Aspergillus Newsletter
October 2014

Innovative Air Treatment Mobile Device

Desoubeaux et. al. describe the design and testing of a novel portable device designed to remove Aspergillus spores from the air of a hospital room, useful to prevent exposure of vulnerable immunocompromised patients to this harmful pathogen.
 
Unlike other devices this one does not used HEPA physical or electrostatic filters (which are prone to bacterial contamination), instead a combination of UV light and photocatalysis. The effect is to remove all biological material from the air and reduce it to harmless minerals, water and CO2. All components are suitable for continuous use and requires infrequent maintenance as the catalytic unit is self cleaning.
 
The device performed very well when tested by having it clear air contaminated with 10^7cfu aerosolised A. fumigatus spores into the test room, completely clearing the air in 29min. 
 
News
The End for Aspergillus? Have your say!
 
This month Samson et. al. present the argument adopted by the International Commision of Penicillium and Aspergillus in 2011 for using the name of the sexual form of an Aspergillus species (e.g. Emericella, Neosartorya) to refer to a species rather than the name of the asexual form (Aspergillus). By this rule the genus now contains 339 species.
Readers may be aware of another viewpoint presented by Pitt & Taylor (May 2014) that argues for limited continuing use of Aspergillus for species names that are well established and of economic or social importance.
 
We think it would be informative if the various communities that have an interest in Aspergillus could express their preference in this debate. Consequently we have set up a simple Poll:  Register your vote 

It would be a big help if readers could circulate this Poll to everyone they know may have an opinion.
 

UK Fungus Day 2014
On 11th & 12th October 2014 the British Mycological Society with support from academics, field mycologists, educators and industry; plan to hold the UK Fungus Day weekend to raise awareness of fungi and fungal science. Events


 
ICAAC 2014 took place in early September and we have several presentations available for downloading in Educational Materials>Slide Presentations section of the website. These include:
 
 
 
 
GAFFI & LIFE highlight the fungal disease burden in six countries totalling 260 million people: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Mexico, Saudