Highlights of this month...
| Frisvad & Larsen
(2015) have written a detailed review of the diversity of metabolite production by Aspergillus
species and the specificity of metabilite production within species. Remarkably varieties within a species maintain their 'metabolite profile', differences arising when particular metabolite clusters are still present, but silenced.
Extrolites appear to have evolved because of ecological challenges rather than being inherited from ancestral species, at least when comparing the species in the different sections of Aspergillus. Within the Aspergillus sections, secondary metabolite pathways seem to inherit from ancestral species, but the profiles of these secondary metabolites are shaped by the biotic and abiotic environment. We hypothesize that many new and unique section-specific small molecule extrolites in each of the Aspergillus will be discovered.
Arturo Casadevall writes in Helio Infectious Disease News of the co-evolution of warm blooded mammals alongside fungi
. He warns of the importance of remaining vigilant and active in our age-old battle against fungal infection - even after many million years they carry as potent a threat as ever
, perhaps more so with the arrival of global warming..
Dekio et. al. (2015) investigated the performance and the clinical impact of histologic examination of infected tissue in patients with suspected invasive fungal infection (IFI) at a tertiary pediatric center. Tissue was obtained from deep subcutaneous tissue, visceral organs, or the sinonasal cavity. Communication of histology results prompted changes in antifungal therapy 64% of the time. This included initiation of antifungal therapy in 13 patients who were not previously receiving therapy. Fifteen (42%) patients underwent surgical excision within 48 hours of histologic diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Histology can provide rapid, accurate, and clinically actionable information to clinicians caring for children with IFI.
Deciphering chemokine properties by a hybrid agent-based model of Aspergillus fumigatus infection in human alveoli.
In the lung, Aspergillus fumigatus
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, Pollmächer & Figge (2015)
recently demonstrated that alveolar macrophages require chemotactic cues to accomplish the task of pathogen detection within the aforementioned time frame.
Performing simulations for more than a million virtual infection scenarios, the authors find that the ratio of secretion rate to the diffusion coefficient is the main indicator for the success of pathogen detection.
PURPOSE: 1. To assess the efficacy of omalizumab therapy in improving sinonasal outcomes in refractory allergic fungal rhinosinusitis (AFRS) patients with moderate or severe asthma. 2. To determine if omalizumab therapy reduces the usage of corticosteroids or antifungal therapy in AFRS patients.
CONCLUSION: Gan et. al. (2015) state that Omalizumab therapy can be considered as a potential adjunct for the treatment for patients with refractory AFRS with moderate or severe asthma. However, larger prospective studies to confirm the findings of this study will be required.
In the cART era, EORTC criteria, developed for use in hematology/oncology, applied to only half the cases diagnosed among HIV-infected patients. A rapid diagnosis of IA is paramount to improve survival. For patients who do not fulfill the EORTC definition, the authors suggest that the addition of "HIV infected with a CD4 count <100 cells/µL" to the EORTC host criteria be validated.
Spectrum of pulmonary aspergillosis: histologic, clinical, and radiologic findings.Franquet et. al.
(2015) Conclusions: The radiologist plays a major role in the diagnosis of pulmonary Aspergillus
infection. When radiographic findings are subtle or equivocal, CT frequently allows identification of the disease process. Although imaging findings in various types of pulmonary aspergillosis may be nonspecific, in the appropriate clinical setting, familiarity with the thin-section CT findings may suggest and even help establish the specific diagnosis.
Major bioactive metabolites from marine fungi: A Review.
The marine fungi particularly those associated with marine alga, sponge, invertebrates, and sediments appear to be a rich source for secondary metabolites, possessing antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal activities. Besides, a few growth stimulant properties which may be useful in studies on wound healing, carcinogenic properties, and in the study of cancers are reported. Recent investigations on marine filamentous fungi looking for biologically active secondary metabolites indicate the tremendous potential of them as a source of new medicines. Hasan et. al. (2015) review about some important bioactive metabolites reported from marine fungal strains which are antibacterial, antitumour and antinflammatory in action.
Nominate fungal (incl. non-pathogenic) genomes for sequencing at the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) here.
Contribute to clinical data on rare infections:
Aspergillosis Community (National Aspergillosis Centre) meets on the first friday of every month at the Altounyan Suite, North West Lung Centre, Manchester at 1.30pm BST/GMT. If you can't make it in person, you are welcome to listen in to our live broadcast
Dedicated newsletter available at the Patients Website