of death in these birds which migrate from Mongolia to Korea during the winter. The incidence of the disease may be related to impaired immunity caused directly or indirectly by carbofuran poisoning.

  6. Occult Fungal Scleritis

    PubMed Central

    Jeang, Lauren J.; Davis, Aaron; Madow, Brian; Espana, Edgar M.; Margo, Curtis E.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose To heighten awareness of occult fungal scleritis. Method Case report and review of the literature. Results A 73-year-old woman with diabetes mellitus was diagnosed for 3 months with immune-mediated scleritis and subsequently treated with corticosteroids. On referral, the patient had a scleral nodule with contiguous corneal infiltrate and hypopyon. Culture grew Fusarium species not further classified. The infection could not be controlled with antifungal therapy, and the eye was removed. No exogenous or endogenous source for the infection could be identified by clinical history or examination. Conclusion Fungal scleritis can develop in persons without a history of foreign body injury, minor trauma, or evidence of endogenous fungemia. A high index of suspicion for infectious scleritis must be maintained in persons with presumed immune-mediated scleritis who fail to respond to conventional therapy, particularly if they present with decreased visual acuity. PMID:28275602

  7. 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

  8. What makes Aspergillus fumigatus a successful pathogen? Genes and molecules involved in invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Abad, Ana; Fernández-Molina, Jimena Victoria; Bikandi, Joseba; Ramírez, Andoni; Margareto, Javier; Sendino, Javier; Hernando, Fernando Luis; Pontón, Jose; Garaizar, Javier; Rementeria, Aitor

    2010-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogen that causes 90% of invasive aspergillosis (IA) due to Aspergillus genus, with a 50-95% mortality rate. It has been postulated that certain virulence factors are characteristic of A. fumigatus, but the "non-classical" virulence factors seem to be highly variable. Overall, published studies have demonstrated that the virulence of this fungus is multifactorial, associated with its structure, its capacity for growth and adaptation to stress conditions, its mechanisms for evading the immune system and its ability to cause damage to the host. In this review we intend to give a general overview of the genes and molecules involved in the development of IA. The thermotolerance section focuses on five genes related with the capacity of the fungus to grow at temperatures above 30°C (thtA, cgrA, afpmt1, kre2/afmnt1, and hsp1/asp f 12). The following sections discuss molecules and genes related to interaction with the host and with the immune responses. These sections include β-glucan, α-glucan, chitin, galactomannan, galactomannoproteins (afmp1/asp f 17 and afmp2), hydrophobins (rodA/hyp1 and rodB), DHN-melanin, their respective synthases (fks1, rho1-4, ags1-3, chsA-G, och1-4, mnn9, van1, anp1, glfA, pksP/alb1, arp1, arp2, abr1, abr2, and ayg1), and modifying enzymes (gel1-7, bgt1, eng1, ecm33, afpigA, afpmt1-2, afpmt4, kre2/afmnt1, afmnt2-3, afcwh41 and pmi); several enzymes related to oxidative stress protection such as catalases (catA, cat1/catB, cat2/katG, catC, and catE), superoxide dismutases (sod1, sod2, sod3/asp f 6, and sod4), fatty acid oxygenases (ppoA-C), glutathione tranferases (gstA-E), and others (afyap1, skn7, and pes1); and efflux transporters (mdr1-4, atrF, abcA-E, and msfA-E). In addition, this review considers toxins and related genes, such as a diffusible toxic substance from conidia, gliotoxin (gliP and gliZ), mitogillin (res/mitF/asp f 1), hemolysin (aspHS), festuclavine and fumigaclavine A

  9. [Isolation of an anthracene-degrading strain Aspergillus fumigatus A10 and its degradation characteristics].

    PubMed

    Qiang, Jing; Yin, Hua; Peng, Hui; Ye, Jin-Shao; Qin, Hua-Ming; He, Bao-Yan; Zhang, Na

    2009-05-15

    An anthracene-degrading strain (A10) was isolated from contaminated environment and identified as Aspergillus fumigatus. The experimental results showed that the biodegradation rate of anthracene increased with the increasing time. Between 12-84 h interval, the biodegradation performed rapidly, while after this, the increase of biodegradation rate tended to become slow, and ultimately the biodegradation rate could achieve approximately 83%. The degradatinn rate of anthracene reached 79.37% within 5 days when the initial concentration of anthracene in mineral salts medium (MSM) was 10 mg/L, the inoculum dosage was 50 g/L (wet weight) and the cell age was 36 h. The concentration of anthracene had notable influence on degradation function of strain A10 and the highest degradation rate (92.17%) was achieved when anthracene concentration was 5 mg/L. The degradation rate could maintain about 60% with initial pH of MSM in the range of 5.0-7.5, and also, the anthracene could be better broken down when the temperature was 30 degrees C and dissolved oxygen was 4.30 mg/L. Certain amount of nutrition salts promoted the biodegradation of anthracene to some extent. Addition of lactose as co-metabolic substrate most favorably accelerated degradation of anthracene by about 37.15%. The mechanism research revealed that the biodegradation by strain A10 was a dynamic process in which extracellular sorption and intracellular degradation were included. FT-IR analysis exhibited that the structure of anthracene changed with the action of microbe, generating a series of metabolites, such as aromatic acid, aromatic ketone, aromatic aldehyde with one or two benzene rings, as well as saturated hydrocarbons.

  10. Collaborative Cross mice and their power to map host susceptibility to Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Durrant, Caroline; Tayem, Hanna; Yalcin, Binnaz; Cleak, James; Goodstadt, Leo; de Villena, Fernando Pardo-Manuel; Mott, Richard; Iraqi, Fuad A

    2011-08-01

    The Collaborative Cross (CC) is a genetic reference panel of recombinant inbred lines of mice, designed for the dissection of complex traits and gene networks. Each line is independently descended from eight genetically diverse founder strains such that the genomes of the CC lines, once fully inbred, are fine-grained homozygous mosaics of the founder haplotypes. We present an analysis of 120 CC lines, from a cohort of the CC bred at Tel Aviv University in collaboration with the University of Oxford, which at the time of this study were between the sixth and 12th generations of inbreeding and substantially homozygous at 170,000 SNPs. We show how CC genomes decompose into mosaics, and we identify loci that carry a deficiency or excess of a founder, many being deficient for the wild-derived strains WSB/EiJ and PWK/PhJ. We phenotyped 371 mice from 66 CC lines for a susceptibility to Aspergillus fumigatus infection. The survival time after infection varied significantly between CC lines. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping identified genome-wide significant QTLs on chromosomes 2, 3, 8, 10 (two QTLs), 15, and 18. Simulations show that QTL mapping resolution (the median distance between the QTL peak and true location) varied between 0.47 and 1.18 Mb. Most of the QTLs involved contrasts between wild-derived founder strains and therefore would not segregate between classical inbred strains. Use of variation data from the genomes of the CC founder strains refined these QTLs further and suggested several candidate genes. These results support the use of the CC for dissecting complex traits.

  11. Effects of Aspergillus fumigatus phytase on phosphorus digestibility, phosphorus excretion, bone strength and performance in pigs.

    PubMed

    Simões Nunes, C; Guggenbuhl, P

    1998-01-01

    Phytic-phosphorus has a very low bioavailability for monogastric animals and the non-utilized mineral contributes to the phosphorus (P) pollution problems. Phytases may ameliorate phytic-P antinutritive properties. However, phytases are very sensitive to the pelleting temperature commonly used for compound feed production and thus the challenge to produce a more thermostable phytase is very important. Pure Aspergillus fumigatus phytase (AFP) has the ability to refold into a native-like fully active structure after heat denaturation (20 min at 90 degrees C). The aim of the present work was to evaluate in vitro (in feed) and in vivo in young and in growing-finishing pigs the effects of AFP included in the feed at a level of 500 U/kg. Feed supplementation with AFP resulted in an in vitro phosphorus release of about three times higher than that obtained from the basal diets, irrespective of the pH value used for the determination (5.5 or 7). When the supplemented feed was steam pelleted at about 84 degrees C, the free P obtained after incubation at pH 5.5 represented 53% on an average of that obtained from the corresponding mash diets. The phytic-P-rich diets systematically induced hypophosphataemia, hypercalcaemia and hyperphosphatasaemia. The normal blood levels of P, Ca and alkaline phosphatase were restored by AFP. P apparent digestibility was significantly higher for the AFP diet (52.8 versus 30.8%). The improvement in Ca digestibility was not statistically significant. In all three in vivo experiments, AFP significantly decreased the P concentration in faeces (between 13 and 33%) as well as increased the growth rate and decreased the feed conversion ratio. Bone strength was significantly higher in the growing-fattening pigs fed on the AFP diet.

  12. First Description of Azole-Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus Due to TR46/Y121F/T289A Mutation in France

    PubMed Central

    Lavergne, Rose-Anne; Morio, Florent; Favennec, Loïc; Dominique, Stéphane; Gargala, Gilles; Verweij, Paul E.

    2015-01-01

    Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is an emerging public health concern. Recently, a novel fungicide-driven mutation in the cyp51A gene and its promoter, TR46/Y121F/T289A, leading to high-level resistance to voriconazole has been identified in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Tanzania, and India in both clinical and environmental samples. Here we report the first description of A. fumigatus carrying this mutation in France, in a cystic fibrosis patient, underlining the need for extensive monitoring of Aspergillus resistance. PMID:25918139

  13. Identification and characterization of an anti-oxidative stress-associated mutant of Aspergillus fumigatus transformed by Agrobacterium tumefaciens

    PubMed Central

    FAN, ZHONGQI; YU, HUIMEI; GUO, QI; HE, DAN; XUE, BAIJI; XIE, XIANGLI; YOKOYAMA, KOJI; WANG, LI

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common opportunistic pathogenic fungi, surviving in various environmental conditions. Maintenance of the redox homeostasis of the fungus relies upon the well-organized regulation between reactive oxygen species generated by immune cells or its own organelles, and the activated anti-oxidative stress mechanism. To investigate such a mechanism, the present study obtained a number of randomly-inserted mutants of A. fumigatus, mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. In addition, a high throughput hydrogen peroxide screening system was established to examine ~1,000 mutants. A total of 100 mutants exhibited changes in hydrogen peroxide sensitivity, among which a significant increase in sensitivity was observed in the AFM2658 mutant. Further investigations of the mutant were also performed, in which the sequence of this mutant was characterized using thermal asymmetric interlaced-polymerase chain reaction. This revealed that the insertion site was located on chromosome 2 afu1_92, and the 96 bp sequence was knocked out, which partially comprised a sequence localized between the integral membrane protein coding region and the helix-loop-helix transcription factor coding region. A decrease in the levels of anti-oxidative stress-associated mRNAs were observed, and an increase in reactive oxygen species were detected using fluorescence. The results of the present study demonstrated that this sequence may have a protective role in A. fumigatus in the presence of oxidative stress. PMID:26847000

  14. Isolation and characterization of recombinant single chain fragment variable anti-idiotypic antibody specific to Aspergillus fumigatus membrane protein.

    PubMed

    Krishnaswamy, Senthilkumar; Kabir, M Enamul; Rahman, M Mamunur; Miyamoto, Masahiko; Furuichi, Yasuhiro; Komiyama, Tadazumi

    2011-03-07

    Aspergillus fumigatus causes the highly lethal form of invasive aspergillosis (IA). In the present study to develop a novel anti-fungal drug for protection against invasive disease, we identified a single chain fragment variable (scFv) antibody (scFv AF1) by panning against A. fumigatus membrane fraction (AMF) or HM-1 killer toxin (HM-1) neutralizing monoclonal antibody (nmAb-KT) as antigen. The key step was elution of bound phages with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) at pH 7.0 containing AMF. The specificity of soluble scFv AF1 antibody to antigens was verified by ELISA, which specifically binds to both AMF and nmAb-KT. After nucleotide sequencing, clone expression and purification by HisTrap HP affinity column, scFv AF1 showed in vitro anti-fungal activity against A. fumigatus. By SPR analysis it showed high binding affinity to nmAb-KT (K(d)=5.22×10(-11) M). The method used to isolate scFv AF1 was a new method and we believe that it will be applicable to isolate the specific scFv against any kind of membrane protein of yeast or fungus.

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

    PubMed Central

    Dümig, Michaela; O'Keeffe, Gráinne; Binder, Jasmin; Doyle, Sean; Beilhack, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    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 of A. fumigatus during pathogenesis, a prerequisite to understanding and fighting infection. PMID:26787716

  16. Cell wall biogenesis in a double chitin synthase mutant (chsG-/chsE-) of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Mellado, E; Dubreucq, G; Mol, P; Sarfati, J; Paris, S; Diaquin, M; Holden, D W; Rodriguez-Tudela, J L; Latgé, J P

    2003-02-01

    Previous studies (Aufauvre-Brown et al., 1997; Mellado et al., 1996a,b ) have shown that only two genes of the Aspergillus fumigatus chitin synthase family, chsG and chsE, play a role in the morphogenesis of this fungal species. An A. fumigatus strain lacking both chsG (class III CHS) and chsE (class V CHS) genes was constructed by gene replacement of the chsE gene with a copy that has its conserved coding region interrupted by the hph resistance cassette in an A. fumigatus chsG- genetic background. Unexpectedly the double disruption was not lethal. The double mutant AfchsG-/chsE- strain (i) has reduced chitin synthase activity with or without trypsin stimulation, (ii) has a reduced colony radial growth rate, (iii) produces highly branched hyphae, (iv) exhibits aberrant features, such as periodic swellings along the length of the hyphae and a block in conidiation that can be partially restored by an osmotic stabilizer (v) shows alterations in the shape and germination capacity of the conidia, and (vi) has a cell wall that contains half the chitin of the parental strain and is, unexpectedly, highly enriched in alpha-(1-3) glucan.

  17. The ER-mitochondria encounter structure contributes to hyphal growth, mitochondrial morphology and virulence of the pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Geißel, Bernadette; Penka, Mirjam; Neubauer, Michael; Wagener, Johannes

    2017-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic fungal pathogen and the primary causative species of invasive aspergillosis, a systemic disease associated with high mortality rates. Treatment of invasive fungal infection relies on a very limited number of antifungal drug classes. In order to extend the spectrum of antifungal drugs novel target structures have to be identified. The ER-mitochondria encounter structure (ERMES), a recently discovered tether that links mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum, is a potential drug target based on its absence in Metazoa. Very recently, it was shown that ERMES is important for the fitness and immune evasion of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. We studied the role of the four ERMES core components Mdm10, Mdm12, Mdm34 and Mmm1 in the pathogenic mold A. fumigatus. By construction and characterizing conditional mutants of all four core components and deletion mutants of mdm10 and mdm12, we show that each component is of significant importance for growth of the fungal pathogen. While markedness of the individual mutant phenotypes differed slightly, all components are important for maintenance of the mitochondrial morphology and the intra-organellar distribution of nucleoids. Characterization of the Mmm1 ERMES mutant in a Galleria mellonella infection model indicates that ERMES contributes to virulence of A. fumigatus. Our results demonstrate that pharmacologic inhibition of ERMES could exert antifungal activity against this important pathogen.

  18. A Fungus-Specific Protein Domain Is Essential for RasA-Mediated Morphogenetic Signaling in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Al Abdallah, Qusai; Norton, Tiffany S.; Hill, Amy M.; LeClaire, Lawrence L.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Ras proteins function as conserved regulators of eukaryotic growth and differentiation and are essential signaling proteins orchestrating virulence in pathogenic fungi. Here, we report the identification of a novel N-terminal domain of the RasA protein in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Whereas this domain is absent in Ras homologs of higher eukaryotes, the N-terminal extension is conserved among fungi and is characterized by a short string of two to eight amino acids terminating in an invariant arginine. For this reason, we have termed the RasA N-terminal domain the invariant arginine domain (IRD). Through mutational analyses, the IRD was found to be essential for polarized morphogenesis and asexual development, with the invariant arginine residue being most essential. Although IRD truncation resulted in a nonfunctional Ras phenotype, IRD mutation was not associated with mislocalization of the RasA protein or significant changes in steady-state RasA activity levels. Mutation of the RasA IRD diminished protein kinase A (PKA) activation and resulted in decreased interaction with the Rho-type GTPase, Cdc42. Taken together, our findings reveal novel, fungus-specific mechanisms for Ras protein function and signal transduction. IMPORTANCE Aspergillus fumigatus is an important fungal pathogen against which limited treatments exist. During invasive disease, A. fumigatus hyphae grow in a highly polarized fashion, forming filaments that invade blood vessels and disseminate to distant sites. Once invasion and dissemination occur, mortality rates are high. We have previously shown that the Ras signaling pathway is an important regulator of the hyphal growth machinery supporting virulence in A. fumigatus. Here, we show that functional Ras signaling in A. fumigatus requires a novel, fungus-specific domain within the Ras protein. This domain is highly conserved among fungi, yet absent in higher eukaryotes, suggesting a potentially crucial difference in

  19. Characterization of the Aspergillus nidulans aspnd1 gene demonstrates that the ASPND1 antigen, which it encodes, and several Aspergillus fumigatus immunodominant antigens belong to the same family.

    PubMed Central

    Calera, J A; Ovejero, M C; López-Medrano, R; Segurado, M; Puente, P; Leal, F

    1997-01-01

    For the first time, an immunodominant Aspergillus nidulans antigen (ASPND1) consistently reactive with serum samples from aspergilloma patients has been purified and characterized, and its coding gene (aspnd1) has been cloned and sequenced. ASPND1 is a glycoprotein with four N-glycosidically-bound sugar chains (around 2.1 kDa each) which are not necessary for reactivity with immune human sera. The polypeptide part is synthesized as a 277-amino-acid precursor of 30.6 kDa that after cleavage of a putative signal peptide of 16 amino acids, affords a mature protein of 261 amino acids with a molecular mass of 29 kDa and a pI of 4.24 (as deduced from the sequence). The ASPND1 protein is 53.1% identical to the AspfII allergen from Aspergillus fumigatus and 48% identical to an unpublished Candida albicans antigen. All of the cysteine residues and most of the glycosylation sites are perfectly conserved in the three proteins, suggesting a similar but yet unknown function. Analysis of the primary structure of the ASPND1 coding gene (aspnd1) has allowed the establishment of a clear relationship between several previously reported A. fumigatus and A. nidulans immunodominant antigens. PMID:9119471

  20. Apoptotic effect of demethoxyfumitremorgin C from marine fungus Aspergillus fumigatus on PC3 human prostate cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Sang; Kim, Se-Kwon; Park, Sun Joo

    2017-03-28

    Demethoxyfumitremorgin C, a secondary metabolite of the marine fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus, had been reported to demonstrate cytotoxic effect on mouse tsFT210 cells. However, no information is available regarding its functional mechanism and the chemo-sensitization effects on different kinds of human cancer cells. We found that treatment of demethoxyfumitremorgin C inhibited the cell viability of PC3 human advanced prostate cancer cells, induced apoptosis as determined by Annexin V/propidium iodide double staining, and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. Demethoxyfumitremorgin C induced apoptosis was associated with downregulation of anti-apoptotic proteins: Ras, PI3K, Akt, Bcl-xL, and Bcl-2, and upregulation of pro-apoptotic Bax. Demethoxyfumitremorgin C activated caspase-3, -8, and -9, leading to PARP cleavage. Additionally, caspase inhibitors blocked demethoxyfumitremorgin C-induced apoptosis of PC3 cells. These results suggest that demethoxyfumitremorgin C from Aspergillus fumigatus inhibits the proliferation of PC3 human prostate cancer cells via the intrinsic (mitochondrial) and extrinsic pathway, followed by downstream events leading to apoptotic cell death. Demethoxyfumitremorgin C could therefore, serve as a useful agent to treat human advanced prostate cancer.

  1. A soluble fucose-specific lectin from Aspergillus fumigatus conidia--structure, specificity and possible role in fungal pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Houser, Josef; Komarek, Jan; Kostlanova, Nikola; Cioci, Gianluca; Varrot, Annabelle; Kerr, Sheena C; Lahmann, Martina; Balloy, Viviane; Fahy, John V; Chignard, Michel; Imberty, Anne; Wimmerova, Michaela

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an important allergen and opportunistic pathogen. Similarly to many other pathogens, it is able to produce lectins that may be involved in the host-pathogen interaction. We focused on the lectin AFL, which was prepared in recombinant form and characterized. Its binding properties were studied using hemagglutination and glycan array analysis. We determined the specificity of the lectin towards l-fucose and fucosylated oligosaccharides, including α1-6 linked core-fucose, which is an important marker for cancerogenesis. Other biologically relevant saccharides such as sialic acid, d-mannose or d-galactose were not bound. Blood group epitopes of the ABH and Lewis systems were recognized, Le(Y) being the preferred ligand among others. To provide a correlation between the observed functional characteristics and structural basis, AFL was crystallized in a complex with methyl-α,L-selenofucoside and its structure was solved using the SAD method. Six binding sites, each with different compositions, were identified per monomer and significant differences from the homologous AAL lectin were found. Structure-derived peptides were utilized to prepare anti-AFL polyclonal antibodies, which suggested the presence of AFL on the Aspergillus' conidia, confirming its expression in vivo. Stimulation of human bronchial cells by AFL led to IL-8 production in a dose-dependent manner. AFL thus probably contributes to the inflammatory response observed upon the exposure of a patient to A. fumigatus. The combination of affinity to human epithelial epitopes, production by conidia and pro-inflammatory activity is remarkable and shows that AFL might be an important virulence factor involved in an early stage of A. fumigatus infection.

  2. Workload due to Aspergillus fumigatus and significance of the organism in the microbiology laboratory of a general hospital.

    PubMed

    Bouza, E; Guinea, J; Peláez, T; Pérez-Molina, J; Alcalá, L; Muñoz, P

    2005-05-01

    The increase in the immunocompromised population and the incidence of invasive aspergillosis (IA) are leading to an overinterpretation of the potential clinical significance of many isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus. Our work prospectively assesses the workload of the isolation of A. fumigatus and its clinical significance in the microbiology laboratory of a large teaching hospital. During a 3-year period, all patients from whom A. fumigatus was isolated were prospectively monitored and classified as having IA or "nonsignificant" disease. A point score based on the prediction of five easily obtained laboratory and clinical parameters was applied. We found 404 A. fumigatus isolates in 260 patients (1/1,000 microbiology laboratory samples; 2.1 patients/10,000 admissions). A total of 90 isolates (22.3%) were from patients with IA. Of the 260 patients, 31 (12%) had invasive disease (IA), and the remaining 229 had "nonsignificant" disease. A score based on points for five parameters was applied to our population. It was constructed as follows: "sample obtained by invasive procedures" (1 point), "presence of two or more positive samples from the same patient" (1 point), "leukemia" (2 points), "neutropenia" (5 points), and "corticosteroid treatment" (2 points). Patients with a score of 0 had only a 2.5% probability of IA. Those with a score of 1 or 2 had an increased probability of 10.3%. The probabilities rose to 40% and 70%, respectively, for patients with a score of 3 or 4 or a score of > or = 5. A simple score based on five easily available parameters may be of help to microbiologists and clinicians to predict the risk of IA.

  3. Hsp70 and the Cochaperone StiA (Hop) Orchestrate Hsp90-Mediated Caspofungin Tolerance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Lamoth, Frédéric; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Soderblom, Erik J; Moseley, M Arthur; Steinbach, William J

    2015-08-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the primary etiologic agent of invasive aspergillosis (IA), a major cause of death among immunosuppressed patients. Echinocandins (e.g., caspofungin) are increasingly used as second-line therapy for IA, but their activity is only fungistatic. Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) was previously shown to trigger tolerance to caspofungin and the paradoxical effect (i.e., decreased efficacy of caspofungin at higher concentrations). Here, we demonstrate the key role of another molecular chaperone, Hsp70, in governing the stress response to caspofungin via Hsp90 and their cochaperone Hop/Sti1 (StiA in A. fumigatus). Mutation of the StiA-interacting domain of Hsp70 (C-terminal EELD motif) impaired thermal adaptation and caspofungin tolerance with loss of the caspofungin paradoxical effect. Impaired Hsp90 function and increased susceptibility to caspofungin were also observed following pharmacologic inhibition of the C-terminal domain of Hsp70 by pifithrin-μ or after stiA deletion, further supporting the links among Hsp70, StiA, and Hsp90 in governing caspofungin tolerance. StiA was not required for the physical interaction between Hsp70 and Hsp90 but had distinct roles in the regulation of their function in caspofungin and heat stress responses. In conclusion, this study deciphering the physical and functional interactions of the Hsp70-StiA-Hsp90 complex provided new insights into the mechanisms of tolerance to caspofungin in A. fumigatus and revealed a key C-terminal motif of Hsp70, which can be targeted by specific inhibitors, such as pifithrin-μ, to enhance the antifungal activity of caspofungin against A. fumigatus.

  4. Characteristics of Aspergillus fumigatus in Association with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia in an In Vitro Model of Mixed Biofilm

    PubMed Central

    Melloul, Elise; Luiggi, Stéphanie; Anaïs, Leslie; Arné, Pascal; Costa, Jean-Marc; Fihman, Vincent; Briard, Benoit; Dannaoui, Eric; Guillot, Jacques; Decousser, Jean-Winoc; Beauvais, Anne; Botterel, Françoise

    2016-01-01

    Background Biofilms are communal structures of microorganisms that have long been associated with a variety of persistent infections poorly responding to conventional antibiotic or antifungal therapy. Aspergillus fumigatus fungus and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia bacteria are examples of the microorganisms that can coexist to form a biofilm especially in the respiratory tract of immunocompromised patients or cystic fibrosis patients. The aim of the present study was to develop and assess an in vitro model of a mixed biofilm associating S. maltophilia and A. fumigatus by using analytical and quantitative approaches. Materials and Methods An A. fumigatus strain (ATCC 13073) expressing a Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and an S. maltophilia strain (ATCC 13637) were used. Fungal and bacterial inocula (105 conidia/mL and 106 cells/mL, respectively) were simultaneously deposited to initiate the development of an in vitro mixed biofilm on polystyrene supports at 37°C for 24 h. The structure of the biofilm was analysed via qualitative microscopic techniques like scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy, and by quantitative techniques including qPCR and crystal violet staining. Results Analytic methods revealed typical structures of biofilm with production of an extracellular matrix (ECM) enclosing fungal hyphae and bacteria. Quantitative methods showed a decrease of A. fumigatus growth and ECM production in the mixed biofilm with antibiosis effect of the bacteria on the fungi seen as abortive hyphae, limited hyphal growth, fewer conidia, and thicker fungal cell walls. Conclusion For the first time, a mixed A. fumigatus—S. maltophilia biofilm was validated by various analytical and quantitative approaches and the bacterial antibiosis effect on the fungus was demonstrated. The mixed biofilm model is an interesting experimentation field to evaluate efficiency of antimicrobial agents and to analyse the interactions between the

  5. In-vitro activity of nikkomycin Z alone and in combination with polyenes, triazoles or echinocandins against Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Ganesan, L T; Manavathu, E K; Cutright, J L; Alangaden, G J; Chandrasekar, P H

    2004-11-01

    The in-vitro activity of nikkomycin Z was investigated in combination with polyenes, triazoles or echinocandins against 20 clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus with the fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) method. The drug interactions were classified as synergic (FICI < or = 0.5), no interaction (FICI > 0.5, but FICI < or = 4) or antagonistic (FICI > 4). The fungicidal activity of nikkomycin Z alone and in combination with a representative echinocandin (caspofungin) or triazole (voriconazole) was also examined with time-kill experiments and fungal cell viability assays. Two-drug combinations of nikkomycin Z with amphotericin B (FICI 3.59 +/- 0.57), amphotericin B lipid complex (FICI 3.95 +/- 0.74), liposomal amphotericin B (FICI 3.62 +/- 0.98), itraconazole (FICI 2.0 +/- 0.0), voriconazole (FICI 1.07 +/- 0.37), posaconazole (FICI 2.20 +/- 0.44) or ravuconazole (FICI 1.76 +/- 0.44) showed no interactions, but the pairwise combination of nikkomycin Z with caspofungin (FICI 0.22 +/- 0.19) or micafungin (FICI 0.35 +/- 0.27) showed synergic activity against A. fumigatus. Time-kill studies and fungal cell viability assays showed that neither nikkomycin Z nor caspofungin alone possessed fungicidal activity against A. fumigatus, whereas a combination of these two drugs at concentrations > or = 2 mg/L (> or = 0.031 x the concentration of drug that produced no visible growth) killed germinated conidia within 24 h in a concentration-dependent manner. These data suggest that two-drug combinations of nikkomycin Z with echinocandins, but not with polyenes and triazoles, have a synergic effect against A. fumigatus.

  6. 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

  7. Regulation of sulphur assimilation is essential for virulence and affects iron homeostasis of the human-pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Vaccinations with Recombinant Variants of Aspergillus fumigatus Allergen Asp f 3 Protect Mice against Invasive Aspergillosis†

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

    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 predominately 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

  9. Variation in copy number of the 28S rDNA of Aspergillus fumigatus measured by droplet digital PCR and analog quantitative real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Alanio, Alexandre; Sturny-Leclère, Aude; Benabou, Marion; Guigue, Nicolas; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2016-08-01

    Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) after DNA digestion yielded a 28S rDNA copy number of 61 to 86 copies/genome when testing 10 unrelated Aspergillus fumigatus isolates, higher than with quantitative PCR. Unfortunately, ddPCR after DNA digestion did not improve the sensitivity of our PCR assay when testing serum patients with invasive aspergillosis.

  10. Specific IgG subclass antibody pattern to Aspergillus fumigatus in patients with cystic fibrosis with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA)

    PubMed Central

    Skov, M; Pressler, T; Jensen, H; Hoiby, N; Koch, C

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND—IgG and IgG subclass antibodies to Aspergillus fumigatus (A fumigatus) were measured in a large population of patients with cystic fibrosis to elucidate a putative antibody pattern specific for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA).
METHODS—An ELISA technique using water soluble somatic hyphal (WSSH) A fumigatus antigens and subclass specific monoclonal antibodies was used for cross sectional quantification of IgG and IgG1-4 subclass antibody levels in the serum of 238 patients with cystic fibrosis and 107 healthy controls.
RESULTS—In patients with cystic fibrosis persistently colonised with A fumigatus the subclass antibody levels were significantly increased compared with patients with cystic fibrosis never or rarely colonised (p<0.001). The group of patients persistently colonised with A fumigatus with ABPA (+Af+ABPA) had significantly increased levels of IgG antibodies to A fumigatus (Af-IgG) (median 69 ELISA units (EU) versus 31) and of subclasses Af-IgG1 (91 versus 27), Af-IgG2 (143 versus 56), and Af-IgG4 antibodies (72 versus 20), but not of IgG3 (17 versus 15), compared with the colonised patients without ABPA (+Af-ABPA). Patients with cystic fibrosis with no or only rare isolates of A fumigatus without ABPA (-Af-ABPA) also had significantly increased subclass antibody levels (Af-IgG1 9 versus 3, Af-IgG2 28 versus 5, Af-IgG4 16 versus 4; p<0.001) compared with healthy controls. Low, although detectable, levels of antibodies were demonstrated in healthy controls. ABPA seemed to occur independently of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. Using diagnostic cut off levels for ABPA, sensitivity and specificity were calculated. The highest specificity was found for IgG4 (88%); sensitivity was between 65% and 73%. The positive predictive values (PPV) were moderate, whereas the negative predictive values (NPV) were high (96% in all subclasses except IgG3 with 94%). PPV increased to 50% if IgG1 as well as IgG2 and IgG4 were included

  11. Adoptive immunity mediated by HLA-A*0201 restricted Asp f16 peptides-specific CD8+ T cells against Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Sun, Z; Zhu, P; Li, L; Wan, Z; Zhao, Z; Li, R

    2012-11-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is the most common pathogen of invasive aspergillosis (IA), a life-threatening infection in immunocompromised patients. Recent findings revealed that CD8+ T cells can mediate cytotoxic activity against A. fumigatus. Here, we bioinformatically identified three HLA-A*0201-restricted peptides from Asp f16, an A. fumigatus antigen which was previously shown to be involved in T cell immunity. Our immunological results demonstrated that these peptides can potently induce cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response in CD8+ T cells, thus, damaging the conidia and hyphae of A. fumigatus. Moreover, the Asp f16 peptides can also raise Th1 cell-like response, as measured by interferon-γ (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT). Furthermore, we established an invasive pulmonary aspergillosis model in HLA-A*0201 transgenic mice. Adoptive transfer of Asp f16 peptides-specific CTL significantly extended the overall survival time in the A. fumigatus-infected immunocompromised mice. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the Asp f16 peptides might provide immunity against invasive A. fumigatus infection.

  12. Fungicides induced triazole-resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus associated with mutations of TR46/Y121F/T289A and its appearance in agricultural fields.

    PubMed

    Ren, Jingbei; Jin, Xiangxiang; Zhang, Qian; Zheng, Yuan; Lin, Dunli; Yu, Yunlong

    2017-03-15

    Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is a growing public health problem. The sources of this resistance have been gained much attention. The present study was conducted to assess if resistant strain of A. fumigatus and its associated mutations in cyp51A could be induced by triazole fungicides and whether the resistant strain of A. fumigatus exist in agricultural fields. The results indicated that the resistance in A. fumigatus with mutations of TR46/Y121F/T289A, A284T, G448S and P222Q could be induced by agricultural triazoles (epoxiconazole, tebuconazole, propiconazole, hexaconazole, and metconazole). TR46/Y121F/T289A was the most common mutation in the induced resistant strain of A. fumigatus. A total of 144 soil samples were collected from different greenhouses for vegetables and fruits in Zhejiang, China. Among them, 2 voriconazole-resistant strains (No. 15 and 44) harboring the mutation of TR46/Y121F/T289A and 1 itraconazole-resistant strain (No. 51) harboring the mutation of TR34/L98H/S297T/F495I were isolated and identified. This implies that resistant strain of A. fumigatus has already distributed at least in 5.8% of the greenhouses. These findings might imply that there is a direct link between the agricultural use of triazoles and the appearance of the resistance in A. fumigatus to triazole medicals and its associated mutations in cyp51A.

  13. In vitro interaction between alginate lyase and amphotericin B against Aspergillus fumigatus biofilm determined by different methods.

    PubMed

    Bugli, Francesca; Posteraro, Brunella; Papi, Massimiliano; Torelli, Riccardo; Maiorana, Alessandro; Paroni Sterbini, Francesco; Posteraro, Patrizia; Sanguinetti, Maurizio; De Spirito, Marco

    2013-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus biofilms represent a problematic clinical entity, especially because of their recalcitrance to antifungal drugs, which poses a number of therapeutic implications for invasive aspergillosis, the most difficult-to-treat Aspergillus-related disease. While the antibiofilm activities of amphotericin B (AMB) deoxycholate and its lipid formulations (e.g., liposomal AMB [LAMB]) are well documented, the effectiveness of these drugs in combination with nonantifungal agents is poorly understood. In the present study, in vitro interactions between polyene antifungals (AMB and LAMB) and alginate lyase (AlgL), an enzyme degrading the polysaccharides produced as extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) within the biofilm matrix, against A. fumigatus biofilms were evaluated by using the checkerboard microdilution and the time-kill assays. Furthermore, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to image and quantify the effects of AlgL-antifungal combinations on biofilm-growing hyphal cells. On the basis of fractional inhibitory concentration index values, synergy was found between both AMB formulations and AlgL, and this finding was also confirmed by the time-kill test. Finally, AFM analysis showed that when A. fumigatus biofilms were treated with AlgL or polyene alone, as well as with their combination, both a reduction of hyphal thicknesses and an increase of adhesive forces were observed compared to the findings for untreated controls, probably owing to the different action by the enzyme or the antifungal compounds. Interestingly, marked physical changes were noticed in A. fumigatus biofilms exposed to the AlgL-antifungal combinations compared with the physical characteristics detected after exposure to the antifungals alone, indicating that AlgL may enhance the antibiofilm activity of both AMB and LAMB, perhaps by disrupting the hypha-embedding EPSs and thus facilitating the drugs to reach biofilm cells. Taken together, our results suggest that a combination

  14. A Fungus-Specific Protein Domain Is Essential for RasA-Mediated Morphogenetic Signaling in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Al Abdallah, Qusai; Norton, Tiffany S; Hill, Amy M; LeClaire, Lawrence L; Fortwendel, Jarrod R

    2016-01-01

    Ras proteins function as conserved regulators of eukaryotic growth and differentiation and are essential signaling proteins orchestrating virulence in pathogenic fungi. Here, we report the identification of a novel N-terminal domain of the RasA protein in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Whereas this domain is absent in Ras homologs of higher eukaryotes, the N-terminal extension is conserved among fungi and is characterized by a short string of two to eight amino acids terminating in an invariant arginine. For this reason, we have termed the RasA N-terminal domain the invariant arginine domain (IRD). Through mutational analyses, the IRD was found to be essential for polarized morphogenesis and asexual development, with the invariant arginine residue being most essential. Although IRD truncation resulted in a nonfunctional Ras phenotype, IRD mutation was not associated with mislocalization of the RasA protein or significant changes in steady-state RasA activity levels. Mutation of the RasA IRD diminished protein kinase A (PKA) activation and resulted in decreased interaction with the Rho-type GTPase, Cdc42. Taken together, our findings reveal novel, fungus-specific mechanisms for Ras protein function and signal transduction. IMPORTANCEAspergillus fumigatus is an important fungal pathogen against which limited treatments exist. During invasive disease, A. fumigatus hyphae grow in a highly polarized fashion, forming filaments that invade blood vessels and disseminate to distant sites. Once invasion and dissemination occur, mortality rates are high. We have previously shown that the Ras signaling pathway is an important regulator of the hyphal growth machinery supporting virulence in A. fumigatus. Here, we show that functional Ras signaling in A. fumigatus requires a novel, fungus-specific domain within the Ras protein. This domain is highly conserved among fungi, yet absent in higher eukaryotes, suggesting a potentially crucial difference in the

  15. The Potential Inhibitory Effect of Cuminum Cyminum, Ziziphora Clinopodioides and Nigella Sativa Essential Oils on the Growth of Aspergillus Fumigatus and Aspergillus

    PubMed Central

    Khosravi, A.R.; Minooeianhaghighi, M.H.; Shokri, H.; Emami, S.A.; S.M., Alavi; Asili, J.

    2011-01-01

    The goals of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of Cuminum cyminum, Ziziphora clinopodioides and Nigella sativa essential oils to inhibit the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus and A. flavus and to evoke ultrastructural changes. The fungi were cultured into RPMI 1640 media in the presence of oils at concentrations of 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.5, 1.25, 1, 0.75 and 0.5 mg/ml in broth microdilution and 2, 1.5, 1 and 0.5 mg/ml in broth macrodilution methods with shaking for 48 h at 28oC. Conidial and mycelial samples exposed to 0.25, 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 mg essential oils/ml for 5 days in 2% yeast extract granulated plus 15% Saccharose media were processed for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Based on broth dilution methods, C. cyminum and to a lesser extent Z. clinopodioides oils exhibited the strongest activity against A. fumigatus and A. flavus with MIC90 ranging from 0.25 to 1.5 mg/ml, while the oil from N. sativa exhibited relatively moderate activity against two above fungi with MIC90 ranging from 1.5 to 2 mg/ml. The main changes observed by TEM were in the cell wall, plasma membrane and membranous organelles; in particular, in the nuclei and mitochondria. These modifications in fungal structure were associated with the interference of the essential oils with the enzymes responsible for cell wall synthesis, which disturbed normal growth. Moreover, the essential oils caused high vacuolation of the cytoplasm, detachment of fibrillar layer of cell wall, plasma membrane disruption and disorganization of the nuclear and mitochondrial structures. Aspergillus fumigatus and A. flavus growth inhibition induced by these oils were found to be well-correlated with subsequent morphological changes of the fungi exposed to different fungistatic concentrations of the oils. Our results show the anti-Aspergillus activities of C. cyminum, Z. clinopodioides and N. sativa essential oils, which strengthens the potential use of these substances as anti-mould in the future. PMID

  16. The potential inhibitory effect of cuminum cyminum, ziziphora clinopodioides and nigella sativa essential oils on the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus.

    PubMed

    Khosravi, A R; Minooeianhaghighi, M H; Shokri, H; Emami, S A; S M, Alavi; Asili, J

    2011-01-01

    The goals of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of Cuminum cyminum, Ziziphora clinopodioides and Nigella sativa essential oils to inhibit the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus and A. flavus and to evoke ultrastructural changes. The fungi were cultured into RPMI 1640 media in the presence of oils at concentrations of 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.5, 1.25, 1, 0.75 and 0.5 mg/ml in broth microdilution and 2, 1.5, 1 and 0.5 mg/ml in broth macrodilution methods with shaking for 48 h at 28(o)C. Conidial and mycelial samples exposed to 0.25, 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 mg essential oils/ml for 5 days in 2% yeast extract granulated plus 15% Saccharose media were processed for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Based on broth dilution methods, C. cyminum and to a lesser extent Z. clinopodioides oils exhibited the strongest activity against A. fumigatus and A. flavus with MIC90 ranging from 0.25 to 1.5 mg/ml, while the oil from N. sativa exhibited relatively moderate activity against two above fungi with MIC90 ranging from 1.5 to 2 mg/ml. The main changes observed by TEM were in the cell wall, plasma membrane and membranous organelles; in particular, in the nuclei and mitochondria. These modifications in fungal structure were associated with the interference of the essential oils with the enzymes responsible for cell wall synthesis, which disturbed normal growth. Moreover, the essential oils caused high vacuolation of the cytoplasm, detachment of fibrillar layer of cell wall, plasma membrane disruption and disorganization of the nuclear and mitochondrial structures. Aspergillus fumigatus and A. flavus growth inhibition induced by these oils were found to be well-correlated with subsequent morphological changes of the fungi exposed to different fungistatic concentrations of the oils. Our results show the anti-Aspergillus activities of C. cyminum, Z. clinopodioides and N. sativa essential oils, which strengthens the potential use of these substances as anti-mould in the future.

  17. ADOPTING SELECTED HYDROGEN BONDING AND IONIC INTERACTIONS FROM ASPERGILLUS FUMIGATUS PHYTASE STRUCTURE IMPROVES THE THERMOSTABILITY OF ASPERGILLUS NIGER PHYA PHYTASE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although it has been widely used as a feed supplement to reduce manure phosphorus pollution of swine and poultry, Aspergillus niger PhyA phytase is unable to withstand heat inactivation during feed pelleting. Crystal structure comparisons with its close homolog, the thermostable Aspergillus fumigatu...

  18. Calcium-Mediated Induction of Paradoxical Growth following Caspofungin Treatment Is Associated with Calcineurin Activation and Phosphorylation in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Juvvadi, Praveen R; Muñoz, Alberto; Lamoth, Frédéric; Soderblom, Erik J; Moseley, M Arthur; Read, Nick D; Steinbach, William J

    2015-08-01

    The echinocandin antifungal drug caspofungin at high concentrations reverses the growth inhibition of Aspergillus fumigatus, a phenomenon known as the "paradoxical effect," which is not consistently observed with other echinocandins (micafungin and anidulafungin). Previous studies of A. fumigatus revealed the loss of the paradoxical effect following pharmacological or genetic inhibition of calcineurin, yet the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we utilized a codon-optimized bioluminescent Ca(2+) reporter aequorin expression system in A. fumigatus and showed that caspofungin elicits a transient increase in cytosolic free Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]c) in the fungus that acts as the initial trigger of the paradoxical effect by activating calmodulin-calcineurin signaling. While the increase in [Ca(2+)]c was also observed upon treatment with micafungin, another echinocandin without the paradoxical effect, a higher [Ca(2+)]c increase was noted with the paradoxical-growth concentration of caspofungin. Treatments with a Ca(2+)-selective chelator, BAPTA [1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid], or the L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker verapamil abolished caspofungin-mediated paradoxical growth in both the wild-type and the echinocandin-resistant (EMFR-S678P) strains. Concomitant with increased [Ca(2+)]c levels at higher concentrations of caspofungin, calmodulin and calcineurin gene expression was enhanced. Phosphoproteomic analysis revealed that calcineurin is activated through phosphorylation at its serine-proline-rich region (SPRR), a domain previously shown to be essential for regulation of hyphal growth, only at a paradoxical-growth concentration of caspofungin. Our results indicate that as opposed to micafungin, the increased [Ca(2+)]c at high concentrations of caspofungin activates calmodulin-calcineurin signaling at both a transcriptional and a posttranslational level and ultimately leads to paradoxical fungal growth.

  19. Optimization of decolorization of palm oil mill effluent (POME) by growing cultures of Aspergillus fumigatus using response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Neoh, Chin Hong; Yahya, Adibah; Adnan, Robiah; Abdul Majid, Zaiton; Ibrahim, Zaharah

    2013-05-01

    The conventional treatment process of palm oil mill effluent (POME) produces a highly colored effluent. Colored compounds in POME cause reduction in photosynthetic activities, produce carcinogenic by-products in drinking water, chelate with metal ions, and are toxic to aquatic biota. Thus, failure of conventional treatment methods to decolorize POME has become an important problem to be addressed as color has emerged as a critical water quality parameter for many countries such as Malaysia. Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from POME sludge was successfully grown in POME supplemented with glucose. Statistical optimization studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of the types and concentrations of carbon and nitrogen sources, pH, temperature, and size of the inoculum. Characterization of the fungus was performed using scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and Brunauer, Emmet, and Teller surface area analysis. Optimum conditions using response surface methods at pH 5.7, 35 °C, and 0.57 % w/v glucose with 2.5 % v/v inoculum size resulted in a successful removal of 71 % of the color (initial ADMI of 3,260); chemical oxygen demand, 71 %; ammoniacal nitrogen, 35 %; total polyphenolic compounds, 50 %; and lignin, 54 % after 5 days of treatment. The decolorization process was contributed mainly by biosorption involving pseudo-first-order kinetics. FTIR analysis revealed that the presence of hydroxyl, C-H alkane, amide carbonyl, nitro, and amine groups could combine intensively with the colored compounds in POME. This is the first reported work on the application of A. fumigatus for the decolorization of POME. The present investigation suggested that growing cultures of A. fumigatus has potential applications for the decolorization of POME through the biosorption and biodegradation processes.

  20. Influence of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis on the chemical composition of the walls of Aspergillus fumigatus (Fresenius).

    PubMed

    Ghfir, B; Fonvieille, J L; Dargent, R

    1997-07-01

    The cell walls of the growing hyphae of Aspergillus fumigatus (Fresenius) cultured in the presence or absence of the essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis were isolated and their chemical composition analysed. The presence of the essential oil led to a reduction in levels of neutral sugars, uronic acid and proteins, whereas amino sugars, lipids and phosphorus levels were increased. HPLC analysis of the neutral sugars showed that they consisted mainly of glucose, mannose and galactose, while the amino sugars consisted of glucosamine and galactosamine. The presence of the essential oil in the culture medium induced marked changes in the content of galactose and galactosamine. Cell walls were fractionated by treatment with alkali and acid. The essential oil induced similar alterations in the various fractions with a more marked effect on the major constituents. The alterations were related to changes in the structure of the cells.

  1. Structural and biochemical characterization of the dual substrate recognition of the (R)-selective amine transaminase from Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Skalden, Lilly; Thomsen, Maren; Höhne, Matthias; Bornscheuer, Uwe T; Hinrichs, Winfried

    2015-01-01

    Chiral amines are important precursors for the pharmaceutical and fine-chemical industries. Because of this, the demand for enantiopure amines is currently increasing. Amine transaminases can produce a large spectrum of chiral amines in the (R)- or (S)-configuration, depending on their substrate scope and stereo-preference, by converting a prochiral ketone into the chiral amine while using alanine as the amine donor producing pyruvate as an α-keto acid product. In order to guide the protein engineering of transaminases to improve substrate specificity and enantioselectivity, we carried out a crystal structure analysis at 1.6 Å resolution of the (R)-amine transaminase from Aspergillus fumigatus with the bound inhibitor gabaculine. This revealed that Arg126 has an important role in the dual substrate recognition of this enzyme because mutating this residue to alanine reduced substantially the ability of the enzyme to use pyruvate as an amino acceptor.

  2. Endoplasmic reticulum localized PerA is required for cell wall integrity, azole drug resistance, and virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Dawoon; Thammahong, Arsa; Shepardson, Kelly M.; Blosser, Sara J.; Cramer, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary GPI-anchoring is a universal and critical post-translational protein modification in eukaryotes. In fungi, many cell wall proteins are GPI-anchored, and disruption of GPI-anchored proteins impairs cell wall integrity. After being synthesized and attached to target proteins, GPI anchors undergo modification on lipid moieties. In spite of its importance for GPI-anchored protein functions, our current knowledge of GPI lipid remodeling in pathogenic fungi is limited. In this study, we characterized the role of a putative GPI lipid remodeling protein, designated PerA, in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. PerA localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum and loss of PerA leads to striking defects in cell wall integrity. A perA null mutant has decreased conidia production, increased susceptibility to triazole antifungal drugs, and is avirulent in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Interestingly, loss of PerA increases exposure of β-glucan and chitin content on the hyphal cell surface, but diminished TNF production by bone marrow derived macrophages relative to wild type. Given the structural specificity of fungal GPI-anchors, which is different from humans, understanding GPI lipid remodeling and PerA function in A. fumigatus is a promising research direction to uncover a new fungal specific antifungal drug target. PMID:24779420

  3. 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.

  4. Surface structure characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia mutated in the melanin synthesis pathway and their human cellular immune response.

    PubMed

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Beaussart, Audrey; Dufrêne, Yves F; Sharma, Meenu; Bansal, Kushagra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Brakhage, Axel A; Kaveri, Srini V; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Beauvais, Anne

    2014-08-01

    In Aspergillus fumigatus, the conidial surface contains dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin. Six-clustered gene products have been identified that mediate sequential catalysis of DHN-melanin biosynthesis. Melanin thus produced is known to be a virulence factor, protecting the fungus from the host defense mechanisms. In the present study, individual deletion of the genes involved in the initial three steps of melanin biosynthesis resulted in an altered conidial surface with masked surface rodlet layer, leaky cell wall allowing the deposition of proteins on the cell surface and exposing the otherwise-masked cell wall polysaccharides at the surface. Melanin as such was immunologically inert; however, deletion mutant conidia with modified surfaces could activate human dendritic cells and the subsequent cytokine production in contrast to the wild-type conidia. Cell surface defects were rectified in the conidia mutated in downstream melanin biosynthetic pathway, and maximum immune inertness was observed upon synthesis of vermelone onward. These observations suggest that although melanin as such is an immunologically inert material, it confers virulence by facilitating proper formation of the A. fumigatus conidial surface.

  5. 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

    2016-09-14

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. First Detection of TR34 L98H and TR46 Y121F T289A Cyp51 Mutations in Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Gil, Veronica Garcia; Gutierrez, Felipe; Lindner, Jonathan R.; Albataineh, Mohammad T.; McCarthy, Dora I.; Sanders, Carmita; Fan, Hongxin; Fothergill, Annette W.; Sutton, Deanna A.

    2015-01-01

    Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus is an increasing problem. The TR34 L98H and TR46 Y121F T289A mutations that can occur in patients without previous azole exposure have been reported in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia. Here, we report the detection of both the TR34 L98H and TR46 Y121F T289A mutations in confirmed A. fumigatus isolates collected in institutions in the United States. These mutations, other mutations known to cause azole resistance, and azole MICs are reported here. PMID:26491179

  8. 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

  9. Short Interspersed Nuclear Element (SINE) Sequences in the Genome of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Af293

    PubMed Central

    Kanhayuwa, Lakkhana; Coutts, Robert H. A.

    2016-01-01

    Novel families of short interspersed nuclear element (SINE) sequences in the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, clinical isolate Af293, were identified and categorised into tRNA-related and 5S rRNA-related SINEs. Eight predicted tRNA-related SINE families originating from different tRNAs, and nominated as AfuSINE2 sequences, contained target site duplications of short direct repeat sequences (4–14 bp) flanking the elements, an extended tRNA-unrelated region and typical features of RNA polymerase III promoter sequences. The elements ranged in size from 140–493 bp and were present in low copy number in the genome and five out of eight were actively transcribed. One putative tRNAArg-derived sequence, AfuSINE2-1a possessed a unique feature of repeated trinucleotide ACT residues at its 3’-terminus. This element was similar in sequence to the I-4_AO element found in A. oryzae and an I-1_AF long nuclear interspersed element-like sequence identified in A. fumigatus Af293. Families of 5S rRNA-related SINE sequences, nominated as AfuSINE3, were also identified and their 5'-5S rRNA-related regions show 50–65% and 60–75% similarity to respectively A. fumigatus 5S rRNAs and SINE3-1_AO found in A. oryzae. A. fumigatus Af293 contains five copies of AfuSINE3 sequences ranging in size from 259–343 bp and two out of five AfuSINE3 sequences were actively transcribed. Investigations on AfuSINE distribution in the fungal genome revealed that the elements are enriched in pericentromeric and subtelomeric regions and inserted within gene-rich regions. We also demonstrated that some, but not all, AfuSINE sequences are targeted by host RNA silencing mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrated that infection of the fungus with mycoviruses had no apparent effects on SINE activity. PMID:27736869

  10. Multiplexed Activity-based Protein Profiling of the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Large Functional Changes upon Exposure to Human Serum

    SciTech Connect

    Wiedner, Susan D.; Burnum, Kristin E.; Pederson, Leeanna M.; Anderson, Lindsey N.; Fortuin, Suereta; Chauvigne-Hines, Lacie M.; Shukla, Anil K.; Ansong, Charles; Panisko, Ellen A.; Smith, Richard D.; Wright, Aaron T.

    2012-08-03

    Environmental and metabolic adaptability is critical for survival of the fungal human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus in the immunocompromised lung. We employed an activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) approach utilizing a new aryl vinyl sulfonate probe and a serine hydrolase probe combined with quantitative LC-MS based accurate mass and time (AMT) tag proteomics for the identification of functional pathway adaptation of A. fumigatus to environmental variability relevant to pulmonary Invasive Aspergillosis. When the fungal pathogen was grown with human serum, metabolism and energy processes were markedly decreased compared to no serum culture. Additionally, functional pathways associated with amino acid and protein biosynthesis were limited as the fungus scavenged from the serum to obtain essential nutrients. Our approach revealed significant metabolic adaptation by A. fumigatus, and provides direct insight into this pathogen’s ability to survive and proliferate.

  11. Avirulent mutants of Macrophomina phaseolina and Aspergillus fumigatus initiate infection in Phaseolus mungo in the presence of phaseolinone; levamisole gives protection.

    PubMed

    Sett, S; Mishra, S K; Siddiqui, K A

    2000-03-01

    To evaluate the role of phaseolinone, a phytotoxin produced by Macrophomina phaseolina, in disease initiation, three nontoxigenic avirulent mutants of the fungus were generated by UV-mutagenesis. Two of them were able to initiate infection in germinating Phaseolus mungo seeds only in the presence of phaseolinone. The minimum dose of phaseoli-none required for infection in 30% seedlings was 2 5 mg/ml. A human pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus was also able to infect germinating seeds of P. mungo in the presence of 5 mg/ml concentration of phaseolinone. Phaseolinone seemed to facilitate infection by A. fumigatus, which is not normally phytopathogenic, by reducing the immunity of germinating seedlings in a nonspecific way. Levamisole, a non-specific immunopotentiator gave protection against infection induced by A. fumigatus at an optimum dose of 50 mg/ml. Sodium malonate prevented the effects of levamisole.

  12. Identification and Evaluation of Novel Drug Targets against the Human Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus with Elaboration on the Possible Role of RNA-Binding Protein

    PubMed Central

    Malekzadeh, Saeid; Sardari, Soroush; Azerang, Parisa; Khorasanizadeh, Dorsa; Amiri, Solmaz Agha; Azizi, Mohammad; Mohajerani, Nazanin; Khalaj, Vahid

    2017-01-01

    Bakground: Aspergillus fumigatus is an airborne opportunistic fungal pathogen that can cause fatal infections in immunocompromised patients. Although the current anti-fungal therapies are relatively efficient, some issues such as drug toxicity, drug interactions, and the emergence of drug-resistant fungi have promoted the intense research toward finding the novel drug targets. Methods: In search of new antifungal drug targets, we have used a bioinformatics approach to identify novel drug targets. We compared the whole proteome of this organism with yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to come up with 153 specific proteins. Further screening of these proteins revealed 50 potential molecular targets in A. fumigatus. Amongst them, RNA-binding protein (RBP) was selected for further examination. The aspergillus fumigatus RBP (AfuRBP), as a peptidylprolyl isomerase, was evaluated by homology modeling and bioinformatics tools. RBP-deficient mutant strains of A. fumigatus were generated and characterized. Furthermore, the susceptibility of these strains to known peptidylprolyl isomerase inhibitors was assessed. Results: AfuRBP-deficient mutants demonstrated a normal growth phenotype. MIC assay results using inhibitors of peptidylprolyl isomerase confirmed a higher sensitivity of these mutants compared to the wild type. Conclusion: Our bioinformatics approach revealed a number of fungal-specific proteins that may be considered as new targets for drug discovery purposes. Peptidylprolyl isomerase, as a possible drug target, was evaluated against two potential inhibitors, and the promising results were investigated mechanistically. Future studies would confirm the impact of such target on the antifungal discovery investigations PMID:28000798

  13. Interspecies discrimination of A. fumigatus and siblings A. lentulus and A. felis of the Aspergillus section Fumigati using the AsperGenius(®) assay.

    PubMed

    Chong, G M; Vonk, A G; Meis, J F; Dingemans, G J H; Houbraken, J; Hagen, F; Gaajetaan, G R; van Tegelen, D W E; Simons, G F M; Rijnders, B J A

    2017-03-01

    The AsperGenius(®) assay detects several Aspergillus species and the A. fumigatus Cyp51A mutations TR34/L98H/T289A/Y121F that are associated with azole resistance. We evaluated its contribution in identifying A. lentulus and A. felis, 2 rare but intrinsically azole-resistant sibling species within the Aspergillus section Fumigati. Identification of these species with conventional culture techniques is difficult and time-consuming. The assay was tested on (i) 2 A. lentulus and A. felis strains obtained from biopsy proven invasive aspergillosis and (ii) control A. fumigatus (n=3), A. lentulus (n=6) and A. felis species complex (n=12) strains. The AsperGenius(®) resistance PCR did not detect the TR34 target in A. lentulus and A. felis in contrast to A. fumigatus. Melting peaks for L98H and Y121F markers differed and those of the Y121F marker were particularly suitable to discriminate the 3 species. In conclusion, the assay can be used to rapidly discriminate A. fumigatus, A. lentulus and A. felis.

  14. Production of Extracellular Traps against Aspergillus fumigatus In Vitro and in Infected Lung Tissue Is Dependent on Invading Neutrophils and Influenced by Hydrophobin RodA

    PubMed Central

    Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Nietzsche, Sandor; Thywißen, Andreas; Jeron, Andreas; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Brakhage, Axel A.; Gunzer, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen causing life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. Macrophages and neutrophils are known to kill conidia, whereas hyphae are killed mainly by neutrophils. Since hyphae are too large to be engulfed, neutrophils possess an array of extracellular killing mechanisms including the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) consisting of nuclear DNA decorated with fungicidal proteins. However, until now NET formation in response to A. fumigatus has only been demonstrated in vitro, the importance of neutrophils for their production in vivo is unclear and the molecular mechanisms of the fungus to defend against NET formation are unknown. Here, we show that human neutrophils produce NETs in vitro when encountering A. fumigatus. In time-lapse movies NET production was a highly dynamic process which, however, was only exhibited by a sub-population of cells. NETosis was maximal against hyphae, but reduced against resting and swollen conidia. In a newly developed mouse model we could then demonstrate the existence and measure the kinetics of NET formation in vivo by 2-photon microscopy of Aspergillus-infected lungs. We also observed the enormous dynamics of neutrophils within the lung and their ability to interact with and phagocytose fungal elements in situ. Furthermore, systemic neutrophil depletion in mice almost completely inhibited NET formation in lungs, thus directly linking the immigration of neutrophils with NET formation in vivo. By using fungal mutants and purified proteins we demonstrate that hydrophobin RodA, a surface protein making conidia immunologically inert, led to reduced NET formation of neutrophils encountering Aspergillus fungal elements. NET-dependent killing of Aspergillus-hyphae could be demonstrated at later time-points, but was only moderate. Thus, these data establish that NET formation occurs in vivo during host defence against A. fumigatus, but suggest

  15. Production of extracellular traps against Aspergillus fumigatus in vitro and in infected lung tissue is dependent on invading neutrophils and influenced by hydrophobin RodA.

    PubMed

    Bruns, Sandra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Hasenberg, Mike; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Nietzsche, Sandor; Thywissen, Andreas; Jeron, Andreas; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Brakhage, Axel A; Gunzer, Matthias

    2010-04-29

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen causing life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. Macrophages and neutrophils are known to kill conidia, whereas hyphae are killed mainly by neutrophils. Since hyphae are too large to be engulfed, neutrophils possess an array of extracellular killing mechanisms including the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) consisting of nuclear DNA decorated with fungicidal proteins. However, until now NET formation in response to A. fumigatus has only been demonstrated in vitro, the importance of neutrophils for their production in vivo is unclear and the molecular mechanisms of the fungus to defend against NET formation are unknown. Here, we show that human neutrophils produce NETs in vitro when encountering A. fumigatus. In time-lapse movies NET production was a highly dynamic process which, however, was only exhibited by a sub-population of cells. NETosis was maximal against hyphae, but reduced against resting and swollen conidia. In a newly developed mouse model we could then demonstrate the existence and measure the kinetics of NET formation in vivo by 2-photon microscopy of Aspergillus-infected lungs. We also observed the enormous dynamics of neutrophils within the lung and their ability to interact with and phagocytose fungal elements in situ. Furthermore, systemic neutrophil depletion in mice almost completely inhibited NET formation in lungs, thus directly linking the immigration of neutrophils with NET formation in vivo. By using fungal mutants and purified proteins we demonstrate that hydrophobin RodA, a surface protein making conidia immunologically inert, led to reduced NET formation of neutrophils encountering Aspergillus fungal elements. NET-dependent killing of Aspergillus-hyphae could be demonstrated at later time-points, but was only moderate. Thus, these data establish that NET formation occurs in vivo during host defence against A. fumigatus, but suggest

  16. Agent-Based Model of Human Alveoli Predicts Chemotactic Signaling by Epithelial Cells during Early Aspergillus fumigatus Infection

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. High-yield production of hydrophobins RodA and RodB from Aspergillus fumigatus in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Mona Højgaard; Borodina, Irina; Moresco, Jacob Lange; Svendsen, Winnie Edith; Frisvad, Jens Christian; Søndergaard, Ib

    2011-06-01

    Hydrophobins are small fungal proteins with amphipatic properties and the ability to self-assemble on a hydrophobic/hydrophilic interface; thus, many technical applications for hydrophobins have been suggested. The pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus expresses the hydrophobins RodA and RodB on the surface of its conidia. RodA is known to be of importance to the pathogenesis of the fungus, while the biological role of RodB is currently unknown. Here, we report the successful expression of both hydrophobins in Pichia pastoris and present fed-batch fermentation yields of 200-300 mg/l fermentation broth. Protein bands of expected sizes were detected by SDS-PAGE and western blotting, and the identity was further confirmed by tandem mass spectrometry. Both proteins were purified using his-affinity chromatography, and the high level of purity was verified by silver-stained SDS-PAGE. Recombinant RodA as well as rRodB were able to convert a glass surface from hydrophilic to hydrophobic similar to native RodA, but only rRodB was able to decrease the hydrophobicity of a Teflon-like surface to the same extent as native RodA, while rRodA showed this ability to a lesser extent. Recombinant RodA and native RodA showed a similar ability to emulsify air in water, while recombinant RodB could also emulsify oil in water better than the control protein bovine serum albumin (BSA). This is to our knowledge the first successful expression of hydrophobins from A. fumigatus in a eukaryote host, which makes it possible to further characterize both hydrophobins. Furthermore, the expression strategy and fed-batch production using P. pastoris may be transferred to hydrophobins from other species.

  18. 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

  19. SidL, an Aspergillus fumigatus Transacetylase Involved in Biosynthesis of the Siderophores Ferricrocin and Hydroxyferricrocin ▿ † ‡

    PubMed Central

    Blatzer, Michael; Schrettl, Markus; Sarg, Bettina; Lindner, Herbert H.; Pfaller, Kristian; Haas, Hubertus

    2011-01-01

    The opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus produces four types of siderophores, low-molecular-mass iron chelators: it excretes fusarinine C (FsC) and triacetylfusarinine C (TAFC) for iron uptake and accumulates ferricrocin (FC) for hyphal and hydroxyferricrocin (HFC) for conidial iron distribution and storage. Siderophore biosynthesis has recently been shown to be crucial for fungal virulence. Here we identified a new component of the fungal siderophore biosynthetic machinery: AFUA_1G04450, termed SidL. SidL is conserved only in siderophore-producing ascomycetes and shows similarity to transacylases involved in bacterial siderophore biosynthesis and the N5-hydroxyornithine:anhydromevalonyl coenzyme A-N5-transacylase SidF, which is essential for TAFC biosynthesis. Inactivation of SidL in A. fumigatus decreased FC biosynthesis during iron starvation and completely blocked FC biosynthesis during iron-replete growth. In agreement with these findings, SidL deficiency blocked conidial accumulation of FC-derived HFC under iron-replete conditions, which delayed germination and decreased the size of conidia and their resistance to oxidative stress. Remarkably, the sidL gene is not clustered with other siderophore-biosynthetic genes, and its expression is not affected by iron availability. Tagging of SidL with enhanced green fluorescent protein suggested a cytosolic localization of the FC-biosynthetic machinery. Taken together, these data suggest that SidL is a constitutively active N5-hydroxyornithine-acetylase required for FC biosynthesis, in particular under iron-replete conditions. Moreover, this study revealed the unexpected complexity of siderophore biosynthesis, indicating the existence of an additional, iron-repressed N5-hydroxyornithine-acetylase. PMID:21622789

  20. An anti-Aspergillus protein from Escherichia coli DH5α: putative inhibitor of siderophore biosynthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Balhara, Meenakshi; Ruhil, Sonam; Kumar, Manish; Dhankhar, Sandeep; Chhillar, A K

    2014-03-01

    An antifungal protein designated as anti-Aspergillus protein (AAP), produced by Escherichia coli DH5α, was purified and characterised. It exhibited a molecular weight of 60 kDa on Sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis and depicted 99% purity on ultra performance liquid chromatography. The purified protein manifested antimycotic potential against pathogenic isolates of Aspergillus spp., depicting a minimum inhibitory concentration in the range 15.62-31.25 μg ml(-1) and 5.0-10.0 μg per disc, using microbroth dilution, spore germination inhibition and disc diffusion assays respectively. In vitro toxicity tests demonstrated that it showed no toxicity against human erythrocytes at doses up to 1000 μg ml(-1) . Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation-Time-of-flight analysis of trypsin-digested peptides of purified protein and subsequent Mascot search revealed that several peptides of AAP have identity with bacterial siderophore biosynthetic protein, i.e. non-ribosomal peptide synthetase enzyme, involved in critical step of fungal siderophore biosynthesis. Siderophore-based inhibition was further corroborated by Chrome azurol S assay. Hence, the antagonistic effect might be the result of impediment in siderophore-mediated iron uptake and transport process which may cause critical consequences on Aspergillus growth and virulence.

  1. The Aspergillus fumigatus sialidase is a 3-deoxy-D-glycero-D-galacto-2-nonulosonic acid hydrolase (KDNase): structural and mechanistic insights.

    PubMed

    Telford, Judith C; Yeung, Juliana H F; Xu, Guogang; Kiefel, Milton J; Watts, Andrew G; Hader, Stefan; Chan, Jefferson; Bennet, Andrew J; Moore, Margo M; Taylor, Garry L

    2011-03-25

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a filamentous fungus that can cause severe respiratory disease in immunocompromised individuals. A putative sialidase from A. fumigatus was recently cloned and shown to be relatively poor in cleaving N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) in comparison with bacterial sialidases. Here we present the first crystal structure of a fungal sialidase. When the apo structure was compared with bacterial sialidase structures, the active site of the Aspergillus enzyme suggested that Neu5Ac would be a poor substrate because of a smaller pocket that normally accommodates the acetamido group of Neu5Ac in sialidases. A sialic acid with a hydroxyl in place of an acetamido group is 2-keto-3-deoxynononic acid (KDN). We show that KDN is the preferred substrate for the A. fumigatus sialidase and that A. fumigatus can utilize KDN as a sole carbon source. A 1.45-Å resolution crystal structure of the enzyme in complex with KDN reveals KDN in the active site in a boat conformation and nearby a second binding site occupied by KDN in a chair conformation, suggesting that polyKDN may be a natural substrate. The enzyme is not inhibited by the sialidase transition state analog 2-deoxy-2,3-dehydro-N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac2en) but is inhibited by the related 2,3-didehydro-2,3-dideoxy-D-glycero-D-galacto-nonulosonic acid that we show bound to the enzyme in a 1.84-Å resolution crystal structure. Using a fluorinated KDN substrate, we present a 1.5-Å resolution structure of a covalently bound catalytic intermediate. The A. fumigatus sialidase is therefore a KDNase with a similar catalytic mechanism to Neu5Ac exosialidases, and this study represents the first structure of a KDNase.

  2. In vitro and in vivo antifungal profile of a novel and long acting inhaled azole, PC945, on Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

    PubMed

    Colley, Thomas; Alanio, Alexandre; Kelly, Steven L; Sehra, Gurpreet; Kizawa, Yasuo; Warrilow, Andrew G S; Parker, Josie E; Kelly, Diane E; Kimura, Genki; Anderson-Dring, Lauren; Nakaoki, Takahiro; Sunose, Mihiro; Onions, Stuart; Crepin, Damien; Lagasse, Franz; Crittall, Matthew; Shannon, Jonathan; Cooke, Michael; Bretagne, Stéphane; King-Underwood, John; Murray, John; Ito, Kazuhiro; Strong, Pete; Rapeport, Garth

    2017-02-21

    The profile of PC945, a novel triazole antifungal, designed for administration via inhalation, has been assessed in a range of in vitro and in vivo studies. PC945 was characterized as a potent, tight-binding inhibitor of Aspergillus fumigatus sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51A and CYP51B) activity (IC50, 0.23 μM and 0.22 μM, respectively), with characteristic type II azole binding spectra. Against 96 clinically isolated A. fumigatus strains, the MIC values of PC945 ranged from 0.032∼>8 μg/ml, whilst those of voriconazole ranged from 0.064∼4 μg/ml. Spectrophotometric analysis of the effects of PC945 against itraconazole-susceptible and -resistant A. fumigatus growth, yielded IC50 (OD) values between 0.0012∼0.034 μg/ml, whereas voriconazole (0.019∼>1 μg/ml) was less effective than PC945. PC945 was effective against a broad spectrum of pathogenic fungi (MIC ranged from 0.0078∼2 μg/ml) including Aspergillus terreus, Trichophyton rubrum, Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, Cryptococcus gattii, Cryptococcus neoformans andRhizopus oryzae (1∼2 isolates each). In addition, when A. fumigatus hyphae or human bronchial cells were treated with PC945, and then washed, PC945 was found to be quickly absorbed into both target and non-target cells and to produce persistent antifungal effects. In temporarily neutropenic immunocompromised mice infected with A. fumigatus intranasally, 50% of the animals survived until day 7 when treated intranasally with PC945 at 0.56 μg/mouse, while posaconazole showed similar effects (44%) at 14 μg/mouse. This profile affirms that topical treatment with PC945 should provide potent antifungal activity in the lung.

  3. Inhalation experiments with extracts of Aspergillus fumigatus on patients with allergic aspergillosis and aspergilloma

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, E. A. M.; Hilvering, C.; Orie, N. G. M.

    1970-01-01

    A description is given of the reaction to inhalation of Aspergillus extract by seven patients with aspergillosis, including five with aspergillomas. The nature of, and possible causes for, such reactions are discussed on the basis of their resemblance to the symptomatology of the vegetable dust syndromes. The findings may contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of fever in aspergillosis. PMID:4244699

  4. Aspergillus nidulans cell wall composition and function change in response to hosting several Aspergillus fumigatus UDP-galactopyranose mutase activity mutants.

    PubMed

    Alam, Md Kausar; van Straaten, Karin E; Sanders, David A R; Kaminskyj, Susan G W

    2014-01-01

    Deletion or repression of Aspergillus nidulans ugmA (AnugmA), involved in galactofuranose biosynthesis, impairs growth and increases sensitivity to Caspofungin, a β-1,3-glucan synthesis antagonist. The A. fumigatus UgmA (AfUgmA) crystal structure has been determined. From that study, AfUgmA mutants with altered enzyme activity were transformed into AnugmA▵ to assess their effect on growth and wall composition in A. nidulans. The complemented (AnugmA::wild type AfugmA) strain had wild type phenotype, indicating these genes had functional homology. Consistent with in vitro studies, AfUgmA residues R182 and R327 were important for its function in vivo, with even conservative amino (RK) substitutions producing AnugmA? phenotype strains. Similarly, the conserved AfUgmA loop III histidine (H63) was important for Galf generation: the H63N strain had a partially rescued phenotype compared to AnugmA▵. Collectively, A. nidulans strains that hosted mutated AfUgmA constructs with low enzyme activity showed increased hyphal surface adhesion as assessed by binding fluorescent latex beads. Consistent with previous qPCR results, immunofluorescence and ELISA indicated that AnugmA▵ and AfugmA-mutated A. nidulans strains had increased α-glucan and decreased β-glucan in their cell walls compared to wild type and AfugmA-complemented strains. Like the AnugmA▵ strain, A. nidulans strains containing mutated AfugmA showed increased sensitivity to antifungal drugs, particularly Caspofungin. Reduced β-glucan content was correlated with increased Caspofungin sensitivity. Aspergillus nidulans wall Galf, α-glucan, and β-glucan content was correlated in A. nidulans hyphal walls, suggesting dynamic coordination between cell wall synthesis and cell wall integrity.

  5. Aspergillus fumigatus allergen expression is coordinately regulated in response to hydrogen peroxide and cyclic AMP

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A. fumigatus has been associated with a wide spectrum of allergic disorders such as ABPA or SAFS. It is poorly understood what allergens in particular are being expressed during fungal invasion and which are responsible for stimulation of immune responses. Study of the dynamics of allergen production by fungi may lead to insights into how allergens are presented to the immune system. Methods Expression of 17 A. fumigatus allergen genes was examined in response to various culture conditions and stimuli as well as in the presence of macrophages in order to mimic conditions encountered in the lung. Results Expression of 14/17 allergen genes was strongly induced by oxidative stress caused by hydrogen peroxide (Asp f 1, -2, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -10, -13, -17 and -18, all >10-fold and Asp f 11, -12, and -22, 5-10-fold) and 16/17 allergen genes were repressed in the presence of cAMP. The 4 protease allergen genes (Asp f -5, -10, -13 and -18) were expressed at very low levels compared to the comparator (β-tubulin) under all other conditions examined. Mild heat shock, anoxia, lipid and presence of macrophages did not result in coordinated changes in allergen gene expression. Growth on lipid as sole carbon source contributed to the moderate induction of most of the allergen genes. Heat shock (37°C > 42°C) caused moderate repression in 11/17 genes (Asp f 1, -2, -4, -5, -6, -9, -10, -13, -17, -18 and -23) (2- to 9-fold), which was mostly evident for Asp f 1 and -9 (~9-fold). Anaerobic stress led to moderate induction of 13/17 genes (1.1 to 4-fold) with one, Asp f 8 induced over 10-fold when grown under mineral oil. Complex changes were seen in gene expression during co-culture of A. fumigatus with macrophages. Conclusions Remarkable coordination of allergen gene expression in response to a specific condition (oxidative stress or the presence of cAMP) has been observed, implying that a single biological stimulus may play a role in allergen gene regulation

  6. Identification of hypoxia-inducible target genes of Aspergillus fumigatus by transcriptome analysis reveals cellular respiration as an important contributor to hypoxic survival.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    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.

  7. A Novel Phosphoregulatory Switch Controls the Activity and Function of the Major Catalytic Subunit of Protein Kinase A in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Shwab, E. Keats; Juvvadi, Praveen R.; Waitt, Greg; Soderblom, Erik J.; Moseley, M. Arthur; Nicely, Nathan I.; Asfaw, Yohannes G.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Invasive aspergillosis (IA), caused by the filamentous fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, is a major cause of death among immunocompromised patients. The cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway is essential for hyphal growth and virulence of A. fumigatus, but the mechanism of regulation of PKA remains largely unknown. Here, we discovered a novel mechanism for the regulation of PKA activity in A. fumigatus via phosphorylation of key residues within the major catalytic subunit, PkaC1. Phosphopeptide enrichment and tandem mass spectrometry revealed the phosphorylation of PkaC1 at four sites (S175, T331, T333, and T337) with implications for important and diverse roles in the regulation of A. fumigatus PKA. While the phosphorylation at one of the residues (T333) is conserved in other species, the identification of three other residues represents previously unknown PKA phosphoregulation in A. fumigatus. Site-directed mutagenesis of the phosphorylated residues to mimic or prevent phosphorylation revealed dramatic effects on kinase activity, growth, conidiation, cell wall stress response, and virulence in both invertebrate and murine infection models. Three-dimensional structural modeling of A. fumigatus PkaC1 substantiated the positive or negative regulatory roles for specific residues. Suppression of PKA activity also led to downregulation of PkaC1 protein levels in an apparent novel negative-feedback mechanism. Taken together, we propose a model in which PkaC1 phosphorylation both positively and negatively modulates its activity. These findings pave the way for future discovery of fungus-specific aspects of this key signaling network. PMID:28174315

  8. Kexin-Like Endoprotease KexB is Required for N-Glycan Processing, Morphogenesis and Virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jingyang; Zhou, Hui; Lu, Hua; Du, Ting; Luo, Yuanming; Wilson, Iain B. H.; Jin, Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Kexin-like proteins belong to the subtilisin-like family of the proteinases that cleave secretory proproteins to their active forms. Several fungal kexin-like proteins have been investigated. The mutants lacking of kexin-like protein display strong phenotypes such as cell wall defect, abnormal polarity, and, in case of Candida albicans, diminished virulence. However, only several proteins have been confirmed as the substrates of kexin-like proteases in these fungal species. It still remains unclear how kexin-like proteins contribute to the morphogenesis in these fungal species. In this study, a kexB-null mutant of the human opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus was constructed and analyzed. The ΔkexB mutant showed retarded growth, temperature-sensitive cell wall defect, reduced conidia formation, and abnormal polarity. Biochemical analyses revealed that deletion of the kexB gene resulted in impaired N-glycan processing, activation of the MpkA-dependent cell wall integrity signaling pathway, and ER-stress. Results from in vivo assays demonstrated that the mutant exhibited an attenuated virulence in immunecompromised mice. Based on our results, the kexin-like endoprotease KexB was involved in the N-glycan processing, which provides a novel insight to understand how kexin-like protein affects the cell-wall modifying enzymes and therefore morphogenesis in fungi. PMID:25687931

  9. Aspergillus fumigatus spore proteomics and genetics reveal that VeA represses DefA-mediated DNA damage response.

    PubMed

    Shin, Kwang-Soo; Park, Hee-Soo; Kim, Young; Heo, In-Beom; Kim, Young Hwan; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2016-10-04

    Aspergillus fumigatus reproduces and infects host by forming a high number of small asexual spores (conidia). The velvet proteins are global transcriptional regulators governing the complex process of conidiogenesis in this fungus. Here, to further understand the velvet-mediated regulation, we carried out comparative proteomic analyses of conidia of wild type (WT) and three velvet mutants (ΔveA, ΔvelB and ΔvosA). Cluster analysis of 184 protein spots showing at least 1.5-fold differential accumulation between WT and mutants reveal the clustering of WT- ΔveA and ΔvelB-ΔvosA. Among 43 proteins identified by Nano-LC-ESI-MS/MS, 23 including several heat shock proteins showed more than two-fold reduction in both the ∆velB and ∆vosA conidia. On the contrary, three proteins exhibited more than five-fold increase in ∆veA only, including the putative RNA polymerase II degradation factor DefA. The deletion of defA resulted in a reduced number of conidia and restricted colony growth. In addition, the defA deletion mutant conidia showed hypersensitivity against the DNA damaging agents NQO and MMS, while the ΔveA mutant conidia were more resistant against to NQO. Taken together, we propose that VeA controls protein level of DefA in conidia, which are dormant and equipped with multiple layers of protection against environmental cues.

  10. Chitin synthases with a myosin motor-like domain control the resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus to echinocandins.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Ortigosa, Cristina; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Muszkieta, Laetitia; Mouyna, Isabelle; Alsteens, David; Pire, Stéphane; Beau, Remi; Krappmann, Sven; Beauvais, Anne; Dufrêne, Yves F; Roncero, César; Latgé, Jean-Paul

    2012-12-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus has two chitin synthases (CSMA and CSMB) with a myosin motor-like domain (MMD) arranged in a head-to-head configuration. To understand the function of these chitin synthases, single and double csm mutant strains were constructed and analyzed. Although there was a slight reduction in mycelial growth of the mutants, the total chitin synthase activity and the cell wall chitin content were similar in the mycelium of all of the mutants and the parental strain. In the conidia, chitin content in the ΔcsmA strain cell wall was less than half the amount found in the parental strain. In contrast, the ΔcsmB mutant strain and, unexpectedly, the ΔcsmA/ΔcsmB mutant strain did not show any modification of chitin content in their conidial cell walls. In contrast to the hydrophobic conidia of the parental strain, conidia of all of the csm mutants were hydrophilic due to the presence of an amorphous material covering the hydrophobic surface-rodlet layer. The deletion of CSM genes also resulted in an increased susceptibility of resting and germinating conidia to echinocandins. These results show that the deletion of the CSMA and CSMB genes induced a significant disorganization of the cell wall structure, even though they contribute only weakly to the overall cell wall chitin synthesis.

  11. Biofilm Filtrates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strains Isolated from Cystic Fibrosis Patients Inhibit Preformed Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilms via Apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Shirazi, Fazal; Ferreira, Jose A. G.; Stevens, David A.; Clemons, Karl V.; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P.

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) and Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) colonize cystic fibrosis (CF) patient airways. Pa culture filtrates inhibit Af biofilms, and Pa non-CF, mucoid (Muc-CF) and nonmucoid CF (NMuc-CF) isolates form an ascending inhibitory hierarchy. We hypothesized this activity is mediated through apoptosis induction. One Af and three Pa (non-CF, Muc-CF, NMuc-CF) reference isolates were studied. Af biofilm was formed in 96 well plates for 16 h ± Pa biofilm filtrates. After 24 h, apoptosis was characterized by viability dye DiBAc, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, DNA fragmentation and metacaspase activity. Muc-CF and NMuc-CF filtrates inhibited and damaged Af biofilm (p<0.0001). Intracellular ROS levels were elevated (p<0.001) in NMuc-CF-treated Af biofilms (3.7- fold) compared to treatment with filtrates from Muc-CF- (2.5- fold) or non-CF Pa (1.7- fold). Depolarization of mitochondrial potential was greater upon exposure to NMuc-CF (2.4-fold) compared to Muc-CF (1.8-fold) or non-CF (1.25-fold) (p<0.0001) filtrates. Exposure to filtrates resulted in more DNA fragmentation in Af biofilm, compared to control, mediated by metacaspase activation. In conclusion, filtrates from CF-Pa isolates were more inhibitory against Af biofilms than from non-CF. The apoptotic effect involves mitochondrial membrane damage associated with metacaspase activation. PMID:26930399

  12. Coinfection by Cetacean morbillivirus and Aspergillus fumigatus in a juvenile bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Cassle, Stephen E; Landrau-Giovannetti, Nelmarie; Farina, Lisa L; Leone, Angelique; Wellehan, James F X; Stacy, Nicole I; Thompson, Patrick; Herring, Hada; Mase-Guthrie, Blair; Blas-Machado, Uriel; Saliki, Jeremiah T; Walsh, Michael T; Waltzek, Thomas B

    2016-11-01

    A recently deceased juvenile male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was found floating in the Gulf of Mexico, off Sand Key in Clearwater, Florida. At autopsy, we identified pneumonia and a focus of malacia in the right cerebrum. Cytologic evaluation of tissue imprints from the right cerebrum revealed fungal hyphae. Fungal cultures of the lung and brain yielded Aspergillus fumigatus, which was confirmed by amplification of a portion of the fungal nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 region sequence. Microscopic pulmonary lesions of bronchiolar epithelial cell syncytia with intracytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions within bronchiolar epithelial cells were suggestive of Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) infection. The occurrence of CeMV infection was supported by positive immunohistochemical staining for morbillivirus antigen. CeMV detection was confirmed by amplification and sequencing a portion of the morbilliviral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene from lung tissue. This case provides CeMV sequence data available from the Gulf of Mexico and underscores the need for genomic sequencing across diverse host, temporospatial, and population (i.e., single animal vs. mass mortality events) scales to improve our understanding of these globally emerging pathogens.

  13. Comparative proteomics of a tor inducible Aspergillus fumigatus mutant reveals involvement of the Tor kinase in iron regulation.

    PubMed

    Baldin, Clara; Valiante, Vito; Krüger, Thomas; Schafferer, Lukas; Haas, Hubertus; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-07-01

    The Tor (target of rapamycin) kinase is one of the major regulatory nodes in eukaryotes. Here, we analyzed the Tor kinase in Aspergillus fumigatus, which is the most important airborne fungal pathogen of humans. Because deletion of the single tor gene was apparently lethal, we generated a conditional lethal tor mutant by replacing the endogenous tor gene by the inducible xylp-tor gene cassette. By both 2DE and gel-free LC-MS/MS, we found that Tor controls a variety of proteins involved in nutrient sensing, stress response, cell cycle progression, protein biosynthesis and degradation, but also processes in mitochondria, such as respiration and ornithine metabolism, which is required for siderophore formation. qRT-PCR analyses indicated that mRNA levels of ornithine biosynthesis genes were increased under iron limitation. When tor was repressed, iron regulation was lost. In a deletion mutant of the iron regulator HapX also carrying the xylp-tor cassette, the regulation upon iron deprivation was similar to that of the single tor inducible mutant strain. In line, hapX expression was significantly reduced when tor was repressed. Thus, Tor acts either upstream of HapX or independently of HapX as a repressor of the ornithine biosynthesis genes and thereby regulates the production of siderophores.

  14. Biofilm Filtrates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strains Isolated from Cystic Fibrosis Patients Inhibit Preformed Aspergillus fumigatus Biofilms via Apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Shirazi, Fazal; Ferreira, Jose A G; Stevens, David A; Clemons, Karl V; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) and Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) colonize cystic fibrosis (CF) patient airways. Pa culture filtrates inhibit Af biofilms, and Pa non-CF, mucoid (Muc-CF) and nonmucoid CF (NMuc-CF) isolates form an ascending inhibitory hierarchy. We hypothesized this activity is mediated through apoptosis induction. One Af and three Pa (non-CF, Muc-CF, NMuc-CF) reference isolates were studied. Af biofilm was formed in 96 well plates for 16 h ± Pa biofilm filtrates. After 24 h, apoptosis was characterized by viability dye DiBAc, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, DNA fragmentation and metacaspase activity. Muc-CF and NMuc-CF filtrates inhibited and damaged Af biofilm (p<0.0001). Intracellular ROS levels were elevated (p<0.001) in NMuc-CF-treated Af biofilms (3.7- fold) compared to treatment with filtrates from Muc-CF- (2.5- fold) or non-CF Pa (1.7- fold). Depolarization of mitochondrial potential was greater upon exposure to NMuc-CF (2.4-fold) compared to Muc-CF (1.8-fold) or non-CF (1.25-fold) (p<0.0001) filtrates. Exposure to filtrates resulted in more DNA fragmentation in Af biofilm, compared to control, mediated by metacaspase activation. In conclusion, filtrates from CF-Pa isolates were more inhibitory against Af biofilms than from non-CF. The apoptotic effect involves mitochondrial membrane damage associated with metacaspase activation.

  15. The Developmentally Regulated alb1 Gene of Aspergillus fumigatus: Its Role in Modulation of Conidial Morphology and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Huei-Fung; Chang, Yun C.; Washburn, Ronald G.; Wheeler, Michael H.; Kwon-Chung, K. J.

    1998-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, an important opportunistic pathogen which commonly affects neutropenic patients, produces conidia with a bluish-green color. We identified a gene, alb1, which is required for conidial pigmentation. The alb1 gene encodes a putative polyketide synthase, and disruption of alb1 resulted in an albino conidial phenotype. Expression of alb1 is developmentally regulated, and the 7-kb transcript is detected only during the conidiation stage. The alb1 mutation was found to block 1,3,6,8-tetrahydroxynaphthalene production, indicating that alb1 is involved in dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin biosynthesis. Scanning electron microscopy studies showed that the alb1 disruptant exhibited a smooth conidial surface, whereas complementation of the alb1 deletion restored the echinulate wild-type surface. Disruption of alb1 resulted in a significant increase in C3 binding on conidial surfaces, and the conidia of the alb1 disruptant were ingested by human neutrophils at a higher rate than were those of the wild type. The alb1-complemented strain producing bluish-green conidia exhibited inefficient C3 binding and neutrophil-mediated phagocytosis quantitatively similar to those of the wild type. Importantly, the alb1 disruptant had a statistically significant loss of virulence compared to the wild-type and alb1-complemented strains in a murine model. These results suggest that disruption of alb1 causes pleiotropic effects on conidial morphology and fungal virulence. PMID:9620950

  16. Multiple Brain Abscesses Due to Aspergillus Fumigatus in a Patient With Liver Cirrhosis: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Tang, Hung-Jen; Liu, Wei-Lun; Chang, Tsung Chain; Li, Ming-Chi; Ko, Wen-Chien; Wu, Chi-Jung; Chuang, Yin-Ching; Lai, Chih-Cheng

    2016-03-01

    Invasive cerebral aspergillosis always developed in immunocompromised host. Early diagnosis may save life in this critical condition; however, it is difficult to reach. Herein, we presented an unusual case of invasive cerebral aspergillosis in a cirrhotic patient. A 47-year-old man presented with progressive deterioration of consciousness for three days. The patient had a history of alcoholic liver cirrhosis, Child-Pugh class C. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain showed multi-focal parenchymal lesions, which was consistent with multiple brain abscesses. The diagnosis of invasive cerebral aspergillosis was made by molecular based laboratory methods including Aspergillus galactomannan antigen assay and oligonucleotide array. Despite treatment with the antifungal agent, Amphotericin B, the patient died at the ninth day of hospitalization. Our findings suggest that liver cirrhosis can be one of risk factors of invasive cerebral aspergillosis, and support the diagnosing usefulness of MRI, Aspergillus galactomannan antigen assay, and oligonucleotide array.

  17. Aspergillus fumigatus transcriptome response to a higher temperature during the earliest steps of germination monitored using a new customized expression microarray.

    PubMed

    Sueiro-Olivares, Mónica; Fernandez-Molina, Jimena V; Abad-Diaz-de-Cerio, Ana; Gorospe, Eva; Pascual, Elisabeth; Guruceaga, Xabier; Ramirez-Garcia, Andoni; Garaizar, Javier; Hernando, Fernando L; Margareto, Javier; Rementeria, Aitor

    2015-03-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is considered to be the most prevalent airborne pathogenic fungus and can cause invasive diseases in immunocompromised patients. It is known that its virulence is multifactorial, although the mechanisms of pathogenicity remain unclear. With the aim of improving our understanding of these mechanisms, we designed a new expression microarray covering the entire genome of A. fumigatus. In this first study, we analysed the transcriptomes of this fungus at the first steps of germination after being grown at 24 and 37 °C. The microarray data revealed that 1249 genes were differentially expressed during growth at these two temperatures. According to our results, A. fumigatus modified significantly the expression of genes related to metabolism to adapt to new conditions. The high percentages of genes that encoded hypothetical or unclassified proteins differentially expressed implied that many as yet unknown genes were involved in the establishment of A. fumigatus infection. Furthermore, amongst the genes implicated in virulence upregulated at 37 °C on the microarray, we found those that encoded proteins mainly related to allergens (Asp F1, Asp F2 and MnSOD), gliotoxin biosynthesis (GliP and GliZ), nitrogen (NiiA and NiaD) or iron (HapX, SreA, SidD and SidC) metabolism. However, gene expression in iron and nitrogen metabolism might be influenced not only by heat shock, but also by the availability of nutrients in the medium, as shown by the addition of fresh medium.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Calprotectin, a heterodimer of S100A8 and S100A9, is an abundant neutrophil protein which possesses anti-microbial activity primarily due to 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. Further, 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 anti-hyphal 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 ΔzafA mutant, which demonstrates deficient zinc transport, exhibits impaired growth in infected corneas and following incubation with neutrophils or calprotectin in vitro as compared to 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

  20. Overlapping and distinct roles of Aspergillus fumigatus UDP-glucose 4-epimerases in galactose metabolism and the synthesis of galactose-containing cell wall polysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark J; Gravelat, Fabrice N; Cerone, Robert P; Baptista, Stefanie D; Campoli, Paolo V; Choe, Se-In; Kravtsov, Ilia; Vinogradov, Evgeny; Creuzenet, Carole; Liu, Hong; Berghuis, Albert M; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Filler, Scott G; Fontaine, Thierry; Sheppard, Donald C

    2014-01-17

    The cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus contains two galactose-containing polysaccharides, galactomannan and galactosaminogalactan, whose biosynthetic pathways are not well understood. The A. fumigatus genome contains three genes encoding putative UDP-glucose 4-epimerases, uge3, uge4, and uge5. We undertook this study to elucidate the function of these epimerases. We found that uge4 is minimally expressed and is not required for the synthesis of galactose-containing exopolysaccharides or galactose metabolism. Uge5 is the dominant UDP-glucose 4-epimerase in A. fumigatus and is essential for normal growth in galactose-based medium. Uge5 is required for synthesis of the galactofuranose (Galf) component of galactomannan and contributes galactose to the synthesis of galactosaminogalactan. Uge3 can mediate production of both UDP-galactose and UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) and is required for the production of galactosaminogalactan but not galactomannan. In the absence of Uge5, Uge3 activity is sufficient for growth on galactose and the synthesis of galactosaminogalactan containing lower levels of galactose but not the synthesis of Galf. A double deletion of uge5 and uge3 blocked growth on galactose and synthesis of both Galf and galactosaminogalactan. This study is the first survey of glucose epimerases in A. fumigatus and contributes to our understanding of the role of these enzymes in metabolism and cell wall synthesis.

  1. Aspergillus fumigatus germ tube growth and not conidia ingestion induces expression of inflammatory mediator genes in the human lung epithelial cell line A549.

    PubMed

    Bellanger, Anne-Pauline; Millon, Laurence; Khoufache, Khaled; Rivollet, Danièle; Bièche, Ivan; Laurendeau, Ingrid; Vidaud, Michel; Botterel, Françoise; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2009-02-01

    Inhalation of conidia is the main cause of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) and the respiratory epithelium is the first line of defence. To explore the triggering factor for the inflammatory response to Aspergillus fumigatus, the species mainly responsible for IPA, this study analysed the differential expression of three inflammatory genes in A549 cells after challenge with live and killed conidia. The influence of steroids, one of the main risk factors for developing IPA, was also investigated. Quantification of mRNAs of the inflammatory mediator genes encoding interleukin (IL)-8, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) was carried out using real-time PCR. Ingestion rates were studied for the conidia of A. fumigatus and Penicillium chrysogenum using a fluorescence brightener. Similar results were obtained for both species, with ingestion rates ranging from 35 to 40 %. Exposure of A549 cells to live A. fumigatus conidia only induced a four- to fivefold increase in the mRNA levels of the three genes, starting 8 h after the initial contact. Both inactivation of live A. fumigatus conidia and treatment by dexamethasone (10(-7) M) prevented the overexpression of TNF-alpha, IL-8 and GM-CSF. Fungal growth, rather than conidia ingestion, appears to be the main stimulus for the production of inflammatory mediators by epithelial cells, and this production is inhibited by steroid therapy. These results underline the role that the epithelium plays in the innate response against IPA.

  2. Analysis of the Aspergillus fumigatus Proteome Reveals Metabolic Changes and the Activation of the Pseurotin A Biosynthesis Gene Cluster in Response to Hypoxia

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The mold Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important airborne fungal pathogen. Adaptation to hypoxia represents an important virulence attribute for A. fumigatus. Therefore, we aimed at obtaining a comprehensive overview about this process on the proteome level. To ensure highly reproducible growth conditions, an oxygen-controlled, glucose-limited chemostat cultivation was established. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis of mycelial and mitochondrial proteins as well as two-dimensional Blue Native/SDS-gel separation of mitochondrial membrane proteins led to the identification of 117 proteins with an altered abundance under hypoxic in comparison to normoxic conditions. Hypoxia induced an increased activity of glycolysis, the TCA-cycle, respiration, and amino acid metabolism. Consistently, the cellular contents in heme, iron, copper, and zinc increased. Furthermore, hypoxia induced biosynthesis of the secondary metabolite pseurotin A as demonstrated at proteomic, transcriptional, and metabolite levels. The observed and so far not reported stimulation of the biosynthesis of a secondary metabolite by oxygen depletion may also affect the survival of A. fumigatus in hypoxic niches of the human host. Among the proteins so far not implicated in hypoxia adaptation, an NO-detoxifying flavohemoprotein was one of the most highly up-regulated proteins which indicates a link between hypoxia and the generation of nitrosative stress in A. fumigatus. PMID:21388144

  3. A guide to the recent literature on aspergillosis as caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus frequently found in self-heating organic matter.

    PubMed

    Marsh, P B; Millner, P D; Kla, J M

    1979-11-30

    Spores of Aspergillus fumigatus have been found to be abundantly present in the outdoor air at a site where large scale experimental composting of sewage sludge is in progress at Beltsville, Maryland. The health significance of this finding, for that site and for others in the future, is still only incompletely understood. Further studies are in progress to characterize absolute concentrations of the spores of the fungus in air at the site, spore dispersal by air from composting operations, and background environmental spore levels in air. The present paper contains a list of references to papers on health effects of A. fumigatus, many published in the past ten years, along with a review of the same designed to assist the reader in finding information on particular aspects of the subject in the literature. It is intended primarily as an aid to individuals interested in sludge composting and wishing to attain an insight into the A. fumigatus-composting situation, but it may also interest others concerned with other substrates which become moldy at 40--50 C. A. fumigatus has been found in great numbers in naturally and artificially heated environments such as decaying leaves, compost heaps, solar heated sloughs, cooling canals for nuclear power generators, silos, grain storage bins, boiler rooms, detritus around steam turbines and sauna baths. The evident practical merits of sludge composting have been described elsewhere; the information presented here has its main significance in respect to requirements for choice of locations for composting sites and to process and design criteria.

  4. Epidemiological cutoff values for azoles and Aspergillus fumigatus based on a novel mathematical approach incorporating cyp51A sequence analysis.

    PubMed

    Meletiadis, J; Mavridou, E; Melchers, W J G; Mouton, J W; Verweij, P E

    2012-05-01

    Epidemiological cutoff values (ECV) are commonly used to separate wild-type isolates from isolates with reduced susceptibility to antifungal drugs, thus setting the foundation for establishing clinical breakpoints for Aspergillus fumigatus. However, ECVs are usually determined by eye, a method which lacks objectivity, sensitivity, and statistical robustness and may be difficult, in particular, for extended and complex MIC distributions. We therefore describe and evaluate a statistical method of MIC distribution analysis for posaconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole for 296 A. fumigatus isolates utilizing nonlinear regression analysis, the normal plot technique, and recursive partitioning analysis incorporating cyp51A sequence data. MICs were determined by using the CLSI M38-A2 protocol (CLSI, CLSI document M38-A2, 2008) after incubation of the isolates for 48 h and were transformed into log(2) MICs. We found a wide distribution of MICs of all azoles, some ranging from 0.02 to 128 mg/liter, with median MICs of 32 mg/liter for itraconazole, 4 mg/liter for voriconazole, and 0.5 mg/liter for posaconazole. Of the isolates, 65% (192 of 296) had mutations in the cyp51A gene, and the majority of the mutants (90%) harbored tandem repeats in the promoter region combined with mutations in the cyp51A coding region. MIC distributions deviated significantly from normal distribution (D'Agostino-Pearson omnibus normality test P value, <0.001), and they were better described with a model of the sum of two Gaussian distributions (R(2), 0.91 to 0.96). The normal plot technique revealed a mixture of two populations of MICs separated by MICs of 1 mg/liter for itraconazole, 1 mg/liter for voriconazole, and 0.125 mg/liter for posaconazole. Recursive partitioning analysis confirmed these ECVs, since the proportions of isolates harboring cyp51A mutations associated with azole resistance were less than 20%, 20 to 30%, and >70% when the MICs were lower than, equal to, and higher than the

  5. Exploring thermophilic cellulolytic enzyme production potential of Aspergillus fumigatus by the solid-state fermentation of wheat straw.

    PubMed

    Mehboob, Nazia; Asad, M Javaid; Asgher, M; Gulfraz, M; Mukhtar, Tariq; Mahmood, Raja Tahir

    2014-04-01

    Cellulases can be used for biofuel production to decrease the fuel crises in the world. Microorganisms cultured on lignocellulosic wastes can be used for the production of cellulolytic enzymes at large scale. In the current study, cellulolytic enzyme production potential of Aspergillus fumigatus was explored and optimized by employing various cultural and nutritional parameters. Maximum endoglucanase production was observed after 72 h at 55 °C, pH 5.5, and 70 % moisture level. Addition of 0.3 % of fructose, peptone, and Tween-80 further enhanced the production of endoglucanase. Maximum purification was achieved with 40 % ammonium sulfate, and it was purified 2.63-fold by gel filtration chromatography. Endoglucanase has 55 °C optimum temperature, 4.8 optimum pH, 3.97 mM K m, and 8.53 μM/mL/min V max. Maximum exoglucanase production was observed at 55 °C after 72 h, at pH 5.5, and 70 % moisture level. Further addition of 0.3 % of each of fructose, peptone, and Tween-80 enhances the secretion of endoglucanase. It was purified 3.30-fold in the presence of 40 % ammonium sulfate followed by gel filtration chromatography. Its optimum temperature was 55 °C, optimum pH was 4.8, 4.34 mM K m, and 7.29 μM/mL/min V max. In the case of β-glucosidase, maximum activity was observed after 72 h at 55 °C, pH 5.5, and 70 % moisture level. The presence of 0.3 % of fructose, peptone, and Tween-80 in media has beneficial impact on β-glucosidase production. A 4.36-fold purification was achieved by 40 % ammonium sulfate precipitation and gel filtration chromatography. Optimum temperature of β-glucosidase was 55 °C, optimum pH was 4.8, K m was 4.92 mM, and V max 6.75 μM/mL/min. It was also observed that fructose is better than glucose, and peptone is better than urea for the growth of A. fumigatus. The K m and V max values indicated that endoglucanase, exoglucanase, and β-glucosidase have good affinity for their substrates.

  6. Transcriptional activation of heat shock protein 90 mediated via a proximal promoter region as trigger of caspofungin resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Lamoth, Frédéric; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Gehrke, Christopher; Asfaw, Yohannes G; Steinbach, William J

    2014-02-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is a deadly infection for which new antifungal therapies are needed. Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is an essential chaperone in Aspergillus fumigatus representing an attractive antifungal target. Using a thiamine-repressible promoter (pthiA), we showed that genetic repression of Hsp90 significantly reduced virulence in a murine model of invasive aspergillosis. Moreover, substituting the A. fumigatus hsp90 promoter with 2 artificial promoters (potef, pthiA) and the Candida albicans hsp90 promoter resulted in hypersensitivity to caspofungin and abolition of the paradoxical effect (resistance at high caspofungin concentrations). By inducing truncations in the hsp90 promoter, we identified a 100-base pair proximal sequence that triggers a significant increase of hsp90 expression (≥1.5-fold) and is essential for the paradoxical effect. Preventing this increase of hsp90 expression was sufficient to abolish the paradoxical effect and therefore optimize the antifungal activity of caspofungin.

  7. Genetic Analysis Using an Isogenic Mating Pair of Aspergillus fumigatus Identifies Azole Resistance Genes and Lack of MAT Locus's Role in Virulence.

    PubMed

    Losada, Liliana; Sugui, Janyce A; Eckhaus, Michael A; Chang, Yun C; Mounaud, Stephanie; Figat, Abigail; Joardar, Vinita; Pakala, Suman B; Pakala, Suchitra; Venepally, Pratap; Fedorova, Natalie; Nierman, William C; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J

    2015-04-01

    Invasive aspergillosis (IA) due to Aspergillus fumigatus is a major cause of mortality in immunocompromised patients. The discovery of highly fertile strains of A. fumigatus opened the possibility to merge classical and contemporary genetics to address key questions about this pathogen. The merger involves sexual recombination, selection of desired traits, and genomics to identify any associated loci. We constructed a highly fertile isogenic pair of A. fumigatus strains with opposite mating types and used them to investigate whether mating type is associated with virulence and to find the genetic loci involved in azole resistance. The pair was made isogenic by 9 successive backcross cycles of the foundational strain AFB62 (MAT1-1) with a highly fertile (MAT1-2) progeny. Genome sequencing showed that the F9 MAT1-2 progeny was essentially identical to the AFB62. The survival curves of animals infected with either strain in three different animal models showed no significant difference, suggesting that virulence in A. fumigatus was not associated with mating type. We then employed a relatively inexpensive, yet highly powerful strategy to identify genomic loci associated with azole resistance. We used traditional in vitro drug selection accompanied by classical sexual crosses of azole-sensitive with resistant isogenic strains. The offspring were plated under varying drug concentrations and pools of resulting colonies were analyzed by whole genome sequencing. We found that variants in 5 genes contributed to azole resistance, including mutations in erg11A (cyp51A), as well as multi-drug transporters, erg25, and in HMG-CoA reductase. The results demonstrated that with minimal investment into the sequencing of three pools from a cross of interest, the variation(s) that contribute any phenotype can be identified with nucleotide resolution. This approach can be applied to multiple areas of interest in A. fumigatus or other heterothallic pathogens, especially for virulence

  8. Metabolites from Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus associated with Melia azedarach, and their antifungal, antifeedant, and toxic activities.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Qiang; Zhang, An-Ling; Gao, Jin-Ming

    2012-04-04

    Thirty-nine fungal metabolites 1-39, including two new alkaloids, 12β-hydroxy-13α-methoxyverruculogen TR-2 (6) and 3-hydroxyfumiquinazoline A (16), were isolated from the fermentation broth of Aspergillus fumigatus LN-4, an endophytic fungus isolated from the stem bark of Melia azedarach. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of detailed spectroscopic analysis (mass spectrometry and one- and two-dimensional NMR experiments) and by comparison of their NMR data with those reported in the literature. These isolated compounds were evaluated for in vitro antifungal activities against some phytopathogenic fungi, toxicity against brine shrimps, and antifeedant activities against armyworm larvae (Mythimna separata Walker). Among them, sixteen compounds showed potent antifungal activities against phytopathogenic fungi (Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria solani, Alternaria alternata, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Fusarium solani, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum, and Gibberella saubinettii), and four of them, 12β-hydroxy-13α-methoxyverruculogen TR-2 (6), fumitremorgin B (7), verruculogen (8), and helvolic acid (39), exhibited antifungal activities with MIC values of 6.25-50 μg/mL, which were comparable to the two positive controls carbendazim and hymexazol. In addition, of eighteen that exerted moderate lethality toward brine shrimps, compounds 7 and 8 both showed significant toxicities with median lethal concentration (LC(50)) values of 13.6 and 15.8 μg/mL, respectively. Furthermore, among nine metabolites that were found to possess antifeedant activity against armyworm larvae, compounds 7 and 8 gave the best activity with antifeedant indexes (AFI) of 50.0% and 55.0%, respectively. Structure-activity relationships of the metabolites were also discussed.

  9. Characterization of gprK Encoding a Putative Hybrid G-Protein-Coupled Receptor in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Mun-Gu; Kim, Sung Su; Yu, Jae-Hyuk; Shin, Kwang-Soo

    2016-01-01

    The G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family represents the largest and most varied collection of membrane embedded proteins that are sensitized by ligand binding and interact with heterotrimeric G proteins. Despite their presumed critical roles in fungal biology, the functions of the GPCR family members in the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus are largely unknown, as only two (GprC and GprD) of the 15 predicted GPCRs have been studied. Here, we characterize the gprK gene, which is predicted to encode a hybrid GPCR with both 7-transmembrane and regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) domains. The deletion of gprK causes severely impaired asexual development coupled with reduced expression of key developmental activators. Moreover, ΔgprK results in hyper-activation of germination even in the absence of carbon source, and elevated expression and activity of the protein kinase A PkaC1. Furthermore, proliferation of the ΔgprK mutant is restricted on the medium when pentose is the sole carbon source, suggesting that GprK may function in external carbon source sensing. Notably, the absence of gprK results in reduced tolerance to oxidative stress and significantly lowered mRNA levels of the stress-response associated genes sakA and atfA. Activities of catalases and SODs are severely decreased in the ΔgprK mutant, indicating that GprK may function in proper activation of general stress response. The ΔgprK mutant is also defective in gliotoxin (GT) production and slightly less virulent toward the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Transcriptomic studies reveal that a majority of transporters are down-regulated by ΔgprK. In summary, GprK is necessary for proper development, GT production, and oxidative stress response, and functions in down-regulating the PKA-germination pathway. PMID:27584150

  10. 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.

  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. Use of a novel panel of nine short tandem repeats for exact and high-resolution fingerprinting of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates.

    PubMed

    de Valk, Hanneke A; Meis, Jacques F G M; Curfs, Ilse M; Muehlethaler, Konrad; Mouton, Johan W; Klaassen, Corné H W

    2005-08-01

    Here we describe a new panel of short tandem repeats (STRs) for a novel exact typing assay that can be used to discriminate between Aspergillus fumigatus isolates. A total of nine STR markers were selected from available genomic A. fumigatus sequences and were divided into three multicolor multiplex PCRs. Each multiplex reaction amplified three di-, tri-, or tetranucleotide repeats, respectively. All nine STR markers were used to analyze 100 presumably unrelated A. fumigatus isolates. For each marker, between 11 and 37 alleles were found in this population. One isolate proved to be a mixture of at least two different isolates. With the remaining 99 isolates, 96 different fingerprinting profiles were obtained. The Simpson's diversity index for the individual markers ranged from 0.77 to 0.97. The diversity index for the multiplex combination of di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide repeats ranged from 0.9784 to 0.9968. The combination of all nine markers yielded a Simpson's diversity index of 0.9994, indicative of the high discriminatory power of these new loci. In theory, this panel of markers is able to discriminate between no less than 27 x 10(9) different genotypes. The multicolor multiplex approach allows large numbers of markers to be tested in a short period of time. The exact nature of the assay combines high reproducibility with the easy exchange of results and makes it a very suitable tool for large-scale epidemiological studies.

  13. Production of prostaglandins, isoprostanes and thromboxane by Aspergillus fumigatus: identification by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and quantification by enzyme immunoassay.

    PubMed

    Kupfahl, Claudio; Tsikas, Dimitrios; Niemann, Jonas; Geginat, Gernot; Hof, Herbert

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus has been reported to produce prostaglandin (PG)-like substances. The molecular structure of these fungal eicosanoids is however still unknown. By using the gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) methodology we identified a number of eicosanoids that were formed upon incubation of the precursor arachidonic acid ethyl ester (AAE, 10 μM) with three strains of A. fumigatus. The eicosanoids identified include the prostaglandins (PG) PGE(2), 6-keto-PGF(1α) (the stable hydrolysis product of prostacyclin PGI(2)) and PGF(2α), the isoprostanes 15(S)-8-iso-PGF(2α) and 15(S)-8-iso-PGE(2), and thromboxane B(2) (TxB(2), the stable hydrolysis product of TxA(2)). These eicosanoids are identical with those produced by cyclooxygenases (COX) in humans. The biosynthesis of all of these eicosanoids could not be inhibited by the human COX inhibitors indomethacin (100 μM), acetylsalicylic acid (100 μM) or the non-selective human lipoxygenase (LOX) inhibitor nordihydroguaiaretic acid (100 μM). By contrast, the selen-containing antioxidant ebselen (100 μM) was found to inhibit their synthesis. Our results suggest that mammals and fungi employ different eicosanoid biosynthesis pathways. As some of the detected eicosanoids are potent immunomodulators and bronchoconstrictors, they could play a possible role in pulmonary diseases associated with A. fumigatus infection.

  14. 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.

  15. Chronic Granulomatous Disease Presenting as Aspergillus Fumigatus Pneumonia in a Previously Healthy Young Woman.

    PubMed

    Williams, David; Kadaria, Dipen; Sodhi, Amik; Fox, Roy; Williams, Glenn; Threlkeld, Stephen

    2017-04-05

    BACKGROUND Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD) is a rare immunodeficiency disease caused by a genetic defect in the NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) oxidase enzyme, resulting in increased susceptibility to bacterial and fungal infections. The inheritance can be X-linked or autosomal recessive. Patients usually present with repeated infections early in life. We present an unusual case of a 23-year-old patient diagnosed with CGD. CASE REPORT A 23-year-old white woman with no previous history of recurrent infections presented with complaints of fever, shortness of breath, and diffuse myalgia. She had been treated twice for similar complaints recently, but without resolution. She was febrile, tachypneic, tachycardic, and hypoxic at presentation. Physical examination revealed diffuse inspiratory rales. Laboratory results showed leukocytosis. Her initial chest X-ray and CT chest showed reticular nodular interstitial lung disease pattern. Despite being on broad-spectrum antibiotics for 5 days, she continued to require supplemental oxygen and continued to be tachypneic, with minimal activity. Initial diagnostic tests, including bronchoscopy with biopsy and lavage, did not reveal a diagnosis. She then underwent a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lung biopsy. The biopsy slides showed suppurative granulomatous inflammation affecting greater than 50% of the parenchymal lung surface. Fungal hyphae consistent with Aspergillus were present in those granulomas. A diagnosis of CGD was made and she was started on Voriconazole. She improved with treatment. Her neutrophil burst test showed negative burst on stimulation, indicating phagocytic dysfunction consistent with CGD. Autosomal recessive CGD was confirmed by genetic testing. CONCLUSIONS CGD can present in adulthood without any previous symptoms and signs. Clinicians should consider this disease in patients presenting with recurrent or non-resolving infections. Timely treatment and prophylaxis has

  16. Chronic Granulomatous Disease Presenting as Aspergillus Fumigatus Pneumonia in a Previously Healthy Young Woman

    PubMed Central

    Williams, David; Kadaria, Dipen; Sodhi, Amik; Fox, Roy; Williams, Glenn; Threlkeld, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Patient: Female, 23 Final Diagnosis: Chronic granulomatous disease Symptoms: Fever • shortness of breath Medication: — Clinical Procedure: Bronchoscopy Specialty: Pulmonology Objective: Unusual clinical course Background: Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD) is a rare immunodeficiency disease caused by a genetic defect in the NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) oxidase enzyme, resulting in increased susceptibility to bacterial and fungal infections. The inheritance can be X-linked or autosomal recessive. Patients usually present with repeated infections early in life. We present an unusual case of a 23-year-old patient diagnosed with CGD. Case Report: A 23-year-old white woman with no previous history of recurrent infections presented with complaints of fever, shortness of breath, and diffuse myalgia. She had been treated twice for similar complaints recently, but without resolution. She was febrile, tachypneic, tachycardic, and hypoxic at presentation. Physical examination revealed diffuse inspiratory rales. Laboratory results showed leukocytosis. Her initial chest X-ray and CT chest showed reticular nodular interstitial lung disease pattern. Despite being on broad-spectrum antibiotics for 5 days, she continued to require supplemental oxygen and continued to be tachypneic, with minimal activity. Initial diagnostic tests, including bronchoscopy with biopsy and lavage, did not reveal a diagnosis. She then underwent a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lung biopsy. The biopsy slides showed suppurative granulomatous inflammation affecting greater than 50% of the parenchymal lung surface. Fungal hyphae consistent with Aspergillus were present in those granulomas. A diagnosis of CGD was made and she was started on Voriconazole. She improved with treatment. Her neutrophil burst test showed negative burst on stimulation, indicating phagocytic dysfunction consistent with CGD. Autosomal recessive CGD was confirmed by genetic testing. Conclusions

  17. Purification, immobilization, and biochemical characterization of l-arginine deiminase from thermophilic Aspergillus fumigatus KJ434941: anticancer activity in vitro.

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Ashraf S A; Hassan, Mohamed N; Nada, Hend M S

    2015-01-01

    l-Arginine deiminase (ADI) has a powerful anticancer activity against various tumors, via arginine depletion, arresting the cell cycle at G1 phase. However, the current clinically tried bacterial ADI displayed a higher antigenicity and lower thermal stability. Thus, our objective was to purify and characterize this enzyme from thermophilic fungi, to explore its catalytic and antigenic properties for therapeutic uses. ADI was purified from thermophilic Aspergillus fumigatus KJ434941 to its electrophoretic homogeneity by 5.1-fold, with molecular subunit 50 kDa. The purified ADI was PEGylated and covalently immobilized on dextran to explore its catalytic properties. The specific activity of free ADI, PEG-ADI, and Dex-ADI was 26.7, 21.5, and 18.0 U/mg, respectively. At 50°C, PEG-ADI displays twofold resistance to thermal denaturation (t1/2 13.9 h), than free ADI (t1/2 6.9 h), while at 70°C, the thermal stability of PEG-ADI was increased by 1.7-fold, with similar stability to Dex-ADI with the free one. Kinetically, free ADI had the higher catalytic affinity to arginine, followed by PEG-ADI and Dex-ADI. Upon proteolysis for 30 min, the residual activity of native ADI, PEG-ADI, and Dex-AD was 8.0, 32.0, and 20.0% for proteinase K and 10.0, 52.0, and 90.0% for acid protease, respectively. The anticancer activity of the ADIs was assessed against HCT, HEP-G2, and MCF7, in vitro. The free and PEG-ADI exhibits a similar cytotoxic efficacy for the tested cells, lower than Dex-ADI. The free ADI had IC50 value 22.0, 16.6, and 13.9 U/mL, while Dex-ADI had 3.98, 5.18, and 4.43 U/mL for HCT, MCF7, and HEPG-2, respectively. The in vitro anticancer activity of ADI against HCT, MCF7, and HEPG-2 was increased by five-, three-, and threefold upon covalent modification by dextran. The biochemical and hematological parameters of the experimented animals were not affected by ADIs dosing, with no signs of anti-ADI immunoglobulins in vivo. The in vivo half-life time of free ADI, PEG

  18. Development and antimicrobial susceptibility studies of in vitro monomicrobial and polymicrobial biofilm models with Aspergillus fumigatus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Mixed microbial infections of the respiratory tracts with P. aeruginosa and A. fumigatus capable of producing biofilms are commonly found in cystic fibrosis patients. The primary objective of this study was to develop an in vitro model for P. aeruginosa and A. fumigatus polymicrobial biofilm to study the efficacy of various antimicrobial drugs alone and in combinations against biofilm-embedded cells. Simultaneous static cocultures of P. aeruginosa and sporelings were used for the development of in vitro P. aeruginosa-A. fumigatus polymicrobial biofilm in SD broth in 24-well cell culture plates at 35°C, and the biofilm formation was monitored microscopically and spectrophotometrically. Using P. aeruginosa-A. fumigatus sporelings cocultures we examined the effects of various antimicrobial drugs alone and in combination against polymicrobial biofilm by CFU and tetrazolium reduction assays. Results In simultaneous static cocultures P. aeruginosa cells killed A. fumigatus conidia, whereas the bacterial cells showed no substantial fungicidal effect on sporelings grown for 12 h or longer at 35°C. Monospecies cultures of P. aeruginosa produced loosely adhered monomicrobial biofilm and addition of 10% bovine serum to the growth medium inhibited the formation of monomicrobial biofilm by P. aeruginosa whereas it produced tightly adhered polymicrobial biofilm in the presence of A. fumigatus mycelial growth. A. fumigatus produced firmly adherent monomicrobial and polymicrobial biofilms. A comparison of CFU and MTT assays showed that the latter is unsuitable for studying the effectiveness of antimicrobial treatment against polymicrobial biofilm. Tobramycin alone and in combination with posaconazole was highly effective against monomicrobial and polymicrobial biofilms of P. aeruginosa whereas cefepime alone and in combination with posaconazole showed excellent activity against monomicrobial biofilm of P. aeruginosa but was less effective against polymicrobial

  19. Characterization of the T-cell-mediated immune response against the Aspergillus fumigatus proteins Crf1 and catalase 1 in healthy individuals.

    PubMed

    Jolink, Hetty; Meijssen, Isabelle C; Hagedoorn, Renate S; Arentshorst, Mark; Drijfhout, Jan W; Mulder, Arend; Claas, Frans H J; van Dissel, Jaap T; Falkenburg, J H Frederik; Heemskerk, Mirjam H M

    2013-09-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is a serious infectious complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. One of the strategies to improve the management of aspergillosis is the adoptive transfer of antigen-specific T cells, the success of which depends on the development of a broad repertoire of antigen-specific T cells. In this study, we identified CD4+ T cells specific for the Aspergillus proteins Crf1 and catalase 1 in 18 of 24 healthy donors by intracellular staining for interferon γ and CD154. Crf1- and catalase 1-specific T cells were selected on the basis of CD137 expression and underwent single-cell expansion. Aspergillus-specific T-cell clones mainly exhibited a T-helper cell 1 phenotype and recognized a broad variety of T-cell epitopes. Five novel Crf1 epitopes, 2 previously described Crf1 epitopes, and 30 novel catalase 1 epitopes were identified. Ultimately, by using overlapping peptides of Aspergillus fumigatus proteins, Aspergillus-specific T-cell lines that have a broad specificity and favorable cytokine profile and are suitable for adoptive T-cell therapy can be generated in vitro.

  20. Effect of Media Modified To Mimic Cystic Fibrosis Sputum on the Susceptibility of Aspergillus fumigatus, and the Frequency of Resistance at One Center

    PubMed Central

    Moss, Richard B.; Hernandez, Cathy; Clemons, Karl V.; Martinez, Marife

    2016-01-01

    Studies of cystic fibrosis (CF) patient exacerbations attributed to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection have indicated a lack of correlation of outcome with in vitro susceptibility results. One explanation is that the media used for testing do not mimic the airway milieu, resulting in incorrect conclusions. Therefore, media have been devised to mimic CF sputum. Aspergillus fumigatus is the leading fungal pathogen in CF, and susceptibility testing is also used to decide therapeutic choices. We assessed whether media designed to mimic CF sputa would give different fungal susceptibility results than those of classical methods, assaying voriconazole, the most utilized anti-Aspergillus drug in this setting, and 30 CF Aspergillus isolates. The frequency of marked resistance (defined as an MIC of >4 μg/ml) in our CF unit by classical methods is 7%. Studies performed with classical methods and with digested sputum medium, synthetic sputum medium, and artificial sputum medium revealed prominent differences in Aspergillus susceptibility results, as well as growth rate, with each medium. Clinical correlative studies are required to determine which results are most useful in predicting outcome. Comparison of MICs with non-CF isolates also indicated the CF isolates were generally more resistant. PMID:26810647

  1. Crude cellulase from oil palm empty fruit bunch by Trichoderma asperellum UPM1 and Aspergillus fumigatus UPM2 for fermentable sugars production.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, M F; Razak, M N A; Phang, L Y; Hassan, M A; Abd-Aziz, S

    2013-07-01

    Cellulase is an enzyme that converts the polymer structure of polysaccharides into fermentable sugars. The high market demand for this enzyme together with the variety of applications in the industry has brought the research on cellulase into focus. In this study, crude cellulase was produced from oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) pretreated with 2% NaOH with autoclave, which was composed of 59.7% cellulose, 21.6% hemicellulose, and 12.3% lignin using Trichoderma asperellum UPM1 and Aspergillus fumigatus UPM2. Approximately 0.8 U/ml of FPase, 24.7 U/ml of CMCase and 5.0 U/ml of β-glucosidase were produced by T. asperellum UPM1 at a temperature of 35 °C and at an initial pH of 7.0. A 1.7 U/ml of FPase, 24.2 U/ml of CMCase, and 1.1 U/ml of β-glucosidase were produced by A. fumigatus UPM2 at a temperature of 45 °C and at initial pH of 6.0. The crude cellulase was best produced at 1% of substrate concentration for both T. asperellum UPM1 and A. fumigatus UPM2. The hydrolysis percentage of pretreated OPEFB using 5% of crude cellulase concentration from T. asperellum UPM1 and A. fumigatus UPM2 were 3.33% and 19.11%, with the reducing sugars concentration of 1.47 and 8.63 g/l, respectively.

  2. Identification and Characterization of a Novel Aspergillus fumigatus Rhomboid Family Putative Protease, RbdA, Involved in Hypoxia Sensing and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Vaknin, Yakir; Hillmann, Falk; Iannitti, Rossana; Ben Baruch, Netali; Sandovsky-Losica, Hana; Shadkchan, Yona; Romani, Luigina; Brakhage, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common pathogenic mold infecting humans and a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. In invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, A. fumigatus spores are inhaled into the lungs, undergoing germination and invasive hyphal growth. The fungus occludes and disrupts the blood vessels, leading to hypoxia and eventual tissue necrosis. The ability of this mold to adapt to hypoxia is regulated in part by the sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) SrbA and the DscA to DscD Golgi E3 ligase complex critical for SREBP activation by proteolytic cleavage. Loss of the genes encoding these proteins results in avirulence. To identify novel regulators of hypoxia sensing, we screened the Neurospora crassa gene deletion library under hypoxia and identified a novel rhomboid family protease essential for hypoxic growth. Deletion of the A. fumigatus rhomboid homolog rbdA resulted in an inability to grow under hypoxia, hypersensitivity to CoCl2, nikkomycin Z, fluconazole, and ferrozine, abnormal swollen tip morphology, and transcriptional dysregulation—accurately phenocopying deletion of srbA. In vivo, rbdA deletion resulted in increased sensitivity to phagocytic killing, a reduced inflammatory Th1 and Th17 response, and strongly attenuated virulence. Phenotypic rescue of the ΔrbdA mutant was achieved by expression and nuclear localization of the N terminus of SrbA, including its HLH domain, further indicating that RbdA and SrbA act in the same signaling pathway. In summary, we have identified RbdA, a novel putative rhomboid family protease in A. fumigatus that mediates hypoxia adaptation and fungal virulence and that is likely linked to SrbA cleavage and activation. PMID:27068092

  3. Identification and deletion of Tft1, a predicted glycosyltransferase necessary for cell wall β-1,3;1,4-glucan synthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Samar, Danial; Kieler, Joshua B; Klutts, J Stacey

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an environmental mold that causes severe, often fatal invasive infections in immunocompromised patients. The search for new antifungal drug targets is critical, and the synthesis of the cell wall represents a potential area to find such a target. Embedded within the main β-1,3-glucan core of the A. fumigatus cell wall is a mixed linkage, β-D-(1,3;1,4)-glucan. The role of this molecule or how it is synthesized is unknown, though it comprises 10% of the glucans within the wall. While this is not a well-studied molecule in fungi, it has been studied in plants. Using the sequences of two plant mixed linkage glucan synthases, a single ortholog was identified in A. fumigatus (Tft1). A strain lacking this enzyme (tft1Δ) was generated along with revertant strains containing the native gene under the control of either the native or a strongly expressing promoter. Immunofluorescence staining with an antibody against β-(1,3;1,4)-glucan and biochemical quantification of this polysaccharide in the tft1Δ strain demonstrated complete loss of this molecule. Reintroduction of the gene into the knockout strain yielded reappearance in amounts that correlated with expected expression of the gene. The loss of Tft1 and mixed linkage glucan yielded no in vitro growth phenotype. However, there was a modest increase in virulence for the tft1Δ strain in a wax worm model. While the precise roles for β-(1,3;1,4)-glucan within A. fumigatus cell wall are still uncertain, it is clear that Tft1 plays a pivotal role in the biosynthesis of this cell wall polysaccharide.

  4. Comparison of the crystal structures of the human manganese superoxide dismutase and the homologous Aspergillus fumigatus allergen at 2-A resolution.

    PubMed

    Flückiger, Sabine; Mittl, Peer R E; Scapozza, Leonardo; Fijten, Helmi; Folkers, Gerd; Grütter, Markus G; Blaser, Kurt; Crameri, Reto

    2002-02-01

    Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) of Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus involved in many pulmonary complications, has been identified as IgE-binding protein. It has been shown also that MnSODs from other organisms, including human, are recognized by IgE Abs from individuals sensitized to A. fumigatus MnSOD. Comparison of the fungal and the human crystal structure should allow the identification of structural similarities responsible for IgE-mediated cross-reactivity. The three-dimensional structure of A. fumigatus MnSOD has been determined at 2-A resolution by x-ray diffraction analysis. Crystals belonged to space group P2(1)2(1)2(1) with unit cell dimensions of a = 65.88 A, b = 98.7 A, and c = 139.28 A. The structure was solved by molecular replacement using the structure of the human MnSOD as a search model. The final refined model included four chains of 199-200 amino acids, four manganese ions, and 745 water molecules, with a crystallographic R-factor of 19.4% and a free R-factor of 23.3%. Like MnSODs of other eukaryotic organisms, A. fumigatus MnSOD forms a homotetramer with the manganese ions coordinated by three histidines, one aspartic acid, and one water molecule. The fungal and the human MnSOD share high similarity on the level of both primary and tertiary structure. We identified conserved amino acids that are solvent exposed in the fungal and the human crystal structure and are therefore potentially involved in IgE-mediated cross-reactivity.

  5. Synergy, Pharmacodynamics, and Time-Sequenced Ultrastructural Changes of the Interaction between Nikkomycin Z and the Echinocandin FK463 against Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chiou, Christine C.; Mavrogiorgos, Nikolaos; Tillem, Elizabeth; Hector, Richard; Walsh, Thomas J.

    2001-01-01

    We investigated the potential synergy between two cell wall-active agents, the echinocandin FK463 (FK) and the chitin synthase inhibitor nikkomycin Z (NZ), against 16 isolates of filamentous fungi. Susceptibility testing was performed with a broth macrodilution procedure by NCCLS methods. The median minimal effective concentration (MEC) of FK against all Aspergillus species was 0.25 μg/ml (range, 0.05 to 0.5 μg/ml). For Fusarium solani and Rhizopus oryzae, MECs of FK were >512 μg/ml. The median MEC of NZ against Aspergillus fumigatus was 32 μg/ml (range, 8 to 64 μg/ml), and that against R. oryzae was 0.5 μg/ml (range, 0.06 to 2 μg/ml); however, for the other Aspergillus species, as well as F. solani, MECs were >512 μg/ml. A checkerboard inhibitory assay demonstrated synergy against A. fumigatus (median fractional inhibitory concentration index = 0.312 [range, 0.15 to 0.475]). The effect was additive to indifferent against R. oryzae and indifferent against other Aspergillus spp. and F. solani. We further investigated the pharmacodynamics of hyphal damage by MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay and examined the time-sequenced changes in hyphal ultrastructure. Significant synergistic hyphal damage was demonstrated with the combination of NZ (2 to 32 μg/ml) and FK (0.03 to 0.5 μg/ml) over a wide range of concentrations (P < 0.001). The synergistic effect was most pronounced after 12 h of incubation and was sustained through 24 h. Time-sequenced light and electron microscopic studies demonstrated that structural alterations of hyphae were profound, with marked transformation of hyphae to blastospore-like structures, in the presence of FK plus NZ, while fungi treated with a single drug showed partial recovery at 24 h. The methods used in this study may be applicable to elucidating the activity and interaction of other cell wall-active agents. In summary, these two cell wall-targeted antifungal agents, FK and NZ, showed marked

  6. First Detection of TR46/Y121F/T289A and TR34/L98H Alterations in Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates from Azole-Naive Patients in Denmark despite Negative Findings in the Environment

    PubMed Central

    Astvad, K. M. T.; Jensen, R. H.; Hassan, T. M.; Mathiasen, E. G.; Thomsen, G. M.; Pedersen, U. G.; Christensen, M.; Hilberg, O.

    2014-01-01

    Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus harboring the TR34/L98H or TR46/Y121F/T289A alterations is increasingly found in Europe and Asia. Here, we present the first clinical cases of TR46/Y121/T289A and three cases of TR34/L98H outside the cystic fibrosis (CF) population in Denmark and the results of environmental surveys. Four patients (2012 to 2014) with 11 A. fumigatus and 4 Rhizomucor pusillus isolates and 239 soil samples (spring 2010 and autumn 2013, respectively) with a total of 113 A. fumigatus isolates were examined. Aspergillus isolates were screened for azole resistance using azole-containing agar. Confirmatory susceptibility testing was done using the EUCAST microbroth dilution EDEF 9.1 reference method. For relevant A. fumigatus isolates, CYP51A sequencing and microsatellite genotyping were performed. Three patients harbored TR34/L98H isolates. Two were azole naive at the time of acquisition and two were coinfected with wild-type A. fumigatus or R. pusillus isolates, complicating and delaying diagnosis. The TR46/Y121F/T289A strain was isolated in 2014 from a lung transplant patient. Genotyping indicated that susceptible and resistant Aspergillus isolates were unrelated and that no transmission between patients occurred. Azole resistance was not detected in any of the 113 soil isolates. TR34/L98H and TR46/Y121F/T289A alterations appear to be emerging in the clinical setting in Denmark and now involve azole-naive patients. Two recent soil-sampling surveys in Denmark were unable to indicate any increased prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus in the environment. These findings further support the demand for real-time susceptibility testing of all clinically relevant isolates and for studies investigating the seasonal variation and ecological niches for azole-resistant environmental A. fumigatus. PMID:24936595

  7. A proteomics strategy to discover beta-glucosidases from Aspergillus fumigatus with two-dimensional page in-gel activity assay and tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kee-Hong; Brown, Kimberly M; Harris, Paul V; Langston, James A; Cherry, Joel R

    2007-12-01

    Economically competitive production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass by enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation is currently limited, in part, by the relatively high cost and low efficiency of the enzymes required to hydrolyze cellulose to fermentable sugars. Discovery of novel cellulases with greater activity could be a critical step in overcoming this cost barrier. beta-Glucosidase catalyzes the final step in conversion of glucose polymers to glucose. Despite the importance, only a few beta-glucosidases are commercially available, and more efficient ones are clearly needed. We developed a proteomics strategy aiming to discover beta-glucosidases present in the secreted proteome of the cellulose-degrading fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. With the use of partial or complete protein denaturing conditions, the secretory proteome was fractionated in a 2DGE format and beta-glucosidase activity was detected in the gel after infusion with a substrate analogue that fluoresces upon hydrolysis. Fluorescing spots were subjected to tryptic-digestion, and identification as beta-glucosidases was confirmed by tandem mass spectrometry. Two novel beta-glucosidases of A. fumigatus were identified by this in situ activity staining method, and the gene coding for a novel beta-glucosidase ( EAL88289 ) was cloned and heterologously expressed. The expressed beta-glucosidase showed far superior heat stability to the previously characterized beta-glucosidases of Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae. Improved heat stability is important for development of the next generation of saccharifying enzymes capable of performing fast cellulose hydrolysis reactions at elevated temperatures, thereby lowering the cost of bioethanol production. The in situ activity staining approach described here would be a useful tool for cataloguing and assessing the efficiency of beta-glucosidases in a high throughput fashion.

  8. gfsA encodes a novel galactofuranosyltransferase involved in biosynthesis of galactofuranose antigen of O-glycan in Aspergillus nidulans and A. fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Futagami, Taiki; Kizjakina, Karina; Sobrado, Pablo; Ekino, Keisuke; Takegawa, Kaoru; Goto, Masatoshi; Nomura, Yoshiyuki; Oka, Takuji

    2013-01-01

    The cell walls of filamentous fungi in the genus Aspergillus have galactofuranose-containing polysaccharides and glycoconjugates, including O-glycans, N-glycans, fungal-type galactomannan, and glycosylinositolphosphoceramide, which are important for cell wall integrity. Here, we attempted to identify galactofuranosyltransferases that couple galactofuranose monomers onto other wall components in Aspergillus nidulans. Using reverse-genetic and biochemical approaches, we identified that the AN8677 gene encoded a galactofuranosyltransferase, which we called GfsA, involved in galactofuranose (Galf) antigen biosynthesis. Disruption of gfsA reduced binding of β-Galf-specific antibody EB-A2 to O-glycosylated WscA protein and galactomannoproteins. The results of an in-vitro galactofuranose antigen synthase assay revealed that GfsA has β1,5- or β1,6- galactofuranosyltransferase activity for O-glycans in glycoproteins, uses UDP-D-galactofuranose as a sugar donor, and requires a divalent manganese cation for activity. GfsA was found to be localized at the Golgi apparatus based on cellular fractionation experiments. ΔgfsA cells exhibited an abnormal morphology characterized by poor hyphal extension, hyphal curvature, and limited formation of conidia. Several gfsA orthologs were identified in members of the Pezizomycotina subphylum of Ascomycota, including the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. To our knowledge, this is the first characterization of a fungal β-galactofuranosyltransferase, which was shown to be involved in galactofuranose antigen biosynthesis of O-glycans in the Golgi. PMID:24118544

  9. Hyperspectral Imaging Using Intracellular Spies: Quantitative Real-Time Measurement of Intracellular Parameters In Vivo during Interaction of the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus with Human Monocytes

    PubMed Central

    Mohebbi, Sara; Erfurth, Florian; Hennersdorf, Philipp; Brakhage, Axel A.; Saluz, Hans Peter

    2016-01-01

    Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a technique based on the combination of classical spectroscopy and conventional digital image processing. It is also well suited for the biological assays and quantitative real-time analysis since it provides spectral and spatial data of samples. The method grants detailed information about a sample by recording the entire spectrum in each pixel of the whole image. We applied HSI to quantify the constituent pH variation in a single infected apoptotic monocyte as a model system. Previously, we showed that the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus conidia interfere with the acidification of phagolysosomes. Here, we extended this finding to monocytes and gained a more detailed analysis of this process. Our data indicate that melanised A. fumigatus conidia have the ability to interfere with apoptosis in human monocytes as they enable the apoptotic cell to recover from mitochondrial acidification and to continue with the cell cycle. We also showed that this ability of A. fumigatus is dependent on the presence of melanin, since a non-pigmented mutant did not stop the progression of apoptosis and consequently, the cell did not recover from the acidic pH. By conducting the current research based on the HSI, we could measure the intracellular pH in an apoptotic infected human monocyte and show the pattern of pH variation during 35 h of measurements. As a conclusion, we showed the importance of melanin for determining the fate of intracellular pH in a single apoptotic cell. PMID:27727286

  10. Caspofungin Treatment of Aspergillus fumigatus Results in ChsG-Dependent Upregulation of Chitin Synthesis and the Formation of Chitin-Rich Microcolonies.

    PubMed

    Walker, Louise A; Lee, Keunsook K; Munro, Carol A; Gow, Neil A R

    2015-10-01

    Treatment of Aspergillus fumigatus with echinocandins such as caspofungin inhibits the synthesis of cell wall β-1,3-glucan, which triggers a compensatory stimulation of chitin synthesis. Activation of chitin synthesis can occur in response to sub-MICs of caspofungin and to CaCl2 and calcofluor white (CFW), agonists of the protein kinase C (PKC), and Ca(2+)-calcineurin signaling pathways. A. fumigatus mutants with the chs gene (encoding chitin synthase) deleted (ΔAfchs) were tested for their response to these agonists to determine the chitin synthase enzymes that were required for the compensatory upregulation of chitin synthesis. Only the ΔAfchsG mutant was hypersensitive to caspofungin, and all other ΔAfchs mutants tested remained capable of increasing their chitin content in response to treatment with CaCl2 and CFW and caspofungin. The resulting increase in cell wall chitin content correlated with reduced susceptibility to caspofungin in the wild type and all ΔAfchs mutants tested, with the exception of the ΔAfchsG mutant, which remained sensitive to caspofungin. In vitro exposure to the chitin synthase inhibitor, nikkomycin Z, along with caspofungin demonstrated synergistic efficacy that was again AfChsG dependent. Dynamic imaging using microfluidic perfusion chambers demonstrated that treatment with sub-MIC caspofungin resulted initially in hyphal tip lysis. However, thickened hyphae emerged that formed aberrant microcolonies in the continued presence of caspofungin. In addition, intrahyphal hyphae were formed in response to echinocandin treatment. These in vitro data demonstrate that A. fumigatus has the potential to survive echinocandin treatment in vivo by AfChsG-dependent upregulation of chitin synthesis. Chitin-rich cells may, therefore, persist in human tissues and act as the focus for breakthrough infections.

  11. Impact of portable air filtration units on exposure of haematology-oncology patients to airborne Aspergillus fumigatus spores under field conditions.

    PubMed

    Engelhart, S; Hanfland, J; Glasmacher, A; Krizek, L; Schmidt-Wolf, I G H; Exner, M

    2003-08-01

    We undertook a one-year study to investigate the impact of the NSA model 7100A/B portable air filtration unit on exposure of haematology-oncology patients to airborne Aspergillus fumigatus spores under field conditions. Weekly measurements for airborne A. fumigatus were conducted in indoor and outdoor air, and surveillance for invasive aspergillosis was based on a combination of ward liaison, targeted chart review and consultation with the medical staff. The mean indoor A. fumigatus counts (8.1 cfu/m3; range, <0.8 to 42 cfu/m3) reflected the fungal load of outdoor air (9.4 cfu/m3; range, <0.8 to 50 cfu/m3), and were reduced by only about one third in rooms with portable air filtration units (5.3 cfu/m3; range, <0.8 to 41 cfu/m3). During the study period, a total of five cases (incidence density, 0.8 per 1000 patient-days) of invasive aspergillosis (one proven case, four suspected cases; case fatality rate 40%) were recorded. None of these five patients was allocated to a room with portable air filtration unit, however, the difference between incidence densities in rooms with and without portable air filtration units was non-significant (Fisher's exact test, P=0.33). Due to the noise level and thermal discomfort, patient compliance with the air filtration units was poor. We conclude that under field conditions this air filtration unit cannot be recommended for prevention of invasive aspergillosis in neutropenic haematology-oncology patients.

  12. The Aspergillus fumigatus SchA(SCH9) kinase modulates SakA(HOG1) MAP kinase activity and it is essential for virulence.

    PubMed

    Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Dolan, Stephen K; Oliveira Manfiolli, Adriana; Brown, Neil Andrew; Jones, Gary W; Doyle, Sean; Riaño-Pachón, Diego M; Squina, Fábio Márcio; Caldana, Camila; Singh, Ashutosh; Del Poeta, Maurizio; Hagiwara, Daisuke; Silva-Rocha, Rafael; Goldman, Gustavo H

    2016-11-01

    The serine-threonine kinase TOR, the Target of Rapamycin, is an important regulator of nutrient, energy and stress signaling in eukaryotes. Sch9, a Ser/Thr kinase of AGC family (the cAMP-dependent PKA, cGMP- dependent protein kinase G and phospholipid-dependent protein kinase C family), is a substrate of TOR. Here, we characterized the fungal opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Sch9 homologue (SchA). The schA null mutant was sensitive to rapamycin, high concentrations of calcium, hyperosmotic stress and SchA was involved in iron metabolism. The ΔschA null mutant showed increased phosphorylation of SakA, the A. fumigatus Hog1 homologue. The schA null mutant has increased and decreased trehalose and glycerol accumulation, respectively, suggesting SchA performs different roles for glycerol and trehalose accumulation during osmotic stress. The schA was transcriptionally regulated by osmotic stress and this response was dependent on SakA and MpkC. The double ΔschA ΔsakA and ΔschA ΔmpkC mutants were more sensitive to osmotic stress than the corresponding parental strains. Transcriptomics and proteomics identified direct and indirect targets of SchA post-exposure to hyperosmotic stress. Finally, ΔschA was avirulent in a low dose murine infection model. Our results suggest there is a complex network of interactions amongst the A. fumigatus TOR, SakA and SchA pathways.

  13. A Putative Mitochondrial Iron Transporter MrsA in Aspergillus fumigatus Plays Important Roles in Azole-, Oxidative Stress Responses and Virulence.

    PubMed

    Long, Nanbiao; Xu, Xiaoling; Qian, Hui; Zhang, Shizhu; Lu, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Iron is an essential nutrient and enzyme co-factor required for a wide range of cellular processes, especially for the function of mitochondria. For the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, the ability to obtain iron is required for growth and virulence during the infection process. However, knowledge of how mitochondria are involved in iron regulation is still limited. Here, we show that a mitochondrial iron transporter, MrsA, a homolog of yeast Mrs4p, is critical for adaptation to iron-limited or iron-excess conditions in A. fumigatus. Deletion of mrsA leads to disruption of iron homeostasis with a decreased sreA expression, resulted in activated reductive iron assimilation (RIA) and siderophore-mediated iron acquisition (SIA). Furthermore, deletion of mrsA induces hypersusceptibility to azole and oxidative stresses. An assay for cellular ROS content in ΔmrsA combined with rescue from the mrsA-defective phenotype by the antioxidant reagent L-ascorbic acid indicates that the increased sensitivity of ΔmrsA to the azole itraconazole and to oxidative stress is mainly the result of abnormal ROS accumulation. Moreover, site-directed mutation experiments verified that three conserved histidine residues related to iron transport in MrsA are required for responses to oxidative and azole stresses. Importantly, ΔmrsA causes significant attenuation of virulence in an immunocompromised murine model of aspergillosis. Collectively, our results show that the putative mitochondrial iron transporter MrsA plays important roles in azole- and oxidative-stress responses and virulence by regulating the balance of cellular iron in A. fumigatus.

  14. A Putative Mitochondrial Iron Transporter MrsA in Aspergillus fumigatus Plays Important Roles in Azole-, Oxidative Stress Responses and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Long, Nanbiao; Xu, Xiaoling; Qian, Hui; Zhang, Shizhu; Lu, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Iron is an essential nutrient and enzyme co-factor required for a wide range of cellular processes, especially for the function of mitochondria. For the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, the ability to obtain iron is required for growth and virulence during the infection process. However, knowledge of how mitochondria are involved in iron regulation is still limited. Here, we show that a mitochondrial iron transporter, MrsA, a homolog of yeast Mrs4p, is critical for adaptation to iron-limited or iron-excess conditions in A. fumigatus. Deletion of mrsA leads to disruption of iron homeostasis with a decreased sreA expression, resulted in activated reductive iron assimilation (RIA) and siderophore-mediated iron acquisition (SIA). Furthermore, deletion of mrsA induces hypersusceptibility to azole and oxidative stresses. An assay for cellular ROS content in ΔmrsA combined with rescue from the mrsA-defective phenotype by the antioxidant reagent L-ascorbic acid indicates that the increased sensitivity of ΔmrsA to the azole itraconazole and to oxidative stress is mainly the result of abnormal ROS accumulation. Moreover, site-directed mutation experiments verified that three conserved histidine residues related to iron transport in MrsA are required for responses to oxidative and azole stresses. Importantly, ΔmrsA causes significant attenuation of virulence in an immunocompromised murine model of aspergillosis. Collectively, our results show that the putative mitochondrial iron transporter MrsA plays important roles in azole- and oxidative-stress responses and virulence by regulating the balance of cellular iron in A. fumigatus. PMID:27433157

  15. Filamentous fungal-specific septin AspE is phosphorylated in vivo and interacts with actin, tubulin and other septins in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Juvvadi, Praveen Rao; Belina, Detti; Soderblom, Erik J.; Moseley, M. Arthur; Steinbach, William J.

    2013-02-15

    Highlights: ► In vivo interactions of the novel septin AspE were identified by GFP-Trap® affinity purification. ► Septins AspA, AspB, AspC and AspD interacted with AspE in vivo. ► Actin and tubulin interacted with AspE in vivo. ► AspE is phosphorylated at six serine residues in vivo. -- Abstract: We previously analyzed the differential localization patterns of five septins (AspA–E), including a filamentous fungal-specific septin, AspE, in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we utilized the A. fumigatus strain expressing an AspE–EGFP fusion protein and show that this novel septin with a tubular localization pattern in hyphae is phosphorylated in vivo and interacts with the other septins, AspA, AspB, AspC and AspD. The other major proteins interacting with AspE included the cytoskeletal proteins, actin and tubulin, which may be involved in the organization and transport of the septins. This is the first report analyzing the phosphorylation of AspE and localizing the sites of phosphorylation, and opens opportunities for further analysis on the role of post-translational modifications in the assembly and organization of A. fumigatus septins. This study also describes the previously unknown interaction of AspE with the actin-microtubule network. Furthermore, the novel GFP-Trap® affinity purification method used here complements widely-used GFP localization studies in fungal systems.

  16. ChIP-seq and In Vivo Transcriptome Analyses of the Aspergillus fumigatus SREBP SrbA Reveals a New Regulator of the Fungal Hypoxia Response and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Merriman, Brittney; Werner, Ernst R.; Lechner, Beatrix E.; Dhingra, Sourabh; Cheng, Chao; Xu, Wenjie; Blosser, Sara J.; Morohashi, Kengo; Mazurie, Aurélien; Mitchell, Thomas K.; Haas, Hubertus; Mitchell, Aaron P.; Cramer, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    The Aspergillus fumigatus sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) SrbA belongs to the basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) family of transcription factors and is crucial for antifungal drug resistance and virulence. The latter phenotype is especially striking, as loss of SrbA results in complete loss of virulence in murine models of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). How fungal SREBPs mediate fungal virulence is unknown, though it has been suggested that lack of growth in hypoxic conditions accounts for the attenuated virulence. To further understand the role of SrbA in fungal infection site pathobiology, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel DNA sequencing (ChIP-seq) was used to identify genes under direct SrbA transcriptional regulation in hypoxia. These results confirmed the direct regulation of ergosterol biosynthesis and iron uptake by SrbA in hypoxia and revealed new roles for SrbA in nitrate assimilation and heme biosynthesis. Moreover, functional characterization of an SrbA target gene with sequence similarity to SrbA identified a new transcriptional regulator of the fungal hypoxia response and virulence, SrbB. SrbB co-regulates genes involved in heme biosynthesis and demethylation of C4-sterols with SrbA in hypoxic conditions. However, SrbB also has regulatory functions independent of SrbA including regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. Loss of SrbB markedly attenuates A. fumigatus virulence, and loss of both SREBPs further reduces in vivo fungal growth. These data suggest that both A. fumigatus SREBPs are critical for hypoxia adaptation and virulence and reveal new insights into SREBPs' complex role in infection site adaptation and fungal virulence. PMID:25375670

  17. The Aspergillus fumigatus SchASCH9 kinase modulates SakAHOG1 MAP kinase activity and it is essential for virulence

    PubMed Central

    Alves de Castro, Patrícia; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Dolan, Stephen K.; Manfiolli, Adriana Oliveira; Brown, Neil Andrew; Jones, Gary W.; Doyle, Sean; Riaño-Pachón, Diego M.; Squina, Fábio Márcio; Caldana, Camila; Singh, Ashutosh; Del Poeta, Maurizio; Hagiwara, Daisuke; Silva-Rocha, Rafael; Goldman, Gustavo H.

    2016-01-01

    Summary The serine-threonine kinase TOR, the Target of Rapamycin, is an important regulator of nutrient, energy and stress signaling in eukaryotes. Sch9, a Ser/Thr kinase of AGC family (the cAMP-dependent PKA, cGMP- dependent protein kinase G and phospholipid-dependent protein kinase C family), is a substrate of TOR. Here, we characterized the fungal opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Sch9 homologue (SchA). The schA null mutant was sensitive to rapamycin, high concentrations of calcium, hyperosmotic stress and SchA was involved in iron metabolism. The ΔschA null mutant showed increased phosphorylation of SakA, the A. fumigatus Hog1 homologue. The schA null mutant has increased and decreased trehalose and glycerol accumulation, respectively, suggesting SchA performs different roles for glycerol and trehalose accumulation during osmotic stress. The schA was transcriptionally regulated by osmotic stress and this response was dependent on SakA and MpkC. The double ΔschA ΔsakA and ΔschA ΔmpkC mutants were more sensitive to osmotic stress than the corresponding parental strains. Transcriptomics and proteomics identified direct and indirect targets of SchA post-exposure to hyperosmotic stress. Finally, ΔschA was avirulent in a low dose murine infection model. Our results suggest there is a complex network of interactions amongst the A. fumigatus TOR, SakA and SchA pathways. PMID:27538790

  18. The three-dimensional structure of the cellobiohydrolase Cel7A from Aspergillus fumigatus at 1.5 Å resolution

    PubMed Central

    Moroz, Olga V.; Maranta, Michelle; Shaghasi, Tarana; Harris, Paul V.; Wilson, Keith S.; Davies, Gideon J.

    2015-01-01

    The enzymatic degradation of plant cell-wall cellulose is central to many industrial processes, including second-generation biofuel production. Key players in this deconstruction are the fungal cellobiohydrolases (CBHs), notably those from family GH7 of the carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZY) database, which are generally known as CBHI enzymes. Here, three-dimensional structures are reported of the Aspergillus fumigatus CBHI Cel7A solved in uncomplexed and disaccharide-bound forms at resolutions of 1.8 and 1.5 Å, respectively. The product complex with a disaccharide in the +1 and +2 subsites adds to the growing three-dimensional insight into this family of industrially relevant biocatalysts. PMID:25615982

  19. Application of ZnO Nanoparticles for Improving the Thermal and pH Stability of Crude Cellulase Obtained from Aspergillus fumigatus AA001.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Neha; Srivastava, Manish; Mishra, P K; Ramteke, Pramod W

    2016-01-01

    Cellulases are the enzymes which are responsible for the hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass. In this study thermal and pH stability of crude cellulase has been investigated in the presence of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles. We synthesized ZnO nanoparticle by sol-gel method and characterized through various techniques including, X-ray Diffraction, ultraviolet-visible spectroscope, field emission scanning electron microscope and high resolution scanning electron microscope. The crude thermostable cellulase has been obtained from the Aspergillus fumigatus AA001 and treated with ZnO nanoparticle which shows thermal stability at 65°C up to 10 h whereas it showed pH stability in the alkaline pH range and retained its 53% of relative activity at pH 10.5. These findings may be promising in the area of biofuels production.

  20. Evaluation of MIC Strip Isavuconazole Test for Susceptibility Testing of Wild-Type and Non-Wild-Type Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Verweij, Paul; Nielsen, Henrik Vedel

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT We evaluated the MIC Strip Isavuconazole test against EUCAST E.Def 9.3 by using 40 wild-type and 39 CYP51A mutant Aspergillus fumigatus strains. The strip full inhibition endpoint (FIE) and 80% growth inhibition endpoint were determined by two independent readers, reader 1 (R1) and R2. The essential (within ±0, ±1, and ±2 twofold dilutions) and categorical agreements were best with the FIE (for R1/R2, 42%/41%, 75%/73%, and 90%/89% for essential agreement, and 91.1%/92.4% categorical agreement, with 6.3/8.9% very major errors and 0/1.3% major errors, respectively). The MIC Strip Isavuconazole test with the FIE appears to be useful. PMID:27799223

  1. Visualization of Aspergillus fumigatus biofilms with Scanning Electron Microscopy and Variable Pressure-Scanning Electron Microscopy: A comparison of processing techniques.

    PubMed

    Joubert, Lydia-Marie; Ferreira, Jose Ag; Stevens, David A; Nazik, Hasan; Cegelski, Lynette

    2017-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus biofilms consist of a three-dimensional network of cellular hyphae and extracellular matrix. They are involved in infections of immune-compromised individuals, particularly those with cystic fibrosis. These structures are associated with persistence of infection, resistance to host immunity, and antimicrobial resistance. Thorough understanding of structure and function is imperative in the design of therapeutic drugs. Optimization of processing parameters, including aldehyde fixation, heavy metal contrasting, drying techniques and Ionic Liquid treatment, was undertaken for an ultrastructural approach to understand cellular and extracellular biofilm components. Conventional and Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscopy were applied to analyze the structure of biofilms attached to plastic and formed at an air-liquid interface.

  2. Application of ZnO Nanoparticles for Improving the Thermal and pH Stability of Crude Cellulase Obtained from Aspergillus fumigatus AA001

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, Neha; Srivastava, Manish; Mishra, P. K.; Ramteke, Pramod W.

    2016-01-01

    Cellulases are the enzymes which are responsible for the hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass. In this study thermal and pH stability of crude cellulase has been investigated in the presence of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles. We synthesized ZnO nanoparticle by sol-gel method and characterized through various techniques including, X-ray Diffraction, ultraviolet-visible spectroscope, field emission scanning electron microscope and high resolution scanning electron microscope. The crude thermostable cellulase has been obtained from the Aspergillus fumigatus AA001 and treated with ZnO nanoparticle which shows thermal stability at 65°C up to 10 h whereas it showed pH stability in the alkaline pH range and retained its 53% of relative activity at pH 10.5. These findings may be promising in the area of biofuels production. PMID:27148203

  3. (1)H, (13)C and (15)N resonance assignments of the RodA hydrophobin from the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Pille, Ariane; Kwan, Ann H; Cheung, Ivan; Hampsey, Matthew; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Delepierre, Muriel; Latge, Jean-Paul; Sunde, Margaret; Guijarro, J Iñaki

    2015-04-01

    Hydrophobins are fungal proteins characterised by their amphipathic properties and an idiosyncratic pattern of eight cysteine residues involved in four disulphide bridges. The soluble form of these proteins spontaneously self-assembles at hydrophobic/hydrophilic interfaces to form an amphipathic monolayer. The RodA hydrophobin of the opportunistic pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus forms an amyloid layer with a rodlet morphology that covers the surface of fungal spores. This rodlet layer bestows hydrophobicity to the spores facilitating their dispersal in the air and rendering the conidia inert relative to the human immune system. As a first step in the analysis of the solution structure and self-association of RodA, we report the (1)H, (13)C and (15)N resonance assignments of the soluble monomeric form of RodA.

  4. Lah is a transmembrane protein and requires Spa10 for stable positioning of Woronin bodies at the septal pore of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Leonhardt, Yannik; Carina Kakoschke, Sara; Wagener, Johannes; Ebel, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Woronin bodies are specialized, fungal-specific organelles that enable an immediate closure of septal pores after injury to protect hyphae from excessive cytoplasmic bleeding. In most Ascomycetes, Woronin bodies are tethered at the septal pore by so-called Lah proteins. Using the pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus as a model organism, we show that the C-terminal 288 amino acids of Lah (LahC288) bind to the rim of the septal pore. LahC288 essentially consists of a membrane spanning region and a putative extracellular domain, which are both required for the targeting to the septum. In an A. fumigatus rho4 deletion mutant that has a severe defect in septum formation, LahC288 is recruited to spot-like structures in or at the lateral membrane. This suggests that LahC is recruited before Rho4 starts to govern the septation process. Accordingly, we found that in wild type hyphae Lah is bound before a cross-wall emerges and thus enables a tethering of Woronin bodies at the site of the newly formed septum. Finally, we identified Spa10, a member of a recently described family of septal pore-associated proteins, as a first protein that directly or indirectly interacts with LahC to allow a stable positioning of Woronin bodies at the mature septum. PMID:28281662

  5. [Production and standardization of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, Histoplasma capsulatum and Aspergillus fumigatus antigens to be used in immunodiagnosis. Comparison between immunodiffusion and immunoelectrophoresis].

    PubMed

    Ferreira-da-Cruz, M F; Galvão-Castro, B; Wanke, B

    1985-01-01

    Soluble antigens (Ag) from Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, Histoplasma capsulatum and Aspergillus fumigatus were prepared and standardized by double immunodiffusion (DID) and immunoelectroosmophoresis (IEOP). No difference in sensitivity was observed between the two techniques; 100% of standard patient sera were positive with P. brasiliensis and A. fumigatus Ag and 83.3% were positive with H. capsulatum Ag. The specificity of the tests was verified testing 96 sera from patients with paracoccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, systemic candidiasis, sporotrichosis, tuberculosis, lung cancer, visceral or cutaneous leishmaniasis and 18 sera from healthy individuals. All the three antigens were 100% specific with the DID (using the identification pattern indicated by the confluence of test serum with standard serum precipitin lines as a positive criterium). However in the IEOP, the specificity varied with each Ag. Positive reactions with P. brasiliensis Ag were observed in 16.7% of histoplasmosis sera and in 10% of cutaneous leishmaniasis sera. On the other hand 31.8% of paracoccidioidomycosis and 10% of cutaneous leishmaniasis sera reacted with H. capsulatum Ag. The high sensitivity and specificity of the DID test, its easy reproducibility and low cost, led us to consider it highly appropriate as a routine procedure for the screening of patients with respiratory infections.

  6. Krüppel-like Factor 4 modulates interleukin-6 release in human dendritic cells after in vitro stimulation with Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Czakai, Kristin; Leonhardt, Ines; Dix, Andreas; Bonin, Michael; Linde, Joerg; Einsele, Hermann; Kurzai, Oliver; Loeffler, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Invasive fungal infections are associated with high mortality rates and are mostly caused by the opportunistic fungi Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans. Immune responses against these fungi are still not fully understood. Dendritic cells (DCs) are crucial players in initiating innate and adaptive immune responses against fungal infections. The immunomodulatory effects of fungi were compared to the bacterial stimulus LPS to determine key players in the immune response to fungal infections. A genome wide study of the gene regulation of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) confronted with A. fumigatus, C. albicans or LPS was performed and Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) was identified as the only transcription factor that was down-regulated in DCs by both fungi but induced by stimulation with LPS. Downstream analysis demonstrated the influence of KLF4 on the interleukine-6 expression in human DCs. Furthermore, KLF4 regulation was shown to be dependent on pattern recognition receptor ligation. Therefore KLF4 was identified as a controlling element in the IL-6 immune response with a unique expression pattern comparing fungal and LPS stimulation. PMID:27346433

  7. Modelling the Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on Raw Portioned Tomatoes, Inoculated with Aspergillus fumigatus and Emericella nidulans

    PubMed Central

    Cardillo, Daniela; Bevilacqua, Antonio; Cibelli, Francesca; Altieri, Clelia; Sinigaglia, Milena

    2009-01-01

    The metabiotic interactions occurring among two fungi (Aspergillus fumigatus and Emericella nidulans) and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on raw portioned tomatoes were studied. Tomatoes, preinoculated with the moulds and inoculated with the pathogen, were packaged in air and stored at 4, 8 and 12∘C for 9 days; pathogen cell number and pH were monitored throughout the storage and the data were modeled using three different equations (Geeraerd, Weibull, and modified Weibull), to assess the shoulder length, the 1-log reduction time, and the death time. Both A. fumigatus and E. nidulans increased the survival of E. coli O157:H7 through the prolongation of the shoulder length; in contrast, the death time was significantly increased. The results of this paper suggested that the metabiotic interactions aspergilli/E. coli O 157:H7 could be of public concern, as the consumption of tomatoes (or other fruits and vegetables) contaminated both by the moulds and the pathogen is a possible scenario. PMID:20037729

  8. Epigenetic modifier induced enhancement of fumiquinazoline C production in Aspergillus fumigatus (GA-L7): an endophytic fungus from Grewia asiatica L.

    PubMed

    Magotra, Ankita; Kumar, Manjeet; Kushwaha, Manoj; Awasthi, Praveen; Raina, Chand; Gupta, Ajai Prakash; Shah, Bhahwal A; Gandhi, Sumit G; Chaubey, Asha

    2017-12-01

    Present study relates to the effect of valproic acid, an epigenetic modifier on the metabolic profile of Aspergillus fumigatus (GA-L7), an endophytic fungus isolated from Grewia asiatica L. Seven secondary metabolites were isolated from A. fumigatus (GA-L7) which were identified as: pseurotin A, pseurotin D, pseurotin F2, fumagillin, tryprostatin C, gliotoxin and bis(methylthio)gliotoxin. Addition of valproic acid in the growth medium resulted in the alteration of secondary metabolic profile with an enhanced production of a metabolite, fumiquinazoline C by tenfolds. In order to assess the effect of valproic acid on the biosynthetic pathway of fumiquinazoline C, we studied the expression of the genes involved in its biosynthesis, both in the valproic acid treated and untreated control culture. The results revealed that all the genes i.e. Afua_6g 12040, Afua_6g 12050, Afua_6g 12060, Afua_6g 12070 and Afua_6g 12080, involved in the biosynthesis of fumiquinazoline C were overexpressed significantly by 7.5, 8.8, 3.4, 5.6 and 2.1 folds respectively, resulting in overall enhancement of fumiquinazoline C production by about tenfolds.

  9. Sensitisation of an Azole-Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus Strain containing the Cyp51A-Related Mutation by Deleting the SrbA Gene

    PubMed Central

    Hagiwara, Daisuke; Watanabe, Akira; Kamei, Katsuhiko

    2016-01-01

    Azoles are widely used for controlling fungal growth in both agricultural and medical settings. The target protein of azoles is CYP51, a lanosterol 14-α-demethylase involved in the biosynthesis of ergosterol. Recently, a novel azole resistance mechanism has arisen in pathogenic fungal species Aspergillus fumigatus. Resistant strains contain a 34-bp or 46-bp tandem repeat (TR) in the promoter of cyp51A, and have disseminated globally in a short period of time. In this study, we investigated whether an azole-resistant strain with a 46-bp TR (TR46/Y121F/T289A) could be sensitised to azoles by deletion of srbA, encoding a direct regulator of cyp51A. The loss of SrbA did not affect colony growth or conidia production, but decreased expression of cyp51A. The srbA deletion strain showed hyper-susceptibility to medical azoles as well as azole fungicides, while its sensitivity to non-azole fungicides was unchanged. This is the first demonstration that deletion of a regulator of cyp51A can sensitise an azole-resistant A. fumigatus strain. This finding may assist in the development of new drugs to help combat life-threatening azole-resistant fungal pathogens. PMID:27934927

  10. Mutations in the Cyp51A gene and susceptibility to itraconazole in Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from avian farms in France and China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong Ying; Gricourt, Marine; Arné, Pascal; Thierry, Simon; Seguin, Dominique; Chermette, René; Huang, Wei Yi; Dannaoui, Eric; Botterel, Françoise; Guillot, Jacques

    2014-01-01

    Azole resistance in the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is an emerging problem and may develop during azole therapy in humans and animals or exposure to azole fungicides in the environment. To assess the potential risk of azole-resistance emergence in avian farms where azole compounds are used for the control of avian mycoses, we conducted a drug susceptibility study including A. fumigatus isolates from birds and avian farms in France and Southern China. A total number of 175 isolates were analyzed: 57 isolates were collected in France in avian farms where chemoprophylaxis with parconazole was performed; 51 isolates were collected in southern China in avian farms where no chemoprophylaxis was performed; and 67 additional isolates came from the collection of a mycology laboratory. No resistant isolate was detected, and the distribution of minimum inhibitory concentrations was similar for isolates collected in farms with or without azole chemoprophylaxis. For 61 randomly selected isolates, the full coding sequence of the Cyp51A gene was determined to detect mutations. Nine amino acid alterations were found in the target enzyme, 3 of which were new.

  11. Binding of live conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus activates in vitro-generated human Langerhans cells via a lectin of galactomannan specificity

    PubMed Central

    PERSAT, F; NOIREY, N; DIANA, J; GARIAZZO, M-J; SCHMITT, D; PICOT, S; VINCENT, C

    2003-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common aetiological fungus responsible for human pulmonary aspergilloses. This study investigated the primary contact between Langerhans cells (LC), corresponding to dendritic cells present in pulmonary mucosa and live conidia of A. fumigatus. LC play a key role in antigen presentation for initiation of the primary T cell response. In vitro-generated LC (iLC) were differentiated from cultured human cord blood CD34+ cells and incubated at 4°C or 37°C with fluorescein-isothiocyanate (FITC)-stained conidia or control latex beads. In vitro, conidia were shown by microscopy and cytometry to adhere to iLC in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This adhesion was not limited to iLC because interstitial dendritic and other cells also fluoresced in the presence of conidia-FITC. A lectin other than mannose receptor-type lectin was demonstrated to be responsible of conidial binding. Inhibition of binding was observed with heterologous galactomannan and EDTA, indicating a C-lectin-like receptor with galactomannan structure specificity. After binding only a few conidia were internalized in acidic vesicles, as indicated by the cessation of conidial fluorescence. Conidial binding was followed by activation and maturation of iLC, suggesting that LC present in the lung may play a role in cellular host defence against aspergilloses. PMID:12930363

  12. SCF Ubiquitin Ligase F-box Protein Fbx15 Controls Nuclear Co-repressor Localization, Stress Response and Virulence of the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Jöhnk, Bastian; Bayram, Özgür; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Mattern, Derek J.; Brakhage, Axel A.; Jacobsen, Ilse D.; Valerius, Oliver; Braus, Gerhard H.

    2016-01-01

    F-box proteins share the F-box domain to connect substrates of E3 SCF ubiquitin RING ligases through the adaptor Skp1/A to Cul1/A scaffolds. F-box protein Fbx15 is part of the general stress response of the human pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus. Oxidative stress induces a transient peak of fbx15 expression, resulting in 3x elevated Fbx15 protein levels. During non-stress conditions Fbx15 is phosphorylated and F-box mediated interaction with SkpA preferentially happens in smaller subpopulations in the cytoplasm. The F-box of Fbx15 is required for an appropriate oxidative stress response, which results in rapid dephosphorylation of Fbx15 and a shift of the cellular interaction with SkpA to the nucleus. Fbx15 binds SsnF/Ssn6 as part of the RcoA/Tup1-SsnF/Ssn6 co-repressor and is required for its correct nuclear localization. Dephosphorylated Fbx15 prevents SsnF/Ssn6 nuclear localization and results in the derepression of gliotoxin gene expression. fbx15 deletion mutants are unable to infect immunocompromised mice in a model for invasive aspergillosis. Fbx15 has a novel dual molecular function by controlling transcriptional repression and being part of SCF E3 ubiquitin ligases, which is essential for stress response, gliotoxin production and virulence in the opportunistic human pathogen A. fumigatus. PMID:27649508

  13. Aspergillus fumigatus MADS-Box Transcription Factor rlmA Is Required for Regulation of the Cell Wall Integrity and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Marina Campos; Fabri, João Henrique Tadini Marilhano; Franco de Godoy, Krissia; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Hori, Juliana Issa; Ferreira da Cunha, Anderson; Arentshorst, Mark; Ram, Arthur F. J.; van den Hondel, Cees A. M. J. J.; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique; Malavazi, Iran

    2016-01-01

    The Cell Wall Integrity (CWI) pathway is the primary signaling cascade that controls the de novo synthesis of the fungal cell wall, and in Saccharomyces cerevisiae this event is highly dependent on the RLM1 transcription factor. Here, we investigated the function of RlmA in the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. We show that the ΔrlmA strain exhibits an altered cell wall organization in addition to defects related to vegetative growth and tolerance to cell wall-perturbing agents. A genetic analysis indicated that rlmA is positioned downstream of the pkcA and mpkA genes in the CWI pathway. As a consequence, rlmA loss-of-function leads to the altered expression of genes encoding cell wall-related proteins. RlmA positively regulates the phosphorylation of MpkA and is induced at both protein and transcriptional levels during cell wall stress. The rlmA was also involved in tolerance to oxidative damage and transcriptional regulation of genes related to oxidative stress adaptation. Moreover, the ΔrlmA strain had attenuated virulence in a neutropenic murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Our results suggest that RlmA functions as a transcription factor in the A. fumigatus CWI pathway, acting downstream of PkcA-MpkA signaling and contributing to the virulence of this fungus. PMID:27473315

  14. The MAP kinase MpkA controls cell wall integrity, oxidative stress response, gliotoxin production and iron adaptation in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Jain, Radhika; Valiante, Vito; Remme, Nicole; Docimo, Teresa; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Hertweck, Christian; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Haas, Hubertus; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-10-01

    The saprophytic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen. The cell wall of A. fumigatus has been studied intensively as a potential target for development of effective antifungal agents. A major role in maintaining cell wall integrity is played by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) MpkA. To gain a comprehensive insight into this central signal transduction pathway, we performed a transcriptome analysis of the ΔmpkA mutant under standard and cell wall stress conditions. Besides genes involved in cell wall remodelling, protection against ROS and secondary metabolism such as gliotoxin, pyomelanin and pseurotin A, also genes involved in siderophore biosynthesis were regulated by MpkA. Consistently, northern and western blot analyses indicated that iron starvation triggers phosphorylation and thus activation of MpkA. Furthermore, localization studies indicated that MpkA accumulates in the nucleus under iron depletion. Hence, we report the first connection between a MAPK pathway and siderophore biosynthesis. The measurement of amino acid pools and of the pools of polyamines indicated that arginine was continuously converted into ornithine to fuel the siderophore pool in the ΔmpkA mutant strain. Based on our data, we propose that MpkA fine-tunes the balance between stress response and energy consuming cellular processes.

  15. Crystal Structures and Small-angle X-ray Scattering Analysis of UDP-galactopyranose Mutase from the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Dhatwalia, Richa; Singh, Harkewal; Oppenheimer, Michelle; Karr, Dale B.; Nix, Jay C.; Sobrado, Pablo; Tanner, John J.

    2015-10-15

    UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM) is a flavoenzyme that catalyzes the conversion of UDP-galactopyranose to UDP-galactofuranose, which is a central reaction in galactofuranose biosynthesis. Galactofuranose has never been found in humans but is an essential building block of the cell wall and extracellular matrix of many bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. The importance of UGM for the viability of many pathogens and its absence in humans make UGM a potential drug target. Here we report the first crystal structures and small-angle x-ray scattering data for UGM from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, the causative agent of aspergillosis. The structures reveal that Aspergillus UGM has several extra secondary and tertiary structural elements that are not found in bacterial UGMs yet are important for substrate recognition and oligomerization. Small-angle x-ray scattering data show that Aspergillus UGM forms a tetramer in solution, which is unprecedented for UGMs. The binding of UDP or the substrate induces profound conformational changes in the enzyme. Two loops on opposite sides of the active site move toward each other by over 10 {angstrom} to cover the substrate and create a closed active site. The degree of substrate-induced conformational change exceeds that of bacterial UGMs and is a direct consequence of the unique quaternary structure of Aspergillus UGM. Galactopyranose binds at the re face of the FAD isoalloxazine with the anomeric carbon atom poised for nucleophilic attack by the FAD N5 atom. The structural data provide new insight into substrate recognition and the catalytic mechanism and thus will aid inhibitor design.

  16. Proteomic analyses reveal the key roles of BrlA and AbaA in biogenesis of gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, Kwang-Soo; Kim, Young Hwan; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2015-07-31

    The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus primarily reproduces by forming a large number of asexual spores (conidia). Sequential activation of the central regulators BrlA, AbaA and WetA is necessary for the fungus to undergo asexual development. In this study, to address the presumed roles of these key developmental regulators during proliferation of the fungus, we analyzed and compared the proteomes of vegetative cells of wild type (WT) and individual mutant strains. Approximately 1300 protein spots were detectable from 2-D electrophoresis gels. Among these, 13 proteins exhibiting significantly altered accumulation levels were further identified by ESI-MS/MS. Markedly, we found that the GliM and GliT proteins associated with gliotoxin (GT) biosynthesis and self-protection of the fungus from GT were significantly down-regulated in the ΔabaA and ΔbrlA mutants. Moreover, mRNA levels of other GT biosynthetic genes including gliM, gliP, gliT, and gliZ were significantly reduced in both mutant strains, and no and low levels of GT were detectable in the ΔbrlA and ΔabaA mutant strains, respectively. As GliT is required for the protection of the fungus from GT, growth of the ΔbrlA mutant with reduced levels of GliT was severely impaired by exogenous GT. Our studies demonstrate that AbaA and BrlA positively regulate expression of the GT biosynthetic gene cluster in actively growing vegetative cells, and likely bridge morphological and chemical development during the life-cycle of A. fumigatus. - Highlights: • Proteome analyses of WT and mutants reveal 13 differentially expressed proteins. • The GliT and GliM proteins are significantly down-regulated by ΔabaA and ΔbrlA. • Expression of other gliotoxin biosynthetic genes is lowered by ΔabaA and ΔbrlA. • Growth of ΔbrlA strain lacking GliT is completely inhibited by exogenous gliotoxin. • BrlA and AbaA play key roles in biogenesis of gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus.

  17. Clonal Expansion and Emergence of Environmental Multiple-Triazole-Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus Strains Carrying the TR34/L98H Mutations in the cyp51A Gene in India

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhary, Anuradha; Kathuria, Shallu; Xu, Jianping; Sharma, Cheshta; Sundar, Gandhi; Singh, Pradeep Kumar; Gaur, Shailendra N.; Hagen, Ferry; Klaassen, Corné H.; Meis, Jacques F.

    2012-01-01

    Azole resistance is an emerging problem in Aspergillus which impacts the management of aspergillosis. Here in we report the emergence and clonal spread of resistance to triazoles in environmental Aspergillus fumigatus isolates in India. A total of 44 (7%) A. fumigatus isolates from 24 environmental samples were found to be triazole resistant. The isolation rate of resistant A. fumigatus was highest (33%) from soil of tea gardens followed by soil from flower pots of the hospital garden (20%), soil beneath cotton trees (20%), rice paddy fields (12.3%), air samples of hospital wards (7.6%) and from soil admixed with bird droppings (3.8%). These strains showed cross-resistance to voriconazole, posaconazole, itraconazole and to six triazole fungicides used extensively in agriculture. Our analyses identified that all triazole-resistant strains from India shared the same TR34/L98H mutation in the cyp51 gene. In contrast to the genetic uniformity of azole-resistant strains the azole-susceptible isolates from patients and environments in India were genetically very diverse. All nine loci were highly polymorphic in populations of azole-susceptible isolates from both clinical and environmental samples. Furthermore, all Indian environmental and clinical azole resistant isolates shared the same multilocus microsatellite genotype not found in any other analyzed samples, either from within India or from the Netherlands, France, Germany or China. Our population genetic analyses suggest that the Indian azole-resistant A. fumigatus genotype was likely an extremely adaptive recombinant progeny derived from a cross between an azole-resistant strain migrated from outside of India and a native azole-susceptible strain from within India, followed by mutation and then rapid dispersal through many parts of India. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that exposure of A. fumigatus to azole fungicides in the environment causes cross-resistance to medical triazoles. The study

  18. High prevalence of clinical and environmental triazole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus in Iran: is it a challenging issue?

    PubMed

    Nabili, Mojtaba; Shokohi, Tahereh; Moazeni, Maryam; Khodavaisy, Sadegh; Aliyali, Masoud; Badiee, Parisa; Zarrinfar, Hossein; Hagen, Ferry; Badali, Hamid

    2016-06-01

    Triazole antifungal agents are the mainstay of aspergillosis treatment. As highlighted in numerous studies, the global increase in the prevalence of triazole resistance could hamper the management of aspergillosis. In the present three-year study, 513 samples (213 clinical and 300 environmental samples) from 10 provinces of Iran were processed and screened in terms of azole resistance (4 and 1 mg l-1 of itraconazole and voriconazole, respectively), using selective plates. Overall, 150 A. fumigatus isolates (71 clinical and 79 environmental isolates) were detected. The isolates were confirmed by partial sequencing of the β-tubulin gene. Afterwards, in vitro antifungal susceptibility tests against triazole agents were performed, based on the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) M38-A2 document. The CYP51A gene was sequenced in order to detect mutations. The MIC of itraconazole against 10 (6.6 %) strains, including clinical (n=3, 4.2 %) and environmental (n=7, 8.8 %) strains, was higher than the breakpoint and epidemiological cut-off value. Based on the findings, the prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus in Iran has increased remarkablyfrom 3.3 % to 6.6 % in comparison with earlier epidemiological research. Among resistant isolates, TR34/L98H mutations in the CYP51A gene were the most prevalent (n=8, 80 %), whereas other point mutations (F46Y, G54W, Y121F, G138C, M172V, F219C, M220I, D255E, T289F, G432C and G448S mutations) were not detected. Although the number of patients affected by azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates was limited, strict supervision of clinical azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates and persistent environmental screening of azole resistance are vital to the development of approaches for the management of azole resistance in human pathogenic fungi.

  19. Cell wall protein and glycoprotein constituents of Aspergillus fumigatus that bind to polystyrene may be responsible for the cell surface hydrophobicity of the mycelium.

    PubMed

    Peñalver, M C; Casanova, M; Martínez, J P; Gil, M L

    1996-07-01

    Cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) of Aspergillus fumigatus grown both in complex medium (yeast extract/peptone/dextrose; YPD) and minimal (Vogel's N) medium was monitored by assessing attachment of polystyrene microspheres to the cell surface. It was found that mature mycelium was hydrophobic. Treatment of intact mycelium with beta-mercaptoethanol (beta ME) abolished binding of the microspheres to hyphal elements, and coating of the microspheres with beta ME extracts from mycelium inhibited their attachment to intact mycelial cells. A. fumigatus mycelium was tagged in vivo with biotin and treated with beta ME. The beta ME extracts were analysed by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting with both peroxidase-conjugated-ExtrAvidin and concanavalin A (ConA). This procedure allowed identification of cell wall surface proteins and glycoproteins. Rabbit polyclonal antisera were raised against beta ME extracts obtained from cells grown in YPD and Vogel's N media. These antisera defined some major cell-wall-bound antigens. SDS-PAGE and Western blotting analysis of the cell wall material released by beta ME and adsorbed on polystyrene microspheres revealed about 19 protein species with apparent molecular masses ranging from 20 to 70 kDa, and two high-molecular-mass glycoproteins of 115 and 210 kDa. Treatment of cells grown in YPD, but not those grown in Vogel's N medium, with beta ME released a 55 kDa polypeptide able to adsorb to polystyrene microspheres that was detectable with the antisera. The ability to bind to polystyrene particles exhibited by several protein and glycoprotein species released by beta ME treatment suggested that these cell wall moieties possess exposed hydrophobic domains that could be responsible for the CSH of mycelium.

  20. The Paradoxical Effect of Echinocandins in Aspergillus fumigatus Relies on Recovery of the β-1,3-Glucan Synthase Fks1.

    PubMed

    Loiko, Veronika; Wagener, Johannes

    2017-02-01

    Echinocandins target the fungal cell wall by inhibiting biosynthesis of the cell wall carbohydrate β-1,3-glucan. This antifungal drug class exhibits a paradoxical effect that is characterized by the resumption of growth of otherwise susceptible strains at higher drug concentrations (approximately 4 to 32 μg/ml). The nature of this phenomenon is still unknown. In this study, we analyzed the paradoxical effect of the echinocandin caspofungin on the pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus Using a conditional fks1 mutant, we show that very high caspofungin concentrations exert an additional antifungal activity besides inhibition of the β-1,3-glucan synthase. This activity could explain the suppression of paradoxical growth at very high caspofungin concentrations. Additionally, we found that exposure to inhibitory caspofungin concentrations always causes initial growth deprivation independently of the capability of the drug concentration to induce the paradoxical effect. Paradoxically growing hyphae emerge from microcolonies essentially devoid of β-1,3-glucan. However, these hyphae expose β-1,3-glucan again, suggesting that β-1,3-glucan synthesis is restored. In agreement with this hypothesis, we found that expression of the β-1,3-glucan synthase Fks1 is an essential requirement for the paradoxical effect. Surprisingly, overexpression of fks1 renders A. fumigatus more susceptible, whereas reduced expression leads to hyphae that are more resistant to the growth-inhibitory and limited fungicidal activity of caspofungin. Upregulation of chitin synthesis appears to be of minor importance for the paradoxical effect, since paradoxically growing hyphae exhibit significantly less chitin than the growth-deprived parental microcolonies. Our results argue for a model where the paradoxical effect primarily relies on recovery of β-1,3-glucan synthase activity.

  1. Proteomic analyses reveal the key roles of BrlA and AbaA in biogenesis of gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Shin, Kwang-Soo; Kim, Young Hwan; Yu, Jae-Hyuk

    2015-07-31

    The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus primarily reproduces by forming a large number of asexual spores (conidia). Sequential activation of the central regulators BrlA, AbaA and WetA is necessary for the fungus to undergo asexual development. In this study, to address the presumed roles of these key developmental regulators during proliferation of the fungus, we analyzed and compared the proteomes of vegetative cells of wild type (WT) and individual mutant strains. Approximately 1300 protein spots were detectable from 2-D electrophoresis gels. Among these, 13 proteins exhibiting significantly altered accumulation levels were further identified by ESI-MS/MS. Markedly, we found that the GliM and GliT proteins associated with gliotoxin (GT) biosynthesis and self-protection of the fungus from GT were significantly down-regulated in the ΔabaA and ΔbrlA mutants. Moreover, mRNA levels of other GT biosynthetic genes including gliM, gliP, gliT, and gliZ were significantly reduced in both mutant strains, and no and low levels of GT were detectable in the ΔbrlA and ΔabaA mutant strains, respectively. As GliT is required for the protection of the fungus from GT, growth of the ΔbrlA mutant with reduced levels of GliT was severely impaired by exogenous GT. Our studies demonstrate that AbaA and BrlA positively regulate expression of the GT biosynthetic gene cluster in actively growing vegetative cells, and likely bridge morphological and chemical development during the life-cycle of A. fumigatus.

  2. Dephosphorylation of the Core Septin, AspB, in a Protein Phosphatase 2A-Dependent Manner Impacts Its Localization and Function in the Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Vargas-Muñiz, José M; Renshaw, Hilary; Richards, Amber D; Waitt, Greg; Soderblom, Erik J; Moseley, Martin A; Asfaw, Yohannes; Juvvadi, Praveen R; Steinbach, William J

    2016-01-01

    Septins are a conserved family of GTPases that form hetero-oligomeric complexes and perform diverse functions in higher eukaryotes, excluding plants. Our previous studies in the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus revealed that the core septin, AspB, a CDC3 ortholog, is required for septation, conidiation, and conidial cell wall organization. Although AspB is important for these cellular functions, nothing is known about the role of kinases or phosphatases in the posttranslational regulation and localization of septins in A. fumigatus. In this study, we assessed the function of the Gin4 and Cla4 kinases and the PP2A regulatory subunit ParA, in the regulation of AspB using genetic and phosphoproteomic approaches. Gene deletion analyses revealed that Cla4 and ParA are indispensable for hyphal extension, and Gin4, Cla4, and ParA are each required for conidiation and normal septation. While deletion of gin4 resulted in larger interseptal distances and hypervirulence, a phenotype mimicking aspB deletion, deletion of cla4 and parA caused hyperseptation without impacting virulence, indicating divergent roles in regulating septation. Phosphoproteomic analyses revealed that AspB is phosphorylated at five residues in the GTPase domain (S134, S137, S247, T297, and T301) and two residues at its C-terminus (S416 and S461) in the wild-type, Δgin4 and Δcla4 strains. However, concomitant with the differential localization pattern of AspB and hyperseptation in the ΔparA strain, AspB remained phosphorylated at two additional residues, T68 in the N-terminal polybasic region and S447 in the coiled-coil domain. Generation of nonphosphorylatable and phosphomimetic strains surrounding each differentially phosphorylated residue revealed that only AspB (mt) -T68E showed increased interseptal distances, suggesting that dephosphorylation of T68 is important for proper septation. This study highlights the importance of septin phosphorylation/dephosphorylation in the regulation of A

  3. HacA-Independent Functions of the ER Stress Sensor IreA Synergize with the Canonical UPR to Influence Virulence Traits in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Richie, Daryl L.; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Hartl, Lukas; Grahl, Nora; Powers-Fletcher, Margaret V.; Zhang, Minlu; Fuller, Kevin K.; Nierman, William C.; Lu, Long Jason; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Woollett, Laura; Newman, Simon L.; Cramer, Robert A.; Rhodes, Judith C.; Askew, David S.

    2011-01-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a condition in which the protein folding capacity of the ER becomes overwhelmed by an increased demand for secretion or by exposure to compounds that disrupt ER homeostasis. In yeast and other fungi, the accumulation of unfolded proteins is detected by the ER-transmembrane sensor IreA/Ire1, which responds by cleaving an intron from the downstream cytoplasmic mRNA HacA/Hac1, allowing for the translation of a transcription factor that coordinates a series of adaptive responses that are collectively known as the unfolded protein response (UPR). Here, we examined the contribution of IreA to growth and virulence in the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Gene expression profiling revealed that A. fumigatus IreA signals predominantly through the canonical IreA-HacA pathway under conditions of severe ER stress. However, in the absence of ER stress IreA controls dual signaling circuits that are both HacA-dependent and HacA-independent. We found that a ΔireA mutant was avirulent in a mouse model of invasive aspergillosis, which contrasts the partial virulence of a ΔhacA mutant, suggesting that IreA contributes to pathogenesis independently of HacA. In support of this conclusion, we found that the ΔireA mutant had more severe defects in the expression of multiple virulence-related traits relative to ΔhacA, including reduced thermotolerance, decreased nutritional versatility, impaired growth under hypoxia, altered cell wall and membrane composition, and increased susceptibility to azole antifungals. In addition, full or partial virulence could be restored to the ΔireA mutant by complementation with either the induced form of the hacA mRNA, hacAi, or an ireA deletion mutant that was incapable of processing the hacA mRNA, ireAΔ10. Together, these findings demonstrate that IreA has both HacA-dependent and HacA-independent functions that contribute to the expression of traits that are essential for virulence in A. fumigatus

  4. Dephosphorylation of the Core Septin, AspB, in a Protein Phosphatase 2A-Dependent Manner Impacts Its Localization and Function in the Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Vargas-Muñiz, José M.; Renshaw, Hilary; Richards, Amber D.; Waitt, Greg; Soderblom, Erik J.; Moseley, Martin. A.; Asfaw, Yohannes; Juvvadi, Praveen R.; Steinbach, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Septins are a conserved family of GTPases that form hetero–oligomeric complexes and perform diverse functions in higher eukaryotes, excluding plants. Our previous studies in the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus revealed that the core septin, AspB, a CDC3 ortholog, is required for septation, conidiation, and conidial cell wall organization. Although AspB is important for these cellular functions, nothing is known about the role of kinases or phosphatases in the posttranslational regulation and localization of septins in A. fumigatus. In this study, we assessed the function of the Gin4 and Cla4 kinases and the PP2A regulatory subunit ParA, in the regulation of AspB using genetic and phosphoproteomic approaches. Gene deletion analyses revealed that Cla4 and ParA are indispensable for hyphal extension, and Gin4, Cla4, and ParA are each required for conidiation and normal septation. While deletion of gin4 resulted in larger interseptal distances and hypervirulence, a phenotype mimicking aspB deletion, deletion of cla4 and parA caused hyperseptation without impacting virulence, indicating divergent roles in regulating septation. Phosphoproteomic analyses revealed that AspB is phosphorylated at five residues in the GTPase domain (S134, S137, S247, T297, and T301) and two residues at its C-terminus (S416 and S461) in the wild-type, Δgin4 and Δcla4 strains. However, concomitant with the differential localization pattern of AspB and hyperseptation in the ΔparA strain, AspB remained phosphorylated at two additional residues, T68 in the N-terminal polybasic region and S447 in the coiled-coil domain. Generation of nonphosphorylatable and phosphomimetic strains surrounding each differentially phosphorylated residue revealed that only AspBmt-T68E showed increased interseptal distances, suggesting that dephosphorylation of T68 is important for proper septation. This study highlights the importance of septin phosphorylation/dephosphorylation in the regulation of A

  5. Time-Kill Kinetics and In Vitro Antifungal Susceptibility of Non-fumigatus Aspergillus Species Isolated from Patients with Ocular Mycoses.

    PubMed

    Öz, Yasemin; Özdemir, Havva Gül; Gökbolat, Egemen; Kiraz, Nuri; Ilkit, Macit; Seyedmousavi, Seyedmojtaba

    2016-04-01

    Aspergillus species can cause ocular morbidity and blindness, and thus, appropriate antifungal therapy is needed. We investigated the in vitro activity of itraconazole, voriconazole, posaconazole, caspofungin, anidulafungin, and amphotericin B against 14 Aspergillus isolates obtained from patients with ocular mycoses, using the CLSI reference broth microdilution methodology. In addition, time-kill assays were performed, exposing each isolate separately to 1-, 4-, and 16-fold concentrations above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of each antifungal agent. A sigmoid maximum-effect (E max) model was used to fit the time-kill curve data. The drug effect was further evaluated by measuring an increase/decrease in the killing rate of the tested isolates. The MICs of amphotericin B, itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole were 0.5-1.0, 1.0, 0.5-1.0, and 0.25 µg/ml for A. brasiliensis, A. niger, and A. tubingensis isolates, respectively, and 2.0-4.0, 0.5, 1.0 for A. flavus, and 0.12-0.25 µg/ml for A. nomius isolates, respectively. A. calidoustus had the highest MIC range for the azoles (4.0-16.0 µg/ml) among all isolates tested. The minimum effective concentrations of caspofungin and anidulafungin were ≤0.03-0.5 µg/ml and ≤0.03 µg/ml for all isolates, respectively. Posaconazole demonstrated maximal killing rates (E(max) = 0.63 h(-1), r(2) = 0.71) against 14 ocular Aspergillus isolates, followed by amphotericin B (E(max) = 0.39 h(-1), r(2) = 0.87), voriconazole (E(max) = 0.35 h(-1), r(2) = 0.098), and itraconazole (E(max) = 0.01 h(-1), r(2) = 0.98). Overall, the antifungal susceptibility of the non-fumigatus Aspergillus isolates tested was species and antifungal agent dependent. Analysis of the kinetic growth assays, along with consideration of the killing rates, revealed that posaconazole was the most effective antifungal against all of the isolates.

  6. The Aspergillus fumigatus transcriptional regulator AfYap1 represents the major regulator for defense against reactive oxygen intermediates but is dispensable for pathogenicity in an intranasal mouse infection model.

    PubMed

    Lessing, Franziska; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Wozniok, Iwona; Loeffler, Juergen; Kurzai, Oliver; Haertl, Albert; Brakhage, Axel A

    2007-12-01

    Macrophages and neutrophils kill the airborne fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The dependency of this killing process on reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) has been strongly suggested. Therefore, we investigated the enzymatic ROI detoxifying system by proteome analysis of A. fumigatus challenged by H(2)O(2). Since many of the identified proteins and genes are apparently regulated by a putative Saccharomyces cerevisiae Yap1 homolog, the corresponding gene of A. fumigatus was identified and designated Afyap1. Nuclear localization of a functional AfYap1-eGFP fusion was stress dependent. Deletion of the Afyap1 gene led to drastically increased sensitivity of the deletion mutant against H(2)O(2) and menadione, but not against diamide and NO radicals. Proteome analysis of the DeltaAfyap1 mutant strain challenged with 2 mM H(2)O(2) indicated that 29 proteins are controlled directly or indirectly by AfYap1, including catalase 2. Despite its importance for defense against reactive agents, the Afyap1 deletion mutant did not show attenuated virulence in a murine model of Aspergillus infection. These data challenge the hypothesis that ROI such as superoxide anions and peroxides play a direct role in killing of A. fumigatus in an immunocompromised host. This conclusion was further supported by the finding that killing of A. fumigatus wild-type and DeltaAfyap1 mutant germlings by human neutrophilic granulocytes worked equally well irrespective of whether the ROI scavenger glutathione or an NADPH-oxidase inhibitor was added to the cells.

  7. A conserved C-terminal domain of the Aspergillus fumigatus developmental regulator MedA is required for nuclear localization, adhesion and virulence.

    PubMed

    Al Abdallah, Qusai; Choe, Se-In; Campoli, Paolo; Baptista, Stefanie; Gravelat, Fabrice N; Lee, Mark J; Sheppard, Donald C

    2012-01-01

    MedA is a developmental regulator that is conserved in the genome of most filamentous fungi. In the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus MedA regulates conidiogenesis, adherence to host cells, and pathogenicity. The mechanism by which MedA governs these phenotypes remains unknown. Although the nuclear import of MedA orthologues has been reported in other fungi, no nuclear localization signal, DNA-binding domain or other conserved motifs have been identified within MedA. In this work, we performed a deletion analysis of MedA and identified a novel domain within the C-terminal region of the protein, designated MedA(346-557), that is necessary and sufficient for nuclear localization of MedA. We further demonstrate that MedA nuclear localization is required for the function of MedA. Surprisingly, expression of the minimal nuclear localization fragment MedA(346-557) alone was sufficient to restore conidogenesis, biofilm formation and virulence to the medA mutant strain. Collectively these results suggest that MedA functions in the regulation of transcription, and that the MedA(346-557) domain is both necessary and sufficient to mediate MedA function.

  8. Role of N-linked glycosylation in the enzymatic properties of a thermophilic GH 10 xylanase from Aspergillus fumigatus expressed in Pichia pastoris

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Xiaoyu; Xu, Bo; Bai, Yingguo; Luo, Huiying; Ma, Rui; Shi, Pengjun; Yao, Bin

    2017-01-01

    N-Glycosylation is a posttranslational modification commonly occurred in fungi and plays roles in a variety of enzyme functions. In this study, a xylanase (Af-XYNA) of glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 10 from Aspergillus fumigatus harboring three potential N-glycosylation sites (N87, N124 and N335) was heterologously produced in Pichia pastoris. The N-glycosylated Af-XYNA (WT) exhibited favorable temperature and pH optima (75°C and pH 5.0) and good thermostability (maintaining stable at 60°C). To reveal the role of N-glycosylation on Af-XYNA, the enzyme was deglycosylated by endo-β-N-acetylglucosaminidase H (DE) or modified by site-directed mutagenesis at N124 (N124T). The deglycosylated DE and mutant N124T showed narrower pH adaptation range, lower specific activity, and worse pH and thermal stability. Further thermodynamic analysis revealed that the enzyme with higher N-glycosylation degree was more thermostable. This study demonstrated that the effects of glycosylation at different degrees and sites were diverse, in which the glycan linked to N124 played a key role in pH and thermal stability of Af-XYNA. PMID:28187141

  9. A Conserved C-Terminal Domain of the Aspergillus fumigatus Developmental Regulator MedA Is Required for Nuclear Localization, Adhesion and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Al Abdallah, Qusai; Choe, Se-In; Campoli, Paolo; Baptista, Stefanie; Gravelat, Fabrice N.; Lee, Mark J.; Sheppard, Donald C.

    2012-01-01

    MedA is a developmental regulator that is conserved in the genome of most filamentous fungi. In the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus MedA regulates conidiogenesis, adherence to host cells, and pathogenicity. The mechanism by which MedA governs these phenotypes remains unknown. Although the nuclear import of MedA orthologues has been reported in other fungi, no nuclear localization signal, DNA-binding domain or other conserved motifs have been identified within MedA. In this work, we performed a deletion analysis of MedA and identified a novel domain within the C-terminal region of the protein, designated MedA346–557, that is necessary and sufficient for nuclear localization of MedA. We further demonstrate that MedA nuclear localization is required for the function of MedA. Surprisingly, expression of the minimal nuclear localization fragment MedA346–557 alone was sufficient to restore conidogenesis, biofilm formation and virulence to the medA mutant strain. Collectively these results suggest that MedA functions in the regulation of transcription, and that the MedA346–557 domain is both necessary and sufficient to mediate MedA function. PMID:23185496

  10. Inhibition of Aspergillus fumigatus and Its Biofilm by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Is Dependent on the Source, Phenotype and Growth Conditions of the Bacterium.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Jose A G; Penner, John C; Moss, Richard B; Haagensen, Janus A J; Clemons, Karl V; Spormann, Alfred M; Nazik, Hasan; Cohen, Kevin; Banaei, Niaz; Carolino, Elisabete; Stevens, David A

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) are leading fungal and bacterial pathogens, respectively, in many clinical situations. Relevant to this, their interface and co-existence has been studied. In some experiments in vitro, Pa products have been defined that are inhibitory to Af. In some clinical situations, both can be biofilm producers, and biofilm could alter their physiology and affect their interaction. That may be most relevant to airways in cystic fibrosis (CF), where both are often prominent residents. We have studied clinical Pa isolates from several sources for their effects on Af, including testing involving their biofilms. We show that the described inhibition of Af is related to the source and phenotype of the Pa isolate. Pa cells inhibited the growth and formation of Af biofilm from conidia, with CF isolates more inhibitory than non-CF isolates, and non-mucoid CF isolates most inhibitory. Inhibition did not require live Pa contact, as culture filtrates were also inhibitory, and again non-mucoid>mucoid CF>non-CF. Preformed Af biofilm was more resistant to Pa, and inhibition that occurred could be reproduced with filtrates. Inhibition of Af biofilm appears also dependent on bacterial growth conditions; filtrates from Pa grown as biofilm were more inhibitory than from Pa grown planktonically. The differences in Pa shown from these different sources are consistent with the extensive evolutionary Pa changes that have been described in association with chronic residence in CF airways, and may reflect adaptive changes to life in a polymicrobial environment.

  11. Transcriptome analysis of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A–regulated genes reveals the production of the novel natural compound fumipyrrole by Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Macheleidt, Juliane; Scherlach, Kirstin; Neuwirth, Toni; Schmidt-Heck, Wolfgang; Straßburger, Maria; Spraker, Joseph; Baccile, Joshua A.; Schroeder, Frank C.; Keller, Nancy P.; Hertweck, Christian; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic human pathogenic fungus causing life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. Adaptation to different habitats and also virulence of the fungus depends on signal perception and transduction by modules such as the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) pathway. Here, by transcriptome analysis, 632 differentially regulated genes of this important signaling cascade were identified, including 23 putative transcriptional regulators. The highest upregulated transcription factor gene was located in a previously unknown secondary metabolite gene cluster, which we named fmp, encoding an incomplete nonribosomal peptide synthetase, FmpE. Overexpression of the regulatory gene fmpR using the TetOn system led to the specific expression of the other six genes of the fmp cluster. Metabolic profiling of wild type and fmpR overexpressing strain by HPLC-DAD and HPLCHRESI-MS and structure elucidation by NMR led to identification of 5-benzyl-1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylic acid, which we named fumipyrrole. Fumipyrrole was not described as natural product yet. Chemical synthesis of fumipyrrole confirmed its structure. Interestingly, deletion of fmpR or fmpE led to reduced growth and sporulation of the mutant strains. Although fmp cluster genes were transcribed in infected mouse lungs, deletion of fmpR resulted in wild-type virulence in a murine infection model. PMID:25582336

  12. Assessment of Aspergillus fumigatus burden in lungs of intratracheally-challenged turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) by quantitative PCR, galactomannan enzyme immunoassay, and quantitative culture.

    PubMed

    Melloul, Elise; Thierry, Simon; Durand, Benoit; Cordonnier, Nathalie; Desoubeaux, Guillaume; Chandenier, Jacques; Bostvironnois, Christophe; Botterel, Françoise; Chermette, René; Guillot, Jacques; Arné, Pascal

    2014-12-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus remains a major respiratory pathogen in birds and treatment is still difficult. We challenged different groups of few-day-old turkeys via intratracheal aerosolisation with increasing concentrations (10(5) up to 10(8)) of conidia using a MicroSprayer(®) device. The fungal burden was assessed by real-time PCR, galactomannan dosage, CFU counting and histopathological evaluation in order to provide a comparison of these results within each inoculum groups. Significant mortality, occurring in the first 96h after inoculation, was only observed at the highest inoculum dose. Culture counts, GM index and qPCR results on the one hand and inoculum size on the other hand appeared to be clearly correlated. The mean fungal burden detected by qPCR was 1.3log10 units higher than the mean values obtained by CFU measurement. The new model and the markers will be used to evaluate the efficacy of antifungal treatments that could be used in poultry farms.

  13. Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus harboring TR34/L98H, TR46/Y121F/T289A and TR53 mutations related to flower fields in Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Moreno, Carlos; Lavergne, Rose-Anne; Hagen, Ferry; Morio, Florent; Meis, Jacques F.; Le Pape, Patrice

    2017-01-01

    Resistance to triazoles in Aspergillus fumigatus has been reported in azole-naive patients in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. This resistance has been linked to fungicide-driven mutations in the cyp51A gene and its promoter region. We investigated the presence of environmental azole-resistant A. fumigatus strains related to the use of azole fungicides in Colombia. Soil samples were collected from flower beds, flower fields and public gardens from the outskirts, suburbs and city centre of Bogotá. Out of the 86 soil samples taken, 17 (19.8%) grew A. fumigatus of whom eight (9.3%) contained 40 strains able to grow on azole-containing itraconazole and/or voriconazole supplemented media. All but one triazole-resistant strains were isolated from soil samples collected from flower fields and flower beds (39/40). Importantly, the majority had the TR46/Y121F/T289A, TR34/L98H, and TR53 molecular resistance mechanisms and one azole resistant strain had a wild-type cyp51A gene. Soil samples from flower fields and beds contained 4 azole fungicides (penconazole, difenoconazole, tetraconazole and tebuconazole) above the limit of detection. Our findings underline the need for extensive investigations to determine azole-resistant A. fumigatus prevalence in both clinical and environmental samples in other regions of Latin America. PMID:28358115

  14. Pharmacodynamics and Dose-Response Relationships of Liposomal Amphotericin B against Different Azole-Resistant Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates in a Murine Model of Disseminated Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Seyedmousavi, Seyedmojtaba; Melchers, Willem J. G.; Mouton, Johan W.

    2013-01-01

    The management of invasive aspergillosis (IA) has become more complicated due to the emergence of acquired azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus, which is associated with treatment failure and a mortality rate of 88%. Treatment with liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) may be a useful alternative to improve therapeutic outcome in azole-resistant IA. Four clinical A. fumigatus isolates obtained from patients with proven IA were studied in a nonneutropenic murine model of infection: a wild-type isolate without mutations in the cyp51A gene and three azole-resistant isolates harboring a single mutation at codon 220 (M220I) and tandem repeat mutations (a 34-bp tandem repeat mutation in the promoter region of the cyp51A gene in combination with substitutions at codon L98 [TR34/L98H] and a 46-bp tandem repeat mutation in the promoter region of the cyp51A gene in combination with mutation at codons Y121 and T289 [TR46/Y121F/T289A]), respectively. Female CD-1 mice were infected intravenously 24 h prior to the start of therapy. Groups of 11 mice were treated at days 1, 2, and 5 postchallenge with increasing 4-fold doses of L-AmB ranging from 0.004 to 16 mg/kg/day and observed for 14 days. Survival for all 4 isolates at day 14 was significantly better than that of controls. A dose-response relationship was observed independent of the azole resistance mechanism. The Hill-type model with a variable slope fitted the relationship between the dose and 14-day survival well for all isolates, with R2 values of 0.95 (wild-type), 0.97 (M220I), 0.85 (TR34/L98H), and 0.94 (TR46/Y121F/T289A), respectively. Multiple logistic regression analysis confirmed that there was no significant difference between groups. The results of these experiments indicate that L-AmB was able to prolong survival in vivo in disseminated IA independent of the presence of an azole resistance mechanism in a dose-dependent manner, and therefore, they support a role for L-AmB in the treatment of azole-resistant IA

  15. Characterization of sphingolipids from mycopathogens: factors correlating with expression of 2-hydroxy fatty acyl (E)-Delta 3-unsaturation in cerebrosides of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Toledo, M S; Levery, S B; Straus, A H; Suzuki, E; Momany, M; Glushka, J; Moulton, J M; Takahashi, H K

    1999-06-01

    Significant differences exist between mammals and fungi with respect to glycosphingolipid (GSL) structure and biosynthesis. Thus, these compounds, as well as the cellular machinery regulating their expression, have considerable potential as targets for the diagnosis and treatment of fungal diseases. In this study, the major neutral GSL components extracted from both yeast and mycelium forms of the thermally dimorphic mycopathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis were purified and characterized by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, ESI-MS and ESI-MS/CID-MS, and GC-MS. The major GSLs of both forms were identified as beta-glucopyranosylceramides (GlcCer) having (4E, 8E)-9-methyl-4,8-sphingadienine as long chain base in combination with either N-2'-hydroxyoctadecanoate or N-2'-hydroxy-(E)-3'-octadecenoate. The mycelium form GlcCer had both fatty acids in a approximately 1:1 ratio, while that of the yeast form had on average only approximately 15% of the (E)-Delta 3-unsaturated fatty acid. Cerebrosides from two strains of Aspergillus fumigatus (237 and ATCC 9197) expressing both GalCer and GlcCer were also purified and characterized by similar methods. The GalCer fractions were found to have approximately 70% and approximately 90% N-2'-hydroxy-(E)-3'-octadecenoate, respectively, in the two strains. In contrast, the GlcCer fractions had N-2'-hydroxy-(E)-3'-octadecenoate at only approximately 20 and approximately 50%, respectively. The remainder in all cases was the saturated 2-OH fatty acid, which has not been previously reported in cerebrosides from A. fumigatus. The availability of detailed structures of both glycosylinositol phosphorylceramides [Levery, S. B., Toledo, M. S., Straus, A. H., and Takahashi, H. K. (1998) Biochemistry 37, 8764-8775] and cerebrosides from P. brasiliensis revealed parallel quantitative differences in expression between yeast and mycelium forms, as well as a striking general partitioning of ceramide structure between the two classes of GSLs. These

  16. 1,25(OH)2D3 and VDR Signaling Pathways Regulate the Inhibition of Dectin-1 Caused by Cyclosporine A in Response to Aspergillus Fumigatus in Human Corneal Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Yiping; Zhao, Guiqiu; Lin, Jing; Li, Cui; Cong, Lin; Jiang, Nan; Xu, Qiang; Wang, Qian

    2016-01-01

    Background The objective of this study is to observe whether cyclosporine A (CsA) inhibits the expression of dectin-1 in human corneal epithelial cells infected with Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) and to investigate the molecular mechanisms of the inhibition. Methods Immortalized human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) were pretreated with 1,25(OH)2D3 and VDR inhibitor for 1 h, and then they were pretreated with CsA for 12h. After these pretreatments, the HCECs were stimulated with A. fumigatus and curdlan respectively, and the expression of dectin-1 and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and TNF-α) were detected by RT-PCR, western blot and ELISA. Results Dectin-1 mRNA and dectin-1 protein expression increased when HCECs were stimulated with A. fumigatus or curdlan, and CsA inhibited the dectin-1 expression both in mRNA and protein levels specifically. Dectin-1 and proinflammatory cytokine expression levels were higher when HCECs were pretreated with VDR inhibitor and CsA compared to pretreatment with CsA alone, while dectin-1 and proinflammatory cytokine levels were lower when HCECs were pretreated with 1,25(OH)2D3 and CsA compared to pretreatment with CsA alone. Conclusions These data provide evidence that CsA can inhibit the expression of dectin-1 and proinflammatory cytokines through dectin-1 when HCECs are stimulated by A. fumigatus or curdlan. The active form of vitamin D, 1,25(OH)2D3, and VDR signaling pathway regulate the inhibition of CsA. The inhibition is enhanced by 1,25(OH)2D3, and the VDR inhibitor suppresses the inhibition. PMID:27755569

  17. Effect of nickel-cobaltite nanoparticles on production and thermostability of cellulases from newly isolated thermotolerant Aspergillus fumigatus NS (class: Eurotiomycetes).

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Neha; Rawat, Rekha; Sharma, Reetika; Oberoi, Harinder Singh; Srivastava, Manish; Singh, Jay

    2014-10-01

    In the present study, effect of nickel-cobaltite (NiCo2O4) nanoparticles (NPs) was investigated on production and thermostability of the cellulase enzyme system using newly isolated thermotolerant Aspergillus fumigatus NS belonging to the class Euratiomycetes. The NiCo2O4 NPs were synthesized via hydrothermal method assisted by post-annealing treatment and characterized through X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques. In the absence of NPs in the growth medium, filter paper cellulase (FP) activity of 18 IU/gds was achieved after 96 h, whereas 40 % higher FP activity in 72 h was observed with the addition of 1 mM concentration of NPs in the growth medium. Maximum production of endoglucanase (211 IU/gds), β-glucosidase (301 IU/gds), and xylanase (803 IU/gds) was achieved after 72 h without NPs (control), while in the presence of 1 mM concentration of NPs, endoglucanase, β-glucosidase, and xylanase activity increased by about 49, 53, and 19.8 %, respectively, after 48 h of incubation, against control, indicating a substantial increase in cellulase productivity with the addition of NiCo2O4 NPs in the growth medium. Crude enzyme was thermally stable for 7 h at 80 °C in presence of NPs, as against 4 h at the same temperature for control samples. Significant increase in the activity and improved thermal stability of cellulases in the presence of the NiCo2O4 NPs holds potential for use of NiCo2O4 NPs during enzyme production as well as hydrolysis. From the standpoint of biofuel production, these results hold enormous significance.

  18. A novel C2H2 transcription factor that regulates gliA expression interdependently with GliZ in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Schoberle, Taylor J; Nguyen-Coleman, C Kim; Herold, Jennifer; Yang, Ally; Weirauch, Matt; Hughes, Timothy R; McMurray, John S; May, Gregory S

    2014-05-01

    Secondary metabolites are produced by numerous organisms and can either be beneficial, benign, or harmful to humans. Genes involved in the synthesis and transport of these secondary metabolites are frequently found in gene clusters, which are often coordinately regulated, being almost exclusively dependent on transcription factors that are located within the clusters themselves. Gliotoxin, which is produced by a variety of Aspergillus species, Trichoderma species, and Penicillium species, exhibits immunosuppressive properties and has therefore been the subject of research for many laboratories. There have been a few proteins shown to regulate the gliotoxin cluster, most notably GliZ, a Zn2Cys6 binuclear finger transcription factor that lies within the cluster, and LaeA, a putative methyltransferase that globally regulates secondary metabolism clusters within numerous fungal species. Using a high-copy inducer screen in A. fumigatus, our lab has identified a novel C2H2 transcription factor, which plays an important role in regulating the gliotoxin biosynthetic cluster. This transcription factor, named GipA, induces gliotoxin production when present in extra copies. Furthermore, loss of gipA reduces gliotoxin production significantly. Through protein binding microarray and mutagenesis, we have identified a DNA binding site recognized by GipA that is in extremely close proximity to a potential GliZ DNA binding site in the 5' untranslated region of gliA, which encodes an efflux pump within the gliotoxin cluster. Not surprisingly, GliZ and GipA appear to work in an interdependent fashion to positively control gliA expression.

  19. Efficacy of caspofungin against central nervous system Aspergillus fumigatus infection in mice determined by TaqMan PCR and CFU methods.

    PubMed

    Singh, Gaurav; Imai, Jackie; Clemons, Karl V; Stevens, David A

    2005-04-01

    We have reported previously that prolonged caspofungin (CAS) dosing enhances survival in a murine model of central nervous system aspergillosis. In this study we determined by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and CFU enumeration whether CAS could reduce fungal burdens, prior to the deaths of untreated animals, and also assessed progressive infection in untreated mice. Mice were infected intracranially and treated for 4 days with CAS (1, 5, or 10 mg/kg of body weight/day) or amphotericin B (AMB) (3 mg/kg/day) starting 1 day postinfection. Fungal burdens in brains and kidneys of untreated controls were determined on days 1, 3, and 5 to assess progressive infection; burdens in treated animals were determined on day 5. qPCR showed higher burdens than CFU enumeration in all comparisons. In untreated animals, qPCR showed transiently increased burdens in brains, while CFU enumeration showed a decrease. qPCR showed increased burdens in kidneys, but CFU enumeration did not. Neither method indicated drug efficacy in the brain. Both methods showed AMB efficacy in the kidneys, and qPCR demonstrated CAS efficacy at all doses. Spearman correlations of qPCR and CFU determination results showed a significant correlation for most untreated groups; results correlated well for kidneys (P < or = 0.03) but not for brains in treated mice. Regression analyses of qPCR and CFU groups indicated different slopes for progressive infection in untreated animals but the same slopes for CAS dose-response efficacy. qPCR appeared to better reflect the progression of untreated infection. The lack of demonstration of efficacy in the brain suggests that longer dosing is necessary to cause burden reduction. These results also suggest that, when there is drug efficacy in a therapeutic study, either method appears to be useful for determining Aspergillus fumigatus burdens.

  20. Crystal structures of the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus protein farnesyltransferase complexed with substrates and inhibitors reveal features for antifungal drug design

    PubMed Central

    Mabanglo, Mark F; Hast, Michael A; Lubock, Nathan B; Hellinga, Homme W; Beese, Lorena S

    2014-01-01

    Species of the fungal genus Aspergillus are significant human and agricultural pathogens that are often refractory to existing antifungal treatments. Protein farnesyltransferase (FTase), a critical enzyme in eukaryotes, is an attractive potential target for antifungal drug discovery. We report high-resolution structures of A. fumigatus FTase (AfFTase) in complex with substrates and inhibitors. Comparison of structures with farnesyldiphosphate (FPP) bound in the absence or presence of peptide substrate, corresponding to successive steps in ordered substrate binding, revealed that the second substrate-binding step is accompanied by motions of a loop in the catalytic site. Re-examination of other FTase structures showed that this motion is conserved. The substrate-and product-binding clefts in the AfFTase active site are wider than in human FTase (hFTase). Widening is a consequence of small shifts in the α-helices that comprise the majority of the FTase structure, which in turn arise from sequence variation in the hydrophobic core of the protein. These structural effects are key features that distinguish fungal FTases from hFTase. Their variation results in differences in steady-state enzyme kinetics and inhibitor interactions and presents opportunities for developing selective anti-fungal drugs by exploiting size differences in the active sites. We illustrate the latter by comparing the interaction of ED5 and Tipifarnib with hFTase and AfFTase. In AfFTase, the wider groove enables ED5 to bind in the presence of FPP, whereas in hFTase it binds only in the absence of substrate. Tipifarnib binds similarly to both enzymes but makes less extensive contacts in AfFTase with consequently weaker binding. PMID:24347326

  1. Crystal structures of the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus protein farnesyltransferase complexed with substrates and inhibitors reveal features for antifungal drug design.

    PubMed

    Mabanglo, Mark F; Hast, Michael A; Lubock, Nathan B; Hellinga, Homme W; Beese, Lorena S

    2014-03-01

    Species of the fungal genus Aspergillus are significant human and agricultural pathogens that are often refractory to existing antifungal treatments. Protein farnesyltransferase (FTase), a critical enzyme in eukaryotes, is an attractive potential target for antifungal drug discovery. We report high-resolution structures of A. fumigatus FTase (AfFTase) in complex with substrates and inhibitors. Comparison of structures with farnesyldiphosphate (FPP) bound in the absence or presence of peptide substrate, corresponding to successive steps in ordered substrate binding, revealed that the second substrate-binding step is accompanied by motions of a loop in the catalytic site. Re-examination of other FTase structures showed that this motion is conserved. The substrate- and product-binding clefts in the AfFTase active site are wider than in human FTase (hFTase). Widening is a consequence of small shifts in the α-helices that comprise the majority of the FTase structure, which in turn arise from sequence variation in the hydrophobic core of the protein. These structural effects are key features that distinguish fungal FTases from hFTase. Their variation results in differences in steady-state enzyme kinetics and inhibitor interactions and presents opportunities for developing selective anti-fungal drugs by exploiting size differences in the active sites. We illustrate the latter by comparing the interaction of ED5 and Tipifarnib with hFTase and AfFTase. In AfFTase, the wider groove enables ED5 to bind in the presence of FPP, whereas in hFTase it binds only in the absence of substrate. Tipifarnib binds similarly to both enzymes but makes less extensive contacts in AfFTase with consequently weaker binding.

  2. RAST studies : IgE antibodies to Dermatogoides pteronyssinus (house dust mite), Aspergillus fumigatus and beta-lactoglobulin in sudden death in infancy syndrome (SDIS).

    PubMed

    Turner, K J; Baldo, B A; Hilton, J M

    1975-01-01

    The incidence of 2.5 SDIS cases per 1,000 live births found in Western Australia is in agreement with figures reported for other centres. While the age range of SDIS victims extended from two weeks to 15 months, 57 per cent of deaths occurred in children of two to four months of age. Boys outnumbered girls 1.6:1. Environmental factors are implicated in that the majority of deaths occurred in a biphasic distribution - autumn and late winter months. No significant differences were observed in total IgE levels in serum from SDIS victims, post mortem children who died in trauma of known aetiology and live control children of the same age range. Serum IgE antibodies to D.pteronyssinus were found in 37% of SDIS victims compared with 7% of matched controls (post mortem plus live groups). IgE antibodies to beta-lactoglobulin, the major allergen of cow's milk, appeared with twice the frequency in SDIS vs. control group but both groups showed a similar incidence of antibodies to the allergens of Aspergillus fumigatus. The prevalence of IgE antibodies to D.pteronyssinus in SDIS victims who died in the late winter -- early spring period was double that found in the group who died in the autumn period. Sixtyfour percent of the SDIS victims had antibodies to two or more of the three allergens tested while the control sera were positive to only one allergen. These results support the hypothesis that anaphylaxis induced by immediate hypersensitivity to D.pteronyssinus in particular may be one of the causative factors in SDIS in Western Australia.

  3. 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.

  4. Analytical Comparison of In Vitro-Spiked Human Serum and Plasma for PCR-Based Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus DNA: a Study by the European Aspergillus PCR Initiative.

    PubMed

    Loeffler, Juergen; Mengoli, Carlo; Springer, Jan; Bretagne, Stéphane; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel; Klingspor, Lena; Lagrou, Katrien; Melchers, Willem J G; Morton, C Oliver; Barnes, Rosemary A; Donnelly, J Peter; White, P Lewis

    2015-09-01

    The use of serum or plasma for Aspergillus PCR testing facilitates automated and standardized technology. Recommendations for serum testing are available, and while serum and plasma are regularly considered interchangeable for use in fungal diagnostics, differences in galactomannan enzyme immunoassay (GM-EIA) performance have been reported and are attributed to clot formation. Therefore, it is important to assess plasma PCR testing to determine if previous recommendations for serum are applicable and also to compare analytical performance with that of serum PCR. Molecular methods testing serum and plasma were compared through multicenter distribution of quality control panels, with additional studies to investigate the effect of clot formation and blood fractionation on DNA availability. Analytical sensitivity and time to positivity (TTP) were compared, and a regression analysis was performed to identify variables that enhanced plasma PCR performance. When testing plasma, sample volume, preextraction-to-postextraction volume ratio, PCR volume, duplicate testing, and the use of an internal control for PCR were positively associated with performance. When whole-blood samples were spiked and then fractionated, the analytical sensitivity and TTP were superior when testing plasma. Centrifugation had no effect on DNA availability, whereas the presence of clot material significantly lowered the concentration (P = 0.028). Technically, there are no major differences in the molecular processing of serum and plasma, but the formation of clot material potentially reduces available DNA in serum. During disease, Aspergillus DNA burdens in blood are often at the limits of PCR performance. Using plasma might improve performance while maintaining the methodological simplicity of serum testing.

  5. Biogenic synthesis, optimisation and antibacterial efficacy of extracellular silver nanoparticles using novel fungal isolate Aspergillus fumigatus MA.

    PubMed

    Sarsar, Vikas; Selwal, Manjit K; Selwal, Krishan K

    2016-08-01

    To eliminate the elaborate processes employed in other non-biological-based protocols and low cost production of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), this study reports biogenic synthesis of AgNPs using silver salt precursor with aqueous extract of Aspergillus fumigates MA. Influence of silver precursor concentrations, concentration ratio of fungal extract and silver nitrate, contact time, reaction temperature and pH are evaluated to find their effects on AgNPs synthesis. Ultraviolet-visible spectra gave surface plasmon resonance at 420 nm for AgNPs. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques further confirmed the synthesis and crystalline nature of AgNPs, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy observed spherical shapes of synthesised AgNPs within the range of 3-20 nm. The AgNPs showed potent antimicrobial efficacy against various bacterial strains. Thus, the results of the current study indicate that optimisation process plays a pivotal role in the AgNPs synthesis and biogenic synthesised AgNPs might be used against bacterial pathogens; however, it necessitates clinical studies to find out their potential as antibacterial agents.

  6. A Novel Zn2-Cys6 Transcription Factor AtrR Plays a Key Role in an Azole Resistance Mechanism of Aspergillus fumigatus by Co-regulating cyp51A and cdr1B Expressions

    PubMed Central

    Shimizu, Kiminori; Paul, Sanjoy; Ohba, Ayumi; Gonoi, Tohru; Watanabe, Akira; Gomi, Katsuya

    2017-01-01

    Successful treatment of aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus is threatened by an increasing incidence of drug resistance. This situation is further complicated by the finding that strains resistant to azoles, the major antifungal drugs for aspergillosis, have been widely disseminated across the globe. To elucidate mechanisms underlying azole resistance, we identified a novel transcription factor that is required for normal azole resistance in Aspergillus fungi including A. fumigatus, Aspergillus oryzae, and Aspergillus nidulans. This fungal-specific Zn2-Cys6 type transcription factor AtrR was found to regulate expression of the genes related to ergosterol biosynthesis, including cyp51A that encodes a target protein of azoles. The atrR deletion mutant showed impaired growth under hypoxic conditions and attenuation of virulence in murine infection model for aspergillosis. These results were similar to the phenotypes for a mutant strain lacking SrbA that is also a direct regulator for the cyp51A gene. Notably, AtrR was responsible for the expression of cdr1B that encodes an ABC transporter related to azole resistance, whereas SrbA was not involved in the regulation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that AtrR directly bound both the cyp51A and cdr1B promoters. In the clinically isolated itraconazole resistant strain that harbors a mutant Cyp51A (G54E), deletion of the atrR gene resulted in a hypersensitivity to the azole drugs. Together, our results revealed that AtrR plays a pivotal role in a novel azole resistance mechanism by co-regulating the drug target (Cyp51A) and putative drug efflux pump (Cdr1B). PMID:28052140

  7. Scleritis

    MedlinePlus

    ... by mistake. Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus can cause this problem. Sometimes the cause is ... Saunders; 2016:chap 423. Read More Rheumatoid arthritis Systemic lupus erythematosus Review Date 8/20/2016 Updated by: Franklin ...

  8. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis of Aspergillus fumigatus exposed to osmotic stress reveals regulators of osmotic and cell wall stresses that are SakA(HOG1) and MpkC dependent.

    PubMed

    Pereira Silva, Lilian; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Paziani, Mario Henrique; Von Zeska Kress, Márcia Regina; Riaño-Pachón, Diego M; Hagiwara, Daisuke; Ries, Laure N A; Brown, Neil Andrew; Goldman, Gustavo H

    2017-04-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is predominantly caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, and adaptations to stresses experienced within the human host are a prerequisite for the survival and virulence strategies of the pathogen. The central signal transduction pathway operating during hyperosmotic stress is the high osmolarity glycerol mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade. A. fumigatus MpkC and SakA, orthologues of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Hog1p, constitute the primary regulator of the hyperosmotic stress response. We compared A. fumigatus wild-type transcriptional response to osmotic stress with the ΔmpkC, ΔsakA, and ΔmpkC ΔsakA strains. Our results strongly indicate that MpkC and SakA have independent and collaborative functions during the transcriptional response to transient osmotic stress. We have identified and characterized null mutants for four A. fumigatus basic leucine zipper proteins transcription factors. The atfA and atfB have comparable expression levels with the wild-type in ΔmpkC but are repressed in ΔsakA and ΔmpkC ΔsakA post-osmotic stress. The atfC and atfD have reduced expression levels in all mutants post-osmotic stress. The atfA-D null mutants displayed several phenotypes related to osmotic, oxidative, and cell wall stresses. The ΔatfA and ΔatfB were shown to be avirulent and to have attenuated virulence, respectively, in both Galleria mellonella and a neutropenic murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Role of Aspergillus fumigatus in Triggering Protease-Activated Receptor-2 in Airway Epithelial Cells and Skewing the Cells toward a T-helper 2 Bias

    PubMed Central

    Homma, Tetsuya; Kato, Atsushi; Bhushan, Bharat; Norton, James E.; Suh, Lydia A.; Carter, Roderick G.; Gupta, Dave S.

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus (AF) infection and sensitization are common and promote Th2 disease in individuals with asthma. Innate immune responses of bronchial epithelial cells are now known to play a key role in determination of T cell responses upon encounter with inhaled pathogens. We have recently shown that extracts of AF suppress JAK-STAT signaling in epithelial cells and thus may promote Th2 bias. To elucidate the impact of AF on human bronchial epithelial cells, we tested the hypothesis that AF can modulate the response of airway epithelial cells to favor a Th2 response and explored the molecular mechanism of the effect. Primary normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells were treated with AF extract or fractionated AF extract before stimulation with poly I:C or infection with human rhinovirus serotype 16 (HRV16). Expression of CXCL10 mRNA (real-time RT-PCR) and protein (ELISA) were measured as markers of IFN-mediated epithelial Th1–biased responses. Western blot was performed to evaluate expression of IFN regulatory factor-3 (IRF-3), NF-κB, and tyrosine-protein phosphatase nonreceptor type 11 (PTPN11), which are other markers of Th1 skewing. Knockdown experiments for protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) and PTPN11 were performed to analyze the role of PAR-2 in the mechanism of suppression by AF. AF and a high-molecular-weight fraction of AF extract (HMW-AF; > 50 kD) profoundly suppressed poly I:C– and HRV16-induced expression of both CXCL10 mRNA and protein from NHBE cells via a mechanism that relied upon PAR-2 activation. Both AF extract and a specific PAR-2 activator (AC-55541) suppressed the poly I:C activation of phospho–IRF-3 without affecting activation of NF-κB. Furthermore, HMW-AF extract enhanced the expression of PTPN11, a phosphatase known to inhibit IFN signaling, and concurrently suppressed poly I:C–induced expression of both CXCL10 mRNA and protein from NHBE cells. These results show that exposure of bronchial epithelial cells to AF

  12. Postoperative Necrotizing Scleritis: A Report of Four Cases

    PubMed Central

    Das, Sudipta; Saurabh, Kumar; Biswas, Jyotrimay

    2014-01-01

    Postoperative necrotizing scleritis should be considered in cases of persistent localized postoperative inflammation following all forms of surgical trauma. We present the history, clinical findings, and follow-up data of four patients with postoperative necrotizing scleritis. The clinical records of four patients who developed scleritis following ocular surgery were retrospectively reviewed. The first step in managing necrotizing scleritis is to rule out infectious etiology. Surgically induced necrotizing scleritis is an immune-mediated condition that can coexist with concomitant infectious condition, i.e. endophthalmitis, but response to immunosuppression leads to resolution of the disease and verifies the diagnosis. PMID:25371644

  13. Quantitative Analysis of Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism for Rapid Detection of TR34/L98H- and TR46/Y121F/T289A-Positive Aspergillus fumigatus Isolates Obtained from Patients in Iran from 2010 to 2014

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadi, Faezeh; Hashemi, Seyed Jamal; Zoll, Jan; Melchers, Willem J. G.; Rafati, Haleh; Dehghan, Parvin; Rezaie, Sasan; Tolooe, Ali; Tamadon, Yalda; van der Lee, Henrich A.; Verweij, Paul E.

    2015-01-01

    We employed an endpoint genotyping method to update the prevalence rate of positivity for the TR34/L98H mutation (a 34-bp tandem repeat mutation in the promoter region of the cyp51A gene in combination with a substitution at codon L98) and the TR46/Y121F/T289A mutation (a 46-bp tandem repeat mutation in the promoter region of the cyp51A gene in combination with substitutions at codons Y121 and T289) among clinical Aspergillus fumigatus isolates obtained from different regions of Iran over a recent 5-year period (2010 to 2014). The antifungal activities of itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole against 172 clinical A. fumigatus isolates were investigated using the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) broth microdilution method. For the isolates with an azole resistance phenotype, the cyp51A gene and its promoter were amplified and sequenced. In addition, using a LightCycler 480 real-time PCR system, a novel endpoint genotyping analysis method targeting single-nucleotide polymorphisms was evaluated to detect the L98H and Y121F mutations in the cyp51A gene of all isolates. Of the 172 A. fumigatus isolates tested, the MIC values of itraconazole (≥16 mg/liter) and voriconazole (>4 mg/liter) were high for 6 (3.5%). Quantitative analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms showed the TR34/L98H mutation in the cyp51A genes of six isolates. No isolates harboring the TR46/Y121F/T289A mutation were detected. DNA sequencing of the cyp51A gene confirmed the results of the novel endpoint genotyping method. By microsatellite typing, all of the azole-resistant isolates had genotypes different from those previously recovered from Iran and from the Dutch TR34/L98H controls. In conclusion, there was not a significant increase in the prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates harboring the TR34/L98H resistance mechanism among isolates recovered over a recent 5-year period (2010 to 2014) in Iran. A quantitative assay detecting a single

  14. [Necrotizing scleritis--successful treatment with solcoseryl].

    PubMed

    Dabrowska, A

    1992-01-01

    A case of the patient with necrotising scleritis in osseous rheumatism is presented. The patient was treated with Solcoseryl injected intravenously. During the 20-days treatment, the drug has been tolerated well. It speeded the healing of the sclera which prevented secondary complications and made it possible to maintain the eye's visual ability.

  15. Effect of physical and chemical properties of oil palm empty fruit bunch, decanter cake and sago pith residue on cellulases production by Trichoderma asperellum UPM1 and Aspergillus fumigatus UPM2.

    PubMed

    Zanirun, Zuraidah; Bahrin, Ezyana Kamal; Lai-Yee, Phang; Hassan, Mohd Ali; Abd-Aziz, Suraini

    2014-01-01

    The effect of cultivation condition of two locally isolated ascomycetes strains namely Trichoderma asperellum UPM1 and Aspergillus fumigatus UPM2 were compared in submerged and solid state fermentation. Physical evaluation on water absorption index, solubility index and chemical properties of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose content as well as the cellulose structure on crystallinity and amorphous region of treated oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) (resulted in partial removal of lignin), sago pith residues (SPR) and oil palm decanter cake towards cellulases production were determined. Submerged fermentation shows significant cellulases production for both strains in all types of substrates. Crystallinity of cellulose and its chemical composition mainly holocellulose components was found to significantly affect the total cellulase synthesis in submerged fermentation as the higher crystallinity index, and holocellulose composition will increase cellulase production. Treated OPEFB apparently induced the total cellulases from T. asperellum UPM1 and A. fumigatus UPM2 with 0.66 U/mg FPase, 53.79 U/mg CMCase, 0.92 U/mg β-glucosidase and 0.67 U/mg FPase, 47.56 U/mg and 0.14 U/mg β-glucosidase, respectively. Physical properties of water absorption and solubility for OPEFB and SPR also had shown significant correlation on the cellulases production.

  16. An OCT Study of Anterior Nodular Episcleritis and Scleritis

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Anterior scleritis and episcleritis are a well-known presentation in tuberculosis. The case of a female patient with presumed tuberculous anterior scleritis and episcleritis is discussed in this article. Anterior segment OCT was efficient in diagnosis and evaluation of the therapeutic outcome. Antituberculosis chemotherapy was sufficient to achieve clinical remission. PMID:28348907

  17. Study of lignin biotransformation by Aspergillus fumigatus and white-rot fungi using /sup 14/C-labeled and unlabeled kraft lignins

    SciTech Connect

    Kadam, K.K.; Drew, S.W.

    1986-01-01

    The biodegradation of lignin by fungi was studied in shake flasks using /sup 14/C-labeled kraft lignin and in a deep-tank fermentor using unlabeled kraft lignin. Among the fungi screened, A. fumigatus - isolated in our laboratories - was most potent in lignin biotransformation. Dialysis-type fermentation, designed to study possible accumulation of low MW lignin-derived products, showed no such accumulation. Recalcitrant carbohydrates like microcrystalline cellulose supported higher lignolytic activity than easily metabolized carbohydrates like cellobiose. An assay developed to distinguish between CO/sub 2/ evolved from lignin and carbohydrate substrates demonstrated no stoichiometric correlation between the metabolism of the two cosubstrates. The submerged fermentations with unlabeled liqnin are difficult to monitor since chemical assays do not give accurate and true results. Lignolytic efficiencies that allowed monitoring of such fermentations were defined. Degraded lignins were clearly superior to C. versicolor in all aspects of lignin degradation; A fumigatus brought about substantial demethoxylation and dehydroxylation, whereas C. versicolor degraded lignins closely resembled undegraded kraft lignin. There was a good agreement among the different indices of lignin degradation, namely, /sup 14/CO evolution, OCH/sub 3/ loss, OH loss, and monomer and dimer yield after permanganate oxidation.

  18. Production of cellulolytic enzymes by Aspergillus fumigatus ABK9 in wheat bran-rice straw mixed substrate and use of cocktail enzymes for deinking of waste office paper pulp.

    PubMed

    Das, Arpan; Paul, Tanmay; Halder, Suman K; Jana, Arijit; Maity, Chiranjit; Das Mohapatra, Pradeep K; Pati, Bikas R; Mondal, Keshab C

    2013-01-01

    Response surface methodology was employed to optimize mixed substrate solid state fermentation for the production of cellulases and xylanase by Aspergillus fumigatus ABK9. Among 11 different parameters, fermentation time (86-88 h), medium pH (6.1-6.2), substrate amount (10.0-10.5 g) and substrate ratio (wheat bran:rice straw) (1.1) had significantly influences on enzyme production. Under these conditions endoglucanase, β-glucosidase, FPase (filter paper degrading activity) and xylanase activities of 826.2, 255.16, 102.5 and 1130.4 U/g, respectively were obtained. The enzyme cocktail extracted (solid to water ratio of 1:10) from the ferments increased brightness of waste office paper pulp by 82.8% ISO, Ink(D) value by 82.1%, removed chromophores (2.53 OD; A(237)nm) and hydrophobic compounds (1.15 OD; A(465)nm) and also decreased the kappa number to 13.5 from 16.8.

  19. Role of Ser-257 in the sliding mechanism of NADP(H) in the reaction catalyzed by the Aspergillus fumigatus flavin-dependent ornithine N5-monooxygenase SidA.

    PubMed

    Shirey, Carolyn; Badieyan, Somayesadat; Sobrado, Pablo

    2013-11-08

    SidA (siderophore A) is a flavin-dependent N-hydroxylating monooxygenase that is essential for virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus. SidA catalyzes the NADPH- and oxygen-dependent formation of N(5)-hydroxyornithine. In this reaction, NADPH reduces the flavin, and the resulting NADP(+) is the last product to be released. The presence of NADP(+) is essential for activity, as it is required for stabilization of the C4a-hydroperoxyflavin, which is the hydroxylating species. As part of our efforts to determine the molecular details of the role of NADP(H) in catalysis, we targeted Ser-257 for site-directed mutagenesis and performed extensive characterization of the S257A enzyme. Using a combination of steady-state and stopped-flow kinetic experiments, substrate analogs, and primary kinetic isotope effects, we show that the interaction between Ser-257 and NADP(H) is essential for stabilization of the C4a-hydroperoxyflavin. Molecular dynamics simulation results suggest that Ser-257 functions as a pivot point, allowing the nicotinamide of NADP(+) to slide into position for stabilization of the C4a-hydroperoxyflavin.

  20. Necrobiotic xanthogranuloma associated with necrotizing scleritis.

    PubMed

    Peyman, Amir; Walsh, Noreen; Green, Peter; Dorey, Michael W; Seamone, Christopher; Pasternak, Sylvia

    2012-08-01

    A 57-year-old man presented to the ophthalmology clinic with a red right eye. He denied pain, diplopia, tearing, and blurred vision. His medical history included asymptomatic annular plaques on the trunk and extremities for at least a decade. Ophthalmological examination revealed a necrotizing scleritis of the right eye. Examination of the skin demonstrated variable sized annular plaques with central atrophy, some with prominent indurated border and yellow discoloration. No periorbital lesions were present. The ocular lesion rapidly progressed and areas of scleral melting developed in the right eye, which eventually required a scleral patch graft. The left eye also developed necrotizing scleritis with areas of scleral melting. Two sets of skin biopsies were performed a few weeks apart. An initial set of skin punch biopsies revealed extensive palisading granulomatous inflammation throughout the dermis, extending into the subcutis. The accompanying perivascular mononuclear infiltrate contained the collections of plasma cells. Scattered multinucleated giant cells were noted. The possibility of necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum was suggested. Subsequent skin biopsies showed more prominent and extensive necrobiosis, raising the possibility of necrobiotic xanthogranuloma. Protein electrophoresis was performed, which revealed an IgG λ monoclonal protein.

  1. Isavuconazole (BAL4815) pharmacodynamic target determination in an in vivo murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis against wild-type and cyp51 mutant isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Lepak, Alexander J; Marchillo, Karen; Vanhecker, Jamie; Andes, David R

    2013-12-01

    Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) continues to rise in concert with increasing numbers of immune suppression techniques to treat other medical conditions and transplantation. Despite these advances, morbidity and mortality rates remain unacceptably high. One strategy used to optimize outcomes is antifungal pharmacodynamic (PD) examination. We explored the pharmacodynamics of a new triazole in development, isavuconazole, in a murine neutropenic IPA model. Ten A. fumigatus isolates were used, including four wild-type isolates and six cyp51 mutants. The MIC range was 0.125 to 8 mg/liter. Following infection, groups of mice were treated orally with the prodrug (BAL8557) at 40 to 640 mg/kg/12 h for 7 days. Efficacy was determined by quantitative PCR of lung homogenates. At the start of therapy, mice had 4.97 log10 conidial equivalents (CE)/ml of lung homogenate, and this increased to 6.82 log10 CE/ml of lung homogenate in untreated animals. The infection model was uniformly lethal in untreated control mice. The PD target endpoints examined included the static-dose AUC/MIC ratio and the 1-log10 killing AUC/MIC ratio. A stasis endpoint was achieved for all isolates with an MIC of ≤1 mg/liter and 1-log10 killing in all isolates with an MIC of ≤0.5 mg/liter, regardless of the presence or absence of the cyp51 mutation. The static-dose range was 65 to 617 mg/kg/12 h. The corresponding median free-drug AUC/MIC ratio was near 5. The 1-log10 killing dose range was 147 to 455 mg/kg/12 h, and the corresponding median free-drug AUC/MIC ratio was 11.1. These values are similar to those previously reported for other triazoles.

  2. 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 Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  3. Nodular Scleritis in Association with Panuveitis in Behçet’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    SAATCI, Ali Osman; AYHAN, Ziya; ONEN, Fatos; OZBEK, Zeynep; DURAK, Ismet

    2016-01-01

    This case report involves a 32-year-old man with Behçet’s disease who had simultaneous bilateral anterior uveitis, unilateral nodular scleritis, and occlusive vasculitis with retinal hemorrhages. Although scleritis is not a classical feature of Behçet’s disease, a diagnosis of Behçet’s disease should be considered in patients with scleritis.

  4. Pharmacotherapy of Scleritis: Current Paradigms and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Beardsley, Robert M.; Suhler, Eric B.; Rosenbaum, James T.; Lin, Phoebe

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Scleritis is an inflammatory condition affecting the eye wall that may be associated with a number of systemic inflammatory diseases. Because scleritis can be refractory to standard treatment, knowledge of the body of available and emerging therapies is paramount and is reviewed here. Areas Covered This review focuses on both traditional and emerging therapies for non-infectious scleritis. We will cover the mechanisms of action and potential adverse effects of each of the treatment modalities. Additionally, a summary of the significant MEDLINE indexed literature under the subject heading “scleritis,” “treatment,” “immunomodulator” will be provided on each therapy, including commentary on appropriate use and relative contraindications. Lastly, novel treatments and potential drug candidates that are currently being evaluated in clinical trials with therapeutic potential will also be reviewed. Expert Opinion While oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and oral corticosteroids are widely used, effective, first-line agents for inflammatory scleritis, refractory cases require anti-metabolites, T cell inhibitors, or biologic response modifiers. In particular, there is emerging evidence for the use of targeted biologic response modifiers, and potentially, for local drug delivery. PMID:23425055

  5. Efficacy of corn silage inoculants on the fermentation quality under farm conditions and their influence on Aspergillus parasitucus, A. flavus and A. fumigatus determined by q-PCR.

    PubMed

    Dogi, Cecilia A; Pellegrino, Matías; Poloni, Valeria; Poloni, Luis; Pereyra, Carina M; Sanabria, Analía; Pianzzola, María Julia; Dalcero, Ana; Cavaglieri, Lilia

    2015-01-01

    Laboratory-scale silos were prepared to evaluate the efficacy of two different lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on the fermentation quality and mycobiota of corn silage. Their influence on Aspergillus species' variability by using the q-PCR technique was studied. Silage inoculated with Lactobacillus rhamnosus RC007 or L. plantarum RC009 were compared with uninoculated silage. Silos were opened after 1, 7, 45, 90 and 120 days after ensiling. At the end of the ensiling period, silos were left open for 7 days to evaluate aerobic stability. Rapid lactic acid production and decline in pH values were seen in the early stages of fermentation in silage inoculated with L. rhamnosus RC007. After aerobic exposure, a significant decline in lactic acid content was observed in untreated and L. plantarum RC009-inoculated silages. Counts for yeasted and toxigenic fungus remained lower, after aerobic exposure, in L. rhamnosus RC007-inoculated silage, in comparison with L. plantarum RC009 and uninoculated silages. Comparing the influence exerted by both BAL, it was observed that L. rhamnosus RC007 was more efficient at inhibiting the three fungal species tested whose DNA concentrations, determined by q-PCR, oscillated near the initial value (pre-ensiling maize). The ability of L. rhamnosus RC007 to produce lactic acid rapidly and the decline in pH values in the early stages of the fermentation along with the reduction of yeast and mycotoxicogenic fungus after aerobic exposure shows its potential as a bio-control inoculant agent in animal feed.

  6. IgG4-Related Disease Presenting as Isolated Scleritis

    PubMed Central

    Arnon, Ella; Yaakobi, Alona; Cohen, Yuval; Tiosano, Beatrice

    2017-01-01

    A rare case of IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) manifesting as nodular scleritis is presented in a 20-year-old female. Patient complained of left eye pain and redness for one week. Ocular examination together with ancillary testing led to the diagnosis of nodular scleritis. Since the patient did not show apparent improvement after one week of systemic steroidal treatment, she underwent a biopsy of the affected area revealing histopathological characteristics of IgG4-RD. Long-term treatment with corticosteroids and a steroid-sparing agent (methotrexate) led to significant improvement in signs and symptoms. This case highlights the significance of IgG4-RD in the differential diagnosis of scleritis and raises the question as to whether various organs affected by IgG4-RD may have different underlying pathophysiological mechanisms in which pathogenic T cells play a role. PMID:28149653

  7. Can lenalidomide play a role in the management of scleritis?

    PubMed

    Al-Jafar, Hassan A; Abul, Nadia; Kumar, Niranjan; Al-Awadhi, Adel

    2013-06-18

    Lenalidomide is an immunomodulatory agent that was approved for the treatment of a monoclonal bone marrow disorders, myelodysplastic syndrome del(5q)(MDS del(5q)), in 2005; the drug was subsequently also approved for the treatment of refractory multiple myeloma, a bone marrow malignancy of the B-lymphocyte lineage. The purpose of this study is to report a case of MDS del(5q) in a female patient, which was most likely secondary to the immunosuppressive drugs that the patient was taking for scleritis. After lenalidomide treatment, the patient's haematological symptoms rapidly resolved and she became transfusion independent, with normal haemoglobin levels. This medication also helped control her dependence on high doses of oral prednisolone. The patient continued to receive treatment with low-dose lenalidomide, and her scleritis has been in long-term remission for 3 years. A larger prospective study can further define the role of lenalidomide in the management of scleritis.

  8. Can lenalidomide play a role in the management of scleritis?

    PubMed Central

    Al-Jafar, Hassan A; Abul, Nadia; Kumar, Niranjan; Al-Awadhi, Adel

    2013-01-01

    Lenalidomide is an immunomodulatory agent that was approved for the treatment of a monoclonal bone marrow disorders, myelodysplastic syndrome del(5q)(MDS del(5q)), in 2005; the drug was subsequently also approved for the treatment of refractory multiple myeloma, a bone marrow malignancy of the B-lymphocyte lineage. The purpose of this study is to report a case of MDS del(5q) in a female patient, which was most likely secondary to the immunosuppressive drugs that the patient was taking for scleritis. After lenalidomide treatment, the patient's haematological symptoms rapidly resolved and she became transfusion independent, with normal haemoglobin levels. This medication also helped control her dependence on high doses of oral prednisolone. The patient continued to receive treatment with low-dose lenalidomide, and her scleritis has been in long-term remission for 3 years. A larger prospective study can further define the role of lenalidomide in the management of scleritis. PMID:23780766

  9. Minimal inhibitory concentrations of lucknomycin, a new polyenic derivative, for Candida and Aspergillus spp.

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Quesada, J; Torres-Rodriguez, J M; Rosés-Codinachs, M; Amaral-Olivera, M

    1983-01-01

    The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of lucknomycin, a new polyenic derivative, were determined for 101 clinical isolates of Candida, 38 clinical or environmental strains of Aspergillus fumigatus, and 30 isolates of A. niger. The most susceptible species were Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis (mean MIC, 0.4 micrograms/ml). Aspergillus spp. were less susceptible, with mean MICs of 0.60 micrograms/ml for Aspergillus niger and 9.2 micrograms/ml for Aspergillus fumigatus. PMID:6625552

  10. Invasive Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia Masquerading as Nodular Scleritis.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Medha; Sundar, Dheepak; Vanathi, Murugesan; Meel, Rachna; Kashyap, Seema; Chawla, Rohan; Tandon, Radhika

    The authors report a rare case of ocular surface squamous neoplasia with intraocular involvement that had an initial masquerade presentation of recurrent anterior nodular scleritis. A 35-year-old male patient presented with right eye recurrent anterior nodular scleritis for which a lamellar patch graft was done. Two months later, the patient presented with recurrence of symptoms. Histopathology review revealed the presence of well-differentiated squamous cell malignancy. A high index of suspicion for malignancy is required in such cases when they do not respond to conventional therapy.

  11. Scleritis Associated with SAPHO Syndrome: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Rie; Sakurai, Keiichi; Kaburaki, Toshikatsu

    2017-01-06

    A 31-year-old woman developed bilateral painful red eyes. A slit-lamp examination revealed anterior diffuse scleritis. She had been diagnosed with palmoplantar pustulosis 2 years before. Further evaluation revealed hyperostosis of the sacroiliac joint and inflammation of the bilateral sternoclavicular joints and right sternocostal joint. Ultimately, she was diagnosed with SAPHO syndrome by rheumatologists after excluding other causative diseases. Scleritis associated with SAPHO syndrome is relatively uncommon. An identification of any systemic symptoms and early consultation with rheumatologists are key to making an early and correct diagnosis.

  12. Infectious Pseudomonas and Bipolaris scleritis following history of pterygium surgery

    PubMed Central

    Abbey, Ashkan M; Shah, Nisha V; Forster, Richard K; Suh, Leejee H

    2016-01-01

    We report an interesting case of infectious scleritis from coinfection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bipolaris with no corneal infiltrate. A healthy 60-year-old man with a history of infectious scleritis following pterygium excision presented with purulent material growing P. aeruginosa and 1+ colonies of Bipolaris species of fungus. Broad spectrum treatment was initiated with hourly topical moxifloxacin, fortified tobramycin, and natamycin along with a subconjunctival injection of voriconazole and topical cyclosporine, with PO ketoconazole. After 10 weeks of aggressive empiric treatment, the patient's symptoms had resolved, and his vision returned to baseline although a scleral patch graft was utilized to stabilize scleral thinning. PMID:27853018

  13. Dose Range Evaluation of Liposomal Nystatin and Comparisons with Amphotericin B and Amphotericin B Lipid Complex in Temporarily Neutropenic Mice Infected with an Isolate of Aspergillus fumigatus with Reduced Susceptibility to Amphotericin B

    PubMed Central

    Denning, David W.; Warn, Peter

    1999-01-01

    Using an isolate of Aspergillus fumigatus that is less susceptible in vivo to amphotericin B than most other isolates, we compared different doses of liposomal nystatin (L-nystatin), liposomal amphotericin B (L-amphotericin), and amphotericin B lipid complex (ABLC) with amphotericin B deoxycholate. Four experiments with intravenously infected neutropenic mice were conducted. A dose of L-nystatin at 10 mg/kg of body weight was toxic (the mice had fits or respiratory arrest). The optimal dosage of L-nystatin was 5 mg/kg daily on days 1, 2, 4, and 7 (90% survival). This was superior to L-amphotericin (5 mg/kg [P = 0.24] and 1 mg/kg [P < 0.0001]), ABLC (5 mg/kg [P = 0.014] and 1 mg/kg [P < 0.0001]), and amphotericin B deoxycholate (5 mg/kg [P = 0.008]). In terms of liver and kidney cultures, L-nystatin (5 mg/kg) was superior to all other regimens (P = 0.0032 and <0.0001, respectively). Higher doses of L-amphotericin (25 and 50 mg/kg) in one earlier experiment were more effective (100% survival) than 1 mg of L-amphotericin per kg and amphotericin deoxycholate (5 mg/kg) in terms of mortality and both liver and kidney culture results and to L-amphotericin (5 mg/kg) in terms of liver and kidney culture results only. ABLC (25 mg/kg) given daily for 7 days was superior to ABLC (50 mg/kg [P = 0.03]) but not to ABLC at 5 mg/kg or amphotericin B deoxycholate in terms of mortality, although it was in terms of liver and kidney culture results. No dose-response for amphotericin B (5 and 1 mg/kg) was demonstrable. In conclusion, in this stringent model, high doses of L-amphotericin and ABLC could overcome reduced susceptibility to amphotericin B deoxycholate, but all were inferior to 5- to 10-fold lower doses of L-nystatin. PMID:10543734

  14. Use of multiple immunosuppressive agents in recalcitrant ACANTHAMOEBA scleritis.

    PubMed

    Igras, Estera; Murphy, Conor

    2015-04-15

    A 48-year-old woman who is a contact lens wearer presented with unilateral ACANTHAMOEBA keratitis, confirmed by PCR, which responded initially to topical polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) and brolene. Three months later, despite continued treatment, she developed diffuse anterior scleritis with severe pain and marked scleral injection but without evidence of recurrence keratitis. Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and oral high-dose corticosteroids were added without success. Subsequent treatment with intravenous methylprednisolone and high-dose cyclosporine led to a temporary improvement. Re-presenting with signs of recurrent scleritis and severe pain, the antitumor necrosis factor monoclonal antibody adalimumab, and later oral cyclophosphamide, were added. This led to complete quiescence of the scleritis. Unfortunately, frequent recurrences of ACANTHAMOEBA keratitis and anterior uveitis occurred on immunosuppression requiring continued treatment with PHMB, brolene and topical corticosteroids. This is the first case of severe refractory ACANTHAMOEBA scleritis requiring the concomitant use of four immunosuppressive agents to achieve continued disease control. The challenges in managing this case are discussed.

  15. Trigeminal autonomic cephalgia caused by recurrent posterior scleritis.

    PubMed

    Alim-Marvasti, Ali; Ho, Jason; Weatherall, Mark; Patel, Maneesh; George, Sheena; Viegas, Stuart

    2016-12-01

    A 40-year-old woman presented with a side-locked headache with autonomic features, which then switched sides before reverting to the original side. The atypical features of side swapping, partial response to indometacin and abnormal optic disc appearances ultimately led to a diagnosis of recurrent posterior scleritis. We discuss the differential diagnosis of trigeminal autonomic cephalgias and its secondary causes, and provide practical pointers for its investigation and management.

  16. Anterior segment spectral domain optical coherence tomography imaging of patients with anterior scleritis.

    PubMed

    Levison, Ashleigh L; Lowder, Careen Y; Baynes, Kimberly M; Kaiser, Peter K; Srivastava, Sunil K

    2016-08-01

    The purpose of the study was to describe the findings seen on anterior segment spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in patients with anterior scleritis and determine the feasibility of using SD-OCT to image and grade the degree of scleral inflammation and monitor response to treatment. All patients underwent slit lamp examination by a uveitis specialist, and the degree of scleral inflammation was recorded. Spectral domain OCT imaging was then performed of the conjunctiva and scleral tissue using a standardized acquisition protocol. The scans were graded and compared to clinical findings. Twenty-eight patients with anterior scleritis and ten patients without ocular disease were included in the study. Seventeen of the scleritis patients were followed longitudinally. Common findings on SD-OCT in patients with active scleritis included changes in hyporeflectivity within the sclera, nodules, and visible vessels within the sclera. There was significant variation in findings on SD-OCT within each clinical grade of active scleritis. These changes on SD-OCT improved with treatment and clinical improvement. SD-OCT imaging provided various objective measures that could be used in the future to grade inflammatory activity in patients with anterior scleritis. Longitudinal imaging of patients with active scleritis demonstrated that SD-OCT may have great utility in monitoring response to treatment.

  17. Posterior scleritis in pediatric age group: A case report and review of literature

    PubMed Central

    Shenoy, Radha; Suryawanshi, Milind; Isaac, Roshini; Philip, Santhosh K.

    2016-01-01

    Posterior scleritis is rare in both the adult and pediatric age groups. Increased awareness and availability of advanced diagnostic facilities aid in early diagnosis and management. Visual recovery is possible with systemic steroids and immunosuppression. We report the case of a 12-year-old male child who presented with poor vision in his right eye and was found to have retinal striae and disc edema due to posterior scleritis. PMID:27013832

  18. Risedronate-associated scleritis: a case report and review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Hemmati, Iman; Wade, John; Kelsall, John

    2012-09-01

    This paper presents the first reported case of risedronate-associated scleritis and conducts a review of bisphosphonates and inflammatory eye diseases. A case of scleritis associated with risedronate use in a 73-year-old Chinese woman is reported. The English medical literature was reviewed for bisphosphonates and their association with inflammatory eye diseases. Cases of ocular inflammation in patients taking bisphosphonates have been reported since the early 1990s. Reported cases include both nitrogen- and non-nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates and with both intravenous and oral use. We report the first case of risedronate-induced scleritis. The case involves a 73-year-old woman who developed scleritis following exposure to risedronate in 2007 with recurrence of scleritis upon risedronate exposure again in 2009. Discontinuation of risedronate and treatment with intravenous and topical corticosteroids resulted in both clinical and radiological improvements within 24 h. Applying Naranjo's adverse drug reaction probability scale, a causality assessment was made which categorized this reaction as definite with a score of 9. In our case, there was a strong causal relationship between the use of risedronate and scleritis. Although rare, ocular adverse effects of bisphosphonates may be serious and should be made known to prescribing physicians. This is important in the practice of rheumatology as many of the patients are prescribed this class of medication for either prevention or treatment of osteoporosis. Moreover, ocular inflammation can be a sign of systemic disease, and such patients may be referred to a rheumatologist.

  19. Posterior scleritis presenting as conjunctivitis in a child.

    PubMed

    Mallick, Jyotiranjan; Pujahari, Susant; Maharana, Prafulla Kumar

    2016-12-09

    A 14-year-old male child presented with redness and decreased vision in the right eye for 7 days. He was being treated for viral conjunctivitis for right eye at a local hospital. His visual acuity was 6/24 OD and 6/9 OS. Slit-lamp examination revealed diffuse conjunctival congestion in the right eye. Dilated fundus examination revealed mild disc hyperaemia and retinal striae in both the eyes. A peripapillary serous detachment of macula in the right eye was seen on optical coherence tomography. B scan ultrasonography revealed increased scleral thickening and characteristic 'T' sign in both the eyes. Investigations revealed no other relevant systemic association. A diagnosis of bilateral posterior scleritis was made. The patient was started on topical steroids and oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Within 2 weeks of therapy the visual acuity improved to 6/6, the serous detachment resolved and retinal striae reduced in both the eyes.

  20. [Diagnosis and treatment approach for necrotizing scleritis (NS): A clinical case].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Camarena, Julio C; Rodríguez-García, Alejandro; Valdez-García, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    Necrotizing scleritis is an immune-mediated ocular inflammatory process, characterized by an area of avascular necrosis and a profound inflammation of the sclera and episclera. Necrotizing scleritis and its association with peripheral ulcerative keratitis--necrotizing sclerokeratitis (NS)--represents a serious threat for vision and eye integrity, evolves very fast if untreated, and its finding suggests the presence of a potentially lethal systemic vasculitic process. The following case is an example of the diagnostic approach and therapeutic scale in a 63-year-old women with necrotizing sclerokeratitis.

  1. Triazole Resistance in Aspergillus Species: An Emerging Problem.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Rubio, Rocio; Cuenca-Estrella, Manuel; Mellado, Emilia

    2017-04-01

    Aspergillus species are ubiquitous fungal saprophytes found in diverse ecological niches worldwide. Among them, Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent and is largely responsible for the increased incidence of invasive aspergillosis with high mortality rates in some immunocompromised hosts. Azoles are the first-line drugs in treating diseases caused by Aspergillus spp. However, increasing reports in A. fumigatus azole resistance, both in the clinical setting and in the environment, are threatening the effectiveness of clinical and agricultural azole drugs. The azole target is the 14-α sterol demethylase encoded by cyp51A gene and the main mechanisms of resistance involve the integration of tandem repeats in its promoter and/or single point mutations in this gene. In A. fumigatus, azole resistance can emerge in two different scenarios: a medical route in which azole resistance is generated during long periods of azole treatment in the clinical setting and a route of resistance derived from environmental origin due to extended use of demethylation inhibitors in agriculture. The understanding of A. fumigatus azole resistance development and its evolution is needed in order to prevent or minimize its impact. In this article, we review the current situation of azole resistance epidemiology and the predominant molecular mechanisms described based on the resistance acquisition routes. In addition, the clinical implications of A. fumigatus azole resistance and future research are discussed.

  2. Cryptic Sexuality Influences Aflatoxigenicity in Aspergillus parasiticus and A. flavus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ascomycetous fungi of the genus Aspergillus comprise a wide variety of species of biotechnological importance as well as pathogens and toxin producers. Recent studies report A. fumigatus to be heterothallic and possibly undergoing sexual reproduction. We therefore investigated whether compatible mat...

  3. Allergens/Antigens, toxins and polyketides of important Aspergillus species.

    PubMed

    Bhetariya, Preetida J; Madan, Taruna; Basir, Seemi Farhat; Varma, Anupam; Usha, Sarma P

    2011-04-01

    The medical, agricultural and biotechnological importance of the primitive eukaryotic microorganisms, the Fungi was recognized way back in 1920. Among various groups of fungi, the Aspergillus species are studied in great detail using advances in genomics and proteomics to unravel biological and molecular mechanisms in these fungi. Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus parasiticus, Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus terreus are some of the important species relevant to human, agricultural and biotechnological applications. The potential of Aspergillus species to produce highly diversified complex biomolecules such as multifunctional proteins (allergens, antigens, enzymes) and polyketides is fascinating and demands greater insight into the understanding of these fungal species for application to human health. Recently a regulator gene for secondary metabolites, LaeA has been identified. Gene mining based on LaeA has facilitated new metabolites with antimicrobial activity such as emericellamides and antitumor activity such as terrequinone A from A. nidulans. Immunoproteomic approach was reported for identification of few novel allergens for A. fumigatus. In this context, the review is focused on recent developments in allergens, antigens, structural and functional diversity of the polyketide synthases that produce polyketides of pharmaceutical and biological importance. Possible antifungal drug targets for development of effective antifungal drugs and new strategies for development of molecular diagnostics are considered.

  4. [Aspergillus infection in skin transplantation and its therapy].

    PubMed

    Bauer, U; Staib, F; Hasse, W

    1975-06-01

    In a 10 years old girl sustaining a corrosive injury of the lower leg from sulphuric acid, in the region of a skin transplantation colonization with Aspergillus fumigatus (Fresenium) and Aspergillus niger (van Tieghem) took place. This infection endangered the attempt of transplantation and the saving of the foot. Treatment by medication with nystatin (moronal) and canesten (clotrimazol) were ineffective. Pimaricin (pimafucin, natamycin) quickly erradicated the mycotic infection and secured an undisturbed progress for the transplantation. Additionally the epidemiology of infections by Aspergillus is briefly discussed.

  5. A study on Aspergillus species in houses of asthmatic patients from Sari City, Iran and a brief review of the health effects of exposure to indoor Aspergillus.

    PubMed

    Hedayati, Mohammad T; Mayahi, Sabah; Denning, David W

    2010-09-01

    To study the distribution of Aspergillus spp. in outdoor and indoor air of asthmatic patients' houses, as well as a review on the health effects of exposure to indoor Aspergillus. Open plates containing malt extract agar media were used to isolate fungi from the indoor (n = 360) and outdoor (n = 180) air of 90 asthmatic patients' houses living in Sari City, Iran. Plates were incubated at room temperature for 7-14 days. Cultured Aspergillus spp. were identified by standard mycological techniques. All culture plates grew fungi, a testament to the ubiquitous nature of fungal exposure. Cladosporium spp. (29.2%), Aspergillus spp. (19.0%), and Penicillium spp. (18.3%) were most common inside the houses while Cladosporium spp. (44.5%), Aspergillus spp. (12.4%), and Alternaria spp. (11.1%) were most common outside the houses. Aspergillus flavus (30.1%) and A. fumigatus (23.1%) are the most commonly isolated species in indoor air. Aspergillus flavus (44.5%) and A. fumigatus (42.6%) were the most prevalent Aspergillus spp. outside. The most colony numbers of Aspergillus were isolated from kitchens (30.4%) and the least from bedrooms (21.1%). Aspergillus flavus was the most prevalent species in all sampled rooms except in the kitchen where A. fumigatus was the most common. Aspergillus flavus is the most prevalent species among the Aspergillus spp. in the indoor and outdoor of a warm climate area. In these areas, A. flavus can be a major source of allergen in the air. Therefore, minimizing indoor fungal exposure could play an important role in reducing allergic symptoms in susceptible persons.

  6. Mechanism of uptake of strontium isotopes in aspergillus lesions.

    PubMed

    Rawal, B D; Adiseshan, N

    1976-03-01

    Observations on experimental aspergillosis of chorioallantoic membranes confirmed that strontium-85 uptake in aspergillus lesions was directly due to infection by the fungus. Such uptake was not found in normal or in Toxoplasma gondii-infected control membranes. Further, the avidity of radionuclide uptake was proportional to the mycelial mass, as previously observed clinically. Investigations on 85Sr containing malt extract broth Aspergillus fumigatus cultures revealed that fungal hyphas did not contain the major proportion of radioactivity, but culture filtrates did, and suggested that a fungal metabolite may be responsible for radiostrontium binding. Subsequent radiochromatography of filtrates obtained from A. fumigatus cultures confirmed the existence of such a metabolite. Several clinical and laboratory observations support the concept that an aspergillus metabolite at foci of infection binds 85Sr and 87mSr.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. In vitro susceptibilities of Aspergillus spp. causing otomycosis to amphotericin B, voriconazole and itraconazole.

    PubMed

    Kaya, Ayse Demet; Kiraz, Nuri

    2007-11-01

    Otomycosis is worldwide in distribution and most commonly caused by Aspergillus species. Amphotericin B, itraconazole and voriconazole are used for the treatment of aspergillosis, but recently an increase in resistance to these agents has been reported. We aimed at investigating the in vitro activities of amphotericin B, voriconazole and itraconazole against Aspergillus isolates causing otomycosis. Mycological analysis of samples from the ear canals of patients was performed by culturing onto Sabouraud Dextrose Agar and by evaluating microscopically. Aspergillus species were identified with colony morphology and microscopic appearance, and tested for susceptibilities to amphotericin B, itraconazole and voriconazole by the CLSI reference broth microdilution method (M38-A document). A total of 120 isolates from 120 patients, comprising 57 Aspergillus niger, 42 Aspergillus fumigatus, nine Aspergillus flavus, six Aspergillus nidulans and six Aspergillus terreus strains were tested. No resistance was determined against amphotericin B and voriconazole, while six A. fumigatus and three A. niger isolates were resistant to itraconazole. In vitro data obtained in this study showed the resistance to itraconazole, while all of the isolates were susceptible to voriconazole and amphotericin B. Voriconazole seemed to be an alternative in the treatment of infections related to Aspergillus spp. but further studies are needed to learn more about the antifungal resistance of different species of Aspergillus to different agents.

  9. Epidemiological and Genomic Landscape of Azole Resistance Mechanisms in Aspergillus Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Hagiwara, Daisuke; Watanabe, Akira; Kamei, Katsuhiko; Goldman, Gustavo H.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis is a life-threatening mycosis caused by the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus. The predominant causal species is Aspergillus fumigatus, and azole drugs are the treatment of choice. Azole drugs approved for clinical use include itraconazole, voriconazole, posaconazole, and the recently added isavuconazole. However, epidemiological research has indicated that the prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates has increased significantly over the last decade. What is worse is that azole-resistant strains are likely to have emerged not only in response to long-term drug treatment but also because of exposure to azole fungicides in the environment. Resistance mechanisms include amino acid substitutions in the target Cyp51A protein, tandem repeat sequence insertions at the cyp51A promoter, and overexpression of the ABC transporter Cdr1B. Environmental azole-resistant strains harboring the association of a tandem repeat sequence and punctual mutation of the Cyp51A gene (TR34/L98H and TR46/Y121F/T289A) have become widely disseminated across the world within a short time period. The epidemiological data also suggests that the number of Aspergillus spp. other than A. fumigatus isolated has risen. Some non-fumigatus species intrinsically show low susceptibility to azole drugs, imposing the need for accurate identification, and drug susceptibility testing in most clinical cases. Currently, our knowledge of azole resistance mechanisms in non-fumigatus Aspergillus species such as A. flavus, A. niger, A. tubingensis, A. terreus, A. fischeri, A. lentulus, A. udagawae, and A. calidoustus is limited. In this review, we present recent advances in our understanding of azole resistance mechanisms particularly in A. fumigatus. We then provide an overview of the genome sequences of non-fumigatus species, focusing on the proteins related to azole resistance mechanisms. PMID:27708619

  10. Environmental fungicides and triazole resistance in Aspergillus.

    PubMed

    Bowyer, Paul; Denning, David W

    2014-02-01

    Fungal diseases are problematic in both human health and agriculture. Treatment options are limited and resistance may emerge. The relatively recent recognition of triazole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus has prompted questioning of the origin of resistance. While multiple mechanisms are described in clinical isolates from triazole-treated patients, some de novo resistance is also recognised, especially attributable to TR34 /L98H. Such strains probably arose in the environment, and, indeed, multiple studies have now demonstrated TR(34) /L98H triazole resistance strains of A. fumigatus from soil. Docking and other in vitro studies are consistent with environmental resistance induction through exposure to certain triazole fungicides, notably difenoconazole, propiconazole, epoxiconazole, bromuconazole and tebuconazole. This article addresses the potential implications of this issue for both human health and food security.

  11. Rapid Differentiation of Aspergillus Species from Other Medically Important Opportunistic Molds and Yeasts by PCR-Enzyme Immunoassay

    PubMed Central

    de Aguirre, Liliana; Hurst, Steven F.; Choi, Jong Soo; Shin, Jong Hee; Hinrikson, Hans Peter; Morrison, Christine J.

    2004-01-01

    We developed a PCR-based assay to differentiate medically important species of Aspergillus from one another and from other opportunistic molds and yeasts by employing universal, fungus-specific primers and DNA probes in an enzyme immunoassay format (PCR-EIA). Oligonucleotide probes, directed to the internal transcribed spacer 2 region of ribosomal DNA from Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus ustus, and Aspergillus versicolor, differentiated 41 isolates (3 to 9 each of the respective species; P < 0.001) in a PCR-EIA detection matrix and gave no false-positive reactions with 33 species of Acremonium, Exophiala, Candida, Fusarium, Mucor, Paecilomyces, Penicillium, Rhizopus, Scedosporium, Sporothrix, or other aspergilli tested. A single DNA probe to detect all seven of the most medically important Aspergillus species (A. flavus, A. fumigatus, A. nidulans, A. niger, A. terreus, A. ustus, and A. versicolor) was also designed. Identification of Aspergillus species was accomplished within a single day by the PCR-EIA, and as little as 0.5 pg of fungal DNA could be detected by this system. In addition, fungal DNA extracted from tissues of experimentally infected rabbits was successfully amplified and identified using the PCR-EIA system. This method is simple, rapid, and sensitive for the identification of medically important Aspergillus species and for their differentiation from other opportunistic fungi. PMID:15297489

  12. [Detection of mycobacterial DNA with polymerase chain reaction in eye discharge and gastric juices in a case of scleritis].

    PubMed

    Tanemoto, K; Ishikawa, H; Kigasawa, K; Obazawa, H; Fusegawa, H; Miyachi, H; Ando, Y

    1997-01-01

    We report a case of mycobacterial scleritis in which prompt diagnosis was made by the detection of mycobacterial DNA with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in eye discharge and gastric juices, when conventional tests were negative. A 77-year-old woman who had a past history of pulmonary tuberculosis visited the outpatient clinic of Tokai University Hospital complaining of pain in her right eye. She was diagnosed as having scleritis and uveitis. There were no indications of active tuberculosis. We examined the gastric juices, sputum, and eye discharge by microscopy, culture, and PCR for detection of mycobacterium. The results of microscopy and culture were negative, but with PCR we detected atypical mycobacterium in eye discharge and gastric juices. After oral treatment with antituberculosis agents, the patient's eye symptoms disappeared. Detecting mycobacterial DNA with PCR could be useful for early diagnosis of mycobacterial scleritis, so that treatment with antituberculosis agents could be started.

  13. Air-borne fungi in the air of Barcelona (Spain). III. The genus Aspergillus Link.

    PubMed

    Calvo, A; Guarro, J; Suarez, G; Ramirez, C

    1980-05-01

    During a survey on the presence of species of the genus Aspergillus in the air of the city of Barcelona (Spain), the following species were identified: Aspergillus flavus Link, A. niger van Tieghem, A. fumigatus Fresenius, A. clavatus Desmazières, A. terreus Thom, A. chevalieri (Mang.) Thom et Church, A. niveus Bloch, emend. Thom et Church, A. ochraceus Wilhelm, A. versicolor (Vuillemin) Tiraboschi, and A. amstelodami (Mang.) Church et Thom.

  14. Risk Factors and Clinical Outcomes of Bacterial and Fungal Scleritis at a Tertiary Eye Care Hospital

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, Jagadesh C.; Murthy, Somasheila I.; Reddy, Ashok K.; Garg, Prashant

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The aim was to analyze demographics, risk factors, pathogenic organisms, and clinical outcome in cases with microbiologically proven bacterial or fungal scleritis. Materials and Methods: Retrospective review of all the medical records of patients with microbiologically proven infectious scleritis examined from March 2005 to December 2009 in the cornea services of L. V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India was done. Results: Forty-two eyes of 42 patients were included in this study. The mean age at presentation was 48.52 ± 14.10 years (range: 12-70). Surgery was the major risk factor seen in 24 eyes (58.5%). Scleral infection was noted after vitreoretinal surgery (with scleral buckle) in 15 eyes, cataract surgery in 3 eyes, pterygium surgery in 3 eyes, corneoscleral tear repair and scleral buckle surgery in 3 eyes. Sixteen eyes (39%) were on systemic or topical steroids at the time of presentation. History of injury was noted in 9 eyes (22%) and diabetes mellitus in 7 patients (17%). Associated keratitis was noted in 9 eyes (21.4%). The scleral abscess was unifocal in 33 eyes (78.5%), multifocal in 6 eyes (14.2%) and diffuse in 3 eyes (7.14%). The final follow-up ranged from 24 days to 37 months. The final visual acuity was better in 18 eyes (42.8%), stable in 13 (30.9%), and deteriorated in 7 eyes (16.6%). Recurrence was seen in 4 eyes (9.5%). Conclusions: Surgery is a major risk factor for infectious scleritis in our series. Fungus was the most common organism isolated. Thorough debridement and intensive use of medications have improved the outcome. PMID:25949079

  15. Melanin dependent survival of Apergillus fumigatus conidia in lung epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Amin, Shayista; Thywissen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Saluz, Hans Peter; Brakhage, Axel A

    2014-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne pathogenic fungus of humans. Upon inhalation of conidia, the fungus makes close contact with lung epithelial cells, which only possess low phagocytic activity. These cells are in particular interesting to address the question whether there is some form of persistence of conidia of A. fumigatus in the human host. Therefore, by also using uracil-auxotrophic mutant strains, we were able to investigate the interaction of A549 lung epithelial cells and A. fumigatus conidia in detail for long periods. Interestingly, unlike professional phagocytes, our study showed that the presence of conidial dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin enhanced the uptake of A. fumigatus conidia by epithelial cells when compared with non-pigmented pksP mutant conidia. Furthermore, conidia of A. fumigatus were able to survive within epithelial cells. This was due to the presence of DHN melanin in the cell wall of conidia, because melanised wild-type conidia showed a higher survival rate inside epithelial cells and led to inhibition of acidification of phagolysosomes. Both effects were not observed for white (non-melanised) conidia of the pksP mutant strain. Moreover, in contrast to pksP mutant conidia, melanised wild-type conidia were able to inhibit the extrinsic apoptotic pathway in A549 lung epithelial cells even for longer periods. The anti-apoptotic effect was not restricted to conidia, because both conidia-derived melanin ghosts (cell-free DHN melanin) and a different type of melanin, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanin, acted anti-apoptotically. Taken together, these data indicate the possibility of melanin-dependent persistence of conidia in lung epithelial cells.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. Induction of A. fumigatus-specific CD4-positive T cells in patients recovering from invasive aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Jolink, Hetty; Hagedoorn, Renate S; Lagendijk, Ellen L; Drijfhout, Jan W; van Dissel, Jaap T; Falkenburg, J H Frederik; Heemskerk, Mirjam H M

    2014-07-01

    After allogeneic stem cell transplantation patients are at risk of invasive aspergillosis, especially during the period of neutropenia. Recent data suggest that impaired T-cell immune reconstitution after transplantation plays an important role in this increased risk. In this study we investigated whether Aspergillus-specific T cells are involved in the recovery from invasive aspergillosis by analyzing the Aspergillus-specific T-cell response in patients with invasive aspergillosis. In nine patients whose Aspergillus infection improved, we identified Crf1- or Catalase1-specific T cells on the basis of CD154 expression and interferon-γ production following stimulation with overlapping peptides of the A. fumigatus proteins Crf1 and Catalase1. These Aspergillus-specific T cells were induced at the moment of regression of the aspergillus lesions. Crf1- and Catalase1-specific T cells, sorted on the basis of CD154 expression at the peak of the immune response, had a T helper-1 phenotype and recognized a variety of T-cell epitopes. In contrast, in two patients with progressive invasive aspergillosis, no Crf1- or Catalase1-specific T cells were identified. These data indicate that the presence of Aspergillus-specific T cells with a T helper-1 phenotype correlates with the clearance of aspergillus infection.

  18. Purification and physico-chemical characterisation of genetically modified phytases expressed in Aspergillus awamori.

    PubMed

    Martin, Judith A; Murphy, Richard A; Power, Ronan F G

    2006-09-01

    Two heterologous phytases from Aspergillus awamori and Aspergillus fumigatus obtained from submerged cultures of genetically modified fungal strains in addition to two commercially available phytase preparations (Allzyme and Natuphos phytases) were purified to homogeneity using a combination of ultrafiltration, gel filtration and ion exchange. The purified preparations were used in subsequent characterisation studies, in which Western Immunoblot analysis, pH and temperature optima, thermal stability and substrate specificity were assessed. A. fumigatus phyA phytase expressed in A. awamori exhibited activity over a broad pH range together with an increased temperature optimum, and slightly enhanced thermal stability compared to the other phytases tested, and is thus a promising candidate for animal feed applications. This particular phytase retains activity over a wide range of pH values characteristic of the digestive tract and could conceivably be more suited to the increasingly higher feed processing temperatures being utilised today, than the corresponding phytases from Aspergillus niger.

  19. The Aspergillus Genome Database: multispecies curation and incorporation of RNA-Seq data to improve structural gene annotations

    PubMed Central

    Cerqueira, Gustavo C.; Arnaud, Martha B.; Inglis, Diane O.; Skrzypek, Marek S.; Binkley, Gail; Simison, Matt; Miyasato, Stuart R.; Binkley, Jonathan; Orvis, Joshua; Shah, Prachi; Wymore, Farrell; Sherlock, Gavin; Wortman, Jennifer R.

    2014-01-01

    The Aspergillus Genome Database (AspGD; http://www.aspgd.org) is a freely available web-based resource that was designed for Aspergillus researchers and is also a valuable source of information for the entire fungal research community. In addition to being a repository and central point of access to genome, transcriptome and polymorphism data, AspGD hosts a comprehensive comparative genomics toolbox that facilitates the exploration of precomputed orthologs among the 20 currently available Aspergillus genomes. AspGD curators perform gene product annotation based on review of the literature for four key Aspergillus species: Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger. We have iteratively improved the structural annotation of Aspergillus genomes through the analysis of publicly available transcription data, mostly expressed sequenced tags, as described in a previous NAR Database article (Arnaud et al. 2012). In this update, we report substantive structural annotation improvements for A. nidulans, A. oryzae and A. fumigatus genomes based on recently available RNA-Seq data. Over 26 000 loci were updated across these species; although those primarily comprise the addition and extension of untranslated regions (UTRs), the new analysis also enabled over 1000 modifications affecting the coding sequence of genes in each target genome. PMID:24194595

  20. Isolation and identification of Aspergillus spp. from brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) nocturnal houses in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Glare, Travis R; Gartrell, Brett D; Brookes, Jenny J; Perrott, John K

    2014-03-01

    Aspergillosis, a disease caused by infection with Aspergillus spp., is a common cause of death in birds globally and is an irregular cause of mortality of captive kiwi (Apteryx spp.). Aspergillus spp. are often present in rotting plant material, including the litter and nesting material used for kiwi in captivity. The aim of this study was to survey nocturnal kiwi houses in New Zealand to assess the levels of Aspergillus currently present in leaf litter. Samples were received from 11 nocturnal kiwi houses from throughout New Zealand, with one site supplying multiple samples over time. Aspergillus was isolated and quantified by colony counts from litter samples using selective media and incubation temperatures. Isolates were identified to the species level by amplification and sequencing of ITS regions of the ribosomal. Aspergillus spp. were recovered from almost every sample; however, the levels in most kiwi houses were below 1000 colony-forming units (CFU)/g of wet material. The predominant species was Aspergillus fumigatus, with rare occurrences of Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus nidulans, and Aspergillus parasiticus. Only one site had no detectable Aspergillus. The limit of detection was around 50 CFU/g wet material. One site was repeatedly sampled as it had a high loading of A. fumigatus at the start of the survey and had two recent clinical cases of aspergillosis diagnosed in resident kiwi. Environmental loading at this site with Aspergillus spp. reduced but was not eliminated despite changes of the litter. The key finding of our study is that the background levels of Aspergillus spores in kiwi nocturnal houses in New Zealand are low, but occasional exceptions occur and are associated with the onset of aspergillosis in otherwise healthy birds. The predominant Aspergillus species present in the leaf litter was A. fumigatus, but other species were also present. Further research is needed to confirm the optimal management of leaf litter to minimize Aspergillus

  1. Colonization of an intralobar pulmonary sequestration by Aspergillus.

    PubMed

    Zambudio, Ríos A; Calvo, Roca M J; García, Polo L A; Lanzas, J Torres; Paricio, P Panilla

    2003-01-01

    Aspergillus is an opportunistic fungus that usually colonizes preexisting lung cavities, especially tuberculous ones. Colonization of a pulmonary sequestration by this germ is exceptional, with just 14 cases reported in the world literature, most of them in Asia. A case is presented of a 48-year-old woman with pleuritic thoracic pain. Simple chest radiology revealed a lower right pulmonary tumor with clear margins and a calcium-type density. CT showed it to correspond to a 6 x 5-cm hypodense mass, which was enhanced at the periphery with intravenous contrast. Aspiration puncture yielded a greenish-yellow pus and the microscopic study strongly suggested Aspergillus, confirmed by culture as Aspergillus fumigatus. Surgery revealed an infected pulmonary sequestration at the lower right lobe, and a lobectomy was performed.

  2. Metabolomics Analysis Reveals Specific Novel Tetrapeptide and Potential Anti-Inflammatory Metabolites in Pathogenic Aspergillus species

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kim-Chung; Tam, Emily W. T.; Lo, Ka-Ching; Tsang, Alan K. L.; Lau, Candy C. Y.; To, Kelvin K. W.; Chan, Jasper F. W.; Lam, Ching-Wan; Yuen, Kwok-Yung; Lau, Susanna K. P.; Woo, Patrick C. Y.

    2015-01-01

    Infections related to Aspergillus species have emerged to become an important focus in infectious diseases, as a result of the increasing use of immunosuppressive agents and high fatality associated with invasive aspergillosis. However, laboratory diagnosis of Aspergillus infections remains difficult. In this study, by comparing the metabolomic profiles of the culture supernatants of 30 strains of six pathogenic Aspergillus species (A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, A. terreus, A. nomius and A. tamarii) and 31 strains of 10 non-Aspergillus fungi, eight compounds present in all strains of the six Aspergillus species but not in any strain of the non-Aspergillus fungi were observed. One of the eight compounds, Leu–Glu–Leu–Glu, is a novel tetrapeptide and represents the first linear tetrapeptide observed in Aspergillus species, which we propose to be named aspergitide. Two other closely related Aspergillus-specific compounds, hydroxy-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid and (sulfooxy)benzoic acid, may possess anti-inflammatory properties, as 2-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid possesses a structure similar to those of aspirin [2-(acetoxy)benzoic acid] and salicylic acid (2-hydroxybenzoic acid). Further studies to examine the potentials of these Aspergillus-specific compounds for laboratory diagnosis of aspergillosis are warranted and further experiments will reveal whether Leu–Glu–Leu–Glu, hydroxy-(sulfooxy)benzoic acid and (sulfooxy)benzoic acid are virulent factors of the pathogenic Aspergillus species. PMID:26090713

  3. Aspergillus tanneri sp. nov., a New Pathogen That Causes Invasive Disease Refractory to Antifungal Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Sugui, Janyce A.; Peterson, Stephen W.; Clark, Lily P.; Nardone, Glenn; Folio, Les; Riedlinger, Gregory; Zerbe, Christa S.; Shea, Yvonne; Henderson, Christina M.; Zelazny, Adrian M.; Holland, Steven M.

    2012-01-01

    The most common cause of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is Aspergillus fumigatus followed by A. nidulans; other aspergilli rarely cause the disease. Here we review two clinical cases of fatal IA in CGD patients and describe a new etiologic agent of IA refractory to antifungal therapy. Unlike typical IA caused by A. fumigatus, the disease caused by the new species was chronic and spread from the lung to multiple adjacent organs. Mycological characteristics and the phylogenetic relationship with other aspergilli based on the sequence analysis of Mcm7, RPB2, and Tsr1 indicated that the new species, which we named as A. tanneri, belongs to Aspergillus section Circumdati. The species has a higher amphotericin B, voriconazole, and itraconazole MIC and causes more chronic infection in CGD mice than A. fumigatus. This is the first report documenting IA in CGD patients caused by a species belonging to the Aspergillus section Circumdati that is inherently resistant to azoles and amphotericin B. Unlike the results seen with many members of Aspergillus section Circumdati, ochratoxin was not detected in filtrates of cultures grown in various media. Our phenotypic and genetic characterization of the new species and the case reports will assist future diagnosis of infection caused by A. tanneri and lead to more appropriate patient management. PMID:22855513

  4. Monitoring environmental Aspergillus spp. contamination and meteorological factors in a haematological unit.

    PubMed

    Cavallo, M; Andreoni, S; Martinotti, M G; Rinaldi, M; Fracchia, L

    2013-12-01

    The opportunistic pathogens belonging to the Aspergillus genus are present in almost all seasons of the year, and their concentration is related to meteorological conditions. The high density of Aspergillus spp. conidia in a haematological hospital ward may be a significant risk factor for developing invasive fungal diseases in immunocompromised patients. Aim of the present study was to evaluate the variability of airborne Aspergillus spp. conidia contamination in a Haematological Unit (HU) within a period of 16 months in relation with some meteorological parameters. An environmental Aspergillus surveillance was conducted in the HU in four rooms and their bathrooms, in the corridor and in three external sites using an agar impact sampler. During each sampling, temperature and relative humidity at each site were recorded and current wind speed and rainfall events were taken from the official weather service. Aspergillus spp. conidia concentration differed significantly across the sampling sites. Internal Aspergillus spp. loads were significantly dependent on temperature, internal relative humidity and rain. External conidia concentrations were significantly influenced by outdoor temperature and relative humidity. A suitable indicator was introduced to evaluate the seasonal distribution of Aspergillus spp. conidia in the sampling sites, and a significant dependence on this indicator was observed inside the HU. Seventeen different fungal species belonging to the Aspergillus genus were detected during the sampling period. Aspergillus fumigatus was the most frequently isolated species and its distribution depended significantly on the seasonal indicator both inside and outside the hospital ward.

  5. The distribution of Aspergillus spp. opportunistic parasites in hives and their pathogenicity to honey bees.

    PubMed

    Foley, Kirsten; Fazio, Géraldine; Jensen, Annette B; Hughes, William O H

    2014-03-14

    Stonebrood is a disease of honey bee larvae caused by fungi from the genus Aspergillus. As very few studies have focused on the epidemiological aspects of stonebrood and diseased brood may be rapidly discarded by worker bees, it is possible that a high number of cases go undetected. Aspergillus spp. fungi are ubiquitous and associated with disease in many insects, plants, animals and man. They are regarded as opportunistic pathogens that require immunocompromised hosts to establish infection. Microbiological studies have shown high prevalences of Aspergillus spp. in apiaries which occur saprophytically on hive substrates. However, the specific conditions required for pathogenicity to develop remain unknown. In this study, an apiary was screened to determine the prevalence and diversity of Aspergillus spp. fungi. A series of dose-response tests were then conducted using laboratory reared larvae to determine the pathogenicity and virulence of frequently occurring isolates. The susceptibility of adult worker bees to Aspergillus flavus was also tested. Three isolates (A. flavus, Aspergillus nomius and Aspergillus phoenicis) of the ten species identified were pathogenic to honey bee larvae. Moreover, adult honey bees were also confirmed to be highly susceptible to A. flavus infection when they ingested conidia. Neither of the two Aspergillus fumigatus strains used in dose-response tests induced mortality in larvae and were the least pathogenic of the isolates tested. These results confirm the ubiquity of Aspergillus spp. in the apiary environment and highlight their potential to infect both larvae and adult bees.

  6. Biosynthesis and Characterization of Silver Nanoparticles by Aspergillus Species.

    PubMed

    Zomorodian, Kamiar; Pourshahid, Seyedmohammad; Sadatsharifi, Arman; Mehryar, Pouyan; Pakshir, Keyvan; Rahimi, Mohammad Javad; Arabi Monfared, Ali

    2016-01-01

    Currently, researchers turn to natural processes such as using biological microorganisms in order to develop reliable and ecofriendly methods for the synthesis of metallic nanoparticles. In this study, we have investigated extracellular biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using four Aspergillus species including A. fumigatus, A. clavatus, A. niger, and A. flavus. We have also analyzed nitrate reductase activity in the studied species in order to determine the probable role of this enzyme in the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles. The formation of silver nanoparticles in the cell filtrates was confirmed by the passage of laser light, change in the color of cell filtrates, absorption peak at 430 nm in UV-Vis spectra, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). There was a logical relationship between the efficiencies of studied Aspergillus species in the production of silver nanoparticles and their nitrate reductase activity. A. fumigatus as the most efficient species showed the highest nitrate reductase activity among the studied species while A. flavus exhibited the lowest capacity in the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles which was in accord with its low nitrate reductase activity. The present study showed that Aspergillus species had potential for the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles depending on their nitrate reductase activity.

  7. Biosynthesis and Characterization of Silver Nanoparticles by Aspergillus Species

    PubMed Central

    Pourshahid, Seyedmohammad; Mehryar, Pouyan; Pakshir, Keyvan; Rahimi, Mohammad Javad; Arabi Monfared, Ali

    2016-01-01

    Currently, researchers turn to natural processes such as using biological microorganisms in order to develop reliable and ecofriendly methods for the synthesis of metallic nanoparticles. In this study, we have investigated extracellular biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using four Aspergillus species including A. fumigatus, A. clavatus, A. niger, and A. flavus. We have also analyzed nitrate reductase activity in the studied species in order to determine the probable role of this enzyme in the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles. The formation of silver nanoparticles in the cell filtrates was confirmed by the passage of laser light, change in the color of cell filtrates, absorption peak at 430 nm in UV-Vis spectra, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). There was a logical relationship between the efficiencies of studied Aspergillus species in the production of silver nanoparticles and their nitrate reductase activity. A. fumigatus as the most efficient species showed the highest nitrate reductase activity among the studied species while A. flavus exhibited the lowest capacity in the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles which was in accord with its low nitrate reductase activity. The present study showed that Aspergillus species had potential for the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles depending on their nitrate reductase activity. PMID:27652264

  8. Aspergillus niger: an unusual cause of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Person, A. K.; Chudgar, S. M.; Norton, B. L.; Tong, B. C.; Stout, J. E.

    2010-01-01

    Infections due to Aspergillus species cause significant morbidity and mortality. Most are attributed to Aspergillus fumigatus, followed by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus terreus. Aspergillus niger is a mould that is rarely reported as a cause of pneumonia. A 72-year-old female with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and temporal arteritis being treated with steroids long term presented with haemoptysis and pleuritic chest pain. Chest radiography revealed areas of heterogeneous consolidation with cavitation in the right upper lobe of the lung. Induced bacterial sputum cultures, and acid-fast smears and cultures were negative. Fungal sputum cultures grew A. niger. The patient clinically improved on a combination therapy of empiric antibacterials and voriconazole, followed by voriconazole monotherapy. After 4 weeks of voriconazole therapy, however, repeat chest computed tomography scanning showed a significant progression of the infection and near-complete necrosis of the right upper lobe of the lung. Serum voriconazole levels were low–normal (1.0 μg ml−1, normal range for the assay 0.5–6.0 μg ml−1). A. niger was again recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage specimens. A right upper lobectomy was performed, and lung tissue cultures grew A. niger. Furthermore, the lung histopathology showed acute and organizing pneumonia, fungal hyphae and oxalate crystallosis, confirming the diagnosis of invasive A. niger infection. A. niger, unlike A. fumigatus and A. flavus, is less commonly considered a cause of invasive aspergillosis (IA). The finding of calcium oxalate crystals in histopathology specimens is classic for A. niger infection and can be helpful in making a diagnosis even in the absence of conidia. Therapeutic drug monitoring may be useful in optimizing the treatment of IA given the wide variations in the oral bioavailability of voriconazole. PMID:20299503

  9. Specificity of antigens from pathogenic Aspergillus species. I. Studies with ELISA and immunofluorescence.

    PubMed

    De Magaldi, S W; Mackenzie, D W

    1984-01-01

    Studies were made by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) tests on the reactivities and specificities of 13 antigens prepared from four species of Aspergillus against antisera from immunized rabbits and 64 sera from patients with aspergillosis, other systemic mycoses and nocardiosis. Although reactions in both serological tests were invariably strongest with homologous antigen: antibody systems, antisera from rabbits immunized with A. fumigatus, Blastomyces dermatitidis, Candida albicans and Paracoccidioides brasiliensis reacted in the ELISA test with all of the Aspergillus antigens. In contrast, cross-reactivity was virtually non-existent with antiserum to Histoplasma capsulatum. Of five antigens prepared from A fumigatus tested by ELISA against human sera from patients with aspergillosis and other nocardial and systemic fungal infections, sensitivities varied from 81 to 100% for sera from 32 patients with aspergillosis, and specificities from 20 to 97% for sera from 30 patients with nocardiosis and other systemic mycoses. Purified A. fumigatus C antigen reacted weakly with sera from eight of these 30 patients, but the reactions were readily distinguishable from those obtained with sera from patients with aspergillosis. At optimal serum dilutions, cross-reactivities of A. fumigatus in the IFA studies were non-existent in the sera from 28 patients with candidosis, coccidioidomycosis, cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis, paracoccidioidomycosis and nocardiosis. Sensitivities of IFA were 94% for patients with aspergilloma and 83% for patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.

  10. Molecular Characterization of Gβ-Like Protein CpcB Involved in Antifungal Drug Susceptibility and Virulence in A. fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Zhendong; Chai, Yanfei; Zhang, Caiyun; Feng, Ruoyun; Sang, Hong; Lu, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an airborne human fungal pathogen that can survive in a wide range of environmental condition. G protein complex transduces external signals from a variety of stimuli outside a cell to its interior effectors in all eukaryotes. Gβ-like CpcB (cross pathway control B) belongs to a WD40 repeat protein family with the conserved G–H and W–D residues. Previous studies have demonstrated that Gβ-like proteins cooperate with related signal transduction proteins to function during many important developmental processes in A. fumigatus. However, the molecular characteristics of Gβ-like CpcB have not yet been identified. In this study, we demonstrated that the G–H residues in WD repeat 1, 2, 3, and the W–D residue in WD repeat 2 of CpcB are required not only to control normal hyphal growth and conidiation but also to affect antifungal drug susceptibility. The enhanced drug resistance might be due to reduced intracellular drug accumulation and altered ergosterol component. Moreover, we find that the first G–H residue of CpcB plays an important role in the virulence of A. fumigatus. To our knowledge, this is the first report for finding the importance of the conserved G–H and W–D residues for a Gβ-like protein in understanding of G protein functions. PMID:26903985

  11. What can comparative genomics tell us about species concepts in the genus Aspergillus?

    SciTech Connect

    Rokas, Antonis; payne, gary; Federova, Natalie D.; Baker, Scott E.; Machida, Masa; yu, Jiujiang; georgianna, D. R.; Dean, Ralph A.; Bhatnagar, Deepak; Cleveland, T. E.; Wortman, Jennifer R.; Maiti, R.; Joardar, V.; Amedeo, Paolo; Denning, David W.; Nierman, William C.

    2007-12-15

    Understanding the nature of species" boundaries is a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. The availability of genomes from several species of the genus Aspergillus allows us for the first time to examine the demarcation of fungal species at the whole-genome level. Here, we examine four case studies, two of which involve intraspecific comparisons, whereas the other two deal with interspecific genomic comparisons between closely related species. These four comparisons reveal significant variation in the nature of species boundaries across Aspergillus. For example, comparisons between A. fumigatus and Neosartorya fischeri (the teleomorph of A. fischerianus) and between A. oryzae and A. flavus suggest that measures of sequence similarity and species-specific genes are significantly higher for the A. fumigatus - N. fischeri pair. Importantly, the values obtained from the comparison between A. oryzae and A. flavus are remarkably similar to those obtained from an intra-specific comparison of A. fumigatus strains, giving support to the proposal that A. oryzae represents a distinct ecotype of A. flavus and not a distinct species. We argue that genomic data can aid Aspergillus taxonomy by serving as a source of novel and unprecedented amounts of comparative data, as a resource for the development of additional diagnostic tools, and finally as a knowledge database about the biological differences between strains and species.

  12. Development of RFLP-PCR method for the identification of medically important Aspergillus species using single restriction enzyme MwoI

    PubMed Central

    Diba, K.; Mirhendi, H.; Kordbacheh, P.; Rezaie, S.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we attempted to modify the PCR-RFLP method using restriction enzyme MwoI for the identification of medically important Aspergillus species. Our subjects included nine standard Aspergillus species and 205 Aspergillus isolates of approved hospital acquired infections and hospital indoor sources. First of all, Aspergillus isolates were identified in the level of species by using morphologic method. A twenty four hours culture was performed for each isolates to harvest Aspergillus mycelia and then genomic DNA was extracted using Phenol-Chloroform method. PCR-RFLP using single restriction enzyme MwoI was performed in ITS regions of rDNA gene. The electrophoresis data were analyzed and compared with those of morphologic identifications. Total of 205 Aspergillus isolates included 153 (75%) environmental and 52 (25%) clinical isolates. A. flavus was the most frequently isolate in our study (55%), followed by A. niger 65(31.7%), A. fumigatus 18(8.7%), A. nidulans and A. parasiticus 2(1% each). MwoI enabled us to discriminate eight medically important Aspergillus species including A. fumigatus, A. niger, A. flavus as the most common isolated species. PCR-RFLP method using the restriction enzyme MwoI is a rapid and reliable test for identification of at least the most medically important Aspergillus species. PMID:25242934

  13. Detection of Aspergillus-specific antibodies by agar gel double immunodiffusion and IgG ELISA in feline upper respiratory tract aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Barrs, V R; Ujvari, B; Dhand, N K; Peters, I R; Talbot, J; Johnson, L R; Billen, F; Martin, P; Beatty, J A; Belov, K

    2015-03-01

    Feline upper respiratory tract aspergillosis (URTA) is an emerging infectious disease. The aims of this study were: (1) to assess the diagnostic value of detection of Aspergillus-specific antibodies using an agar gel double immunodiffusion (AGID) assay and an indirect immunoglobulin G (IgG) ELISA; and (2) to determine if an aspergillin derived from mycelia of Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus can be used to detect serum antibodies against cryptic Aspergillus spp. in Aspergillus section Fumigati. Sera from cats with URTA (group 1: n = 21) and two control groups (group 2: cats with other upper respiratory tract diseases, n = 25; group 3: healthy cats and cats with non-respiratory, non-fungal illness, n = 84) were tested. Isolates from cats with URTA comprised A. fumigatus (n = 5), A. flavus (n = 1) and four cryptic species: Aspergillus felis (n = 12), Aspergillus thermomutatus (Neosartorya pseudofischeri, n = 1), Aspergillus lentulus (n = 1) and Aspergillus udagawae (n = 1). Brachycephalic purebred cats were significantly more likely to develop URTA than other breeds (P = 0.013). The sensitivity (Se) of the AGID was 43% and the specificity (Sp) was 100%. At a cut-off value of 6 ELISA units/mL, the Se of the IgG ELISA was 95.2% and the Sp was 92% and 92.9% for groups 2 and 3 cats, respectively. Aspergillus-specific antibodies against all four cryptic species were detected in one or both assays. Assay Se was not associated with species identity. Detection of Aspergillus-specific antibodies by IgG ELISA has high Se and Sp for diagnosis of feline URTA.

  14. Clinico-Microbiological Profile and Treatment Outcome of Infectious Scleritis: Experience from a Tertiary Eye Care Center of India

    PubMed Central

    Kumar Sahu, Srikant; Das, Sujata; Sharma, Savitri; Sahu, Kalyani

    2012-01-01

    Medical and microbiology records of seventeen patients (17 eyes), diagnosed as scleritis of infectious origin were reviewed; to study clinical features, predisposing risk factors, microbiologic profile and treatment outcome of infectious scleritis. The mean patient age was 52.3 ± 19.75 years. Twelve patients (70.6%) had history of trauma/prior surgery. Isolated organisms included Staphylococcus species (spp) (n = 5), Fungus (n = 4), Nocardia spp (n = 3), two each of atypical Mycobacterium spp and Streptococcus pneumoniae and one Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Treatment included intensive topical antimicrobial in all eyes and systemic medication in 15 (88.2%) patients; surgical exploration was needed for 13 (76.5%) patients and scleral patch graft was done in four (23.5%) patients. Lesions resolved in all patients and none required evisceration. The presenting log MAR visual acuity of 1.77 ± 1.40 and improved to 0.99 ± 0.91. (P ≤ 0.039) after treatment with a mean follow up of 22.57 ± 19.53 weeks. A microbiological confirmation, appropriate medical and/or surgical intervention has a good tectonic and visual outcome. PMID:22164345

  15. The role of LOX-1 on innate immunity against Aspergillus keratitis in mice

    PubMed Central

    He, Kun; Yue, Li-Hui; Zhao, Gui-Qiu; Li, Cui; Lin, Jing; Jiang, Nan; Wang, Qian; Xu, Qiang; Peng, Xu-Dong; Hu, Li-Ting; Zhang, Jie

    2016-01-01

    AIM To explore the effects of lectin-like ox-LDL receptor (LOX-1) on innate immunity against Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus ) in mice cornea. METHODS The mRNA levels of LOX-1 were tested in normal and A. fumigatus infected corneas of C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. The expression of LOX-1, pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, CXCL1 and IL-6, anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10, and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) were tested with treatment with LOX-1 neutralizing antibody or control IgG in A. fumigatus infected corneas of C57BL/6. Macrophages and neutrophils were extracted from susceptible C57BL/6 mice, and pretreated with LOX-1 neutralizing antibody or IgG, then stimulated with A. fumigatus. The mRNA levels of LOX-1, TNF-α, CXCL1, IL-6, IL-10 and MMP9 were evaluated by polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS The expression of LOX-1 was significantly increased in C57BL/6 mice corneas after A. fumigatus infection compared with BABL/c mice. After treatment with LOX-1 neutralizing antibody, the expression of LOX-1, TNF-α, CXCL1, IL-6, MMP9 and IL-10 in C57BL/6 corneas were significantly decreased compared with treatment with control IgG; the expression of LOX-1, CXCL1, IL-6 and IL-10 were significantly decreased in macrophages, while TNF-α and MMP9 expressions had no change; LOX-1, TNF-α, CXCL1, IL-6, MMP9 and IL-10 expressions were significantly decreased in neutrophils. CONCLUSION The expression of LOX-1 can affect the expression of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in fungal infected corneas, macrophages and neutrophils of C57BL/6. LOX-1 inhibition rebalances the inflammatory response of fungal keratitis in mice. PMID:27672585

  16. Killing of Aspergillus spores depends on the anatomical source of the macrophage.

    PubMed Central

    Schaffner, A; Douglas, H; Braude, A I; Davis, C E

    1983-01-01

    To resolve the controversy over the capacity of macrophages to kill or inhibit germination of Aspergillus spores, we compared this function in peritoneal and alveolar macrophages. Alveolar macrophages from rabbits killed 82 to 90% and completely digested 72 to 82% of spores of Aspergillus fumigatus in 30 h. In contrast, peritoneal macrophages could not even inhibit the germination of ingested spores; more than 85% transformed into mycelia within 24 h. Killing by alveolar macrophages was delayed for 3 to 6 h after phagocytosis and was independent of oxidative killing mechanisms and immune activation. The ability of alveolar macrophages to kill Aspergillus spores without modulation by T lymphocytes or the generation of oxygen intermediates points out that concepts built on studies of peritoneal macrophages may be misleading and underscores the importance of studying the role of macrophages in immunity with cells from the appropriate anatomical site. Images PMID:6642661

  17. Discovery of a novel superfamily of type III polyketide synthases in Aspergillus oryzae.

    PubMed

    Seshime, Yasuyo; Juvvadi, Praveen Rao; Fujii, Isao; Kitamoto, Katsuhiko

    2005-05-27

    Identification of genes encoding type III polyketide synthase (PKS) superfamily members in the industrially useful filamentous fungus, Aspergillus oryzae, revealed that their distribution is not specific to plants or bacteria. Among other Aspergilli (Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus), A. oryzae was unique in possessing four chalcone synthase (CHS)-like genes (csyA, csyB, csyC, and csyD). Expression of csyA, csyB, and csyD genes was confirmed by RT-PCR. Comparative genome analyses revealed single putative type III PKS in Neurospora crassa and Fusarium graminearum, two each in Magnaporthe grisea and Podospora anserina, and three in Phenarocheate chrysosporium, with a phylogenic distinction from bacteria and plants. Conservation of catalytic residues in the CHSs across species implicated enzymatically active nature of these newly discovered homologs.

  18. Biology and ecology of mycotoxigenic Aspergillus species as related to economic and health concerns.

    PubMed

    Wilson, David M; Mubatanhema, Wellington; Jurjevic, Zeljko

    2002-01-01

    The fungal genus Aspergillus was established in 1729, and includes species that are adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions. Many aspergilli produce mycotoxins in foods that may be toxic, mutagenic or carcinogenic in animals. Most of the Aspergillus species are soil fungi or saprophytes but some are capable of causing decay in storage, disease in plants or invasive disease in humans and animals. Major agricultural commodities affected before or after harvest by fungal growth and mycotoxins include corn, peanuts, cottonseed, rice, tree nuts, cereal grains, and fruits. Animal products (meat, milk and eggs) can become contaminated because of diet. Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus, A. ochraceus, A. niger, A. fumigatus and other aspergilli produce mycotoxins of concern. These include the aflatoxins and ochratoxins, as well as cyclopiazonic acid, patulin, sterigmatocystin, gliotoxin, citrinin and other potentially toxic metabolites.

  19. Aspergillus spinal epidural abscess

    SciTech Connect

    Byrd, B.F. III; Weiner, M.H.; McGee, Z.A.

    1982-12-17

    A spinal epidural abscess developed in a renal transplant recipient; results of a serum radioimmunoassay for Aspergillus antigen were positive. Laminectomy disclosed an abscess of the L4-5 interspace and L-5 vertebral body that contained hyphal forms and from which Aspergillus species was cultured. Serum Aspergillus antigen radioimmunoassay may be a valuable, specific early diagnostic test when systemic aspergillosis is a consideration in an immunosuppressed host.

  20. Aspergillus Cell Wall Melanin Blocks LC3-Associated Phagocytosis to Promote Pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Akoumianaki, Tonia; Kyrmizi, Irene; Valsecchi, Isabel; Gresnigt, Mark S; Samonis, George; Drakos, Elias; Boumpas, Dimitrios; Muszkieta, Laetitia; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P; Chavakis, Triantafyllos; Netea, Mihai G; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; Brakhage, Axel A; El-Benna, Jamel; Beauvais, Anne; Latge, Jean-Paul; Chamilos, Georgios

    2016-01-13

    Concealing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) is a principal strategy used by fung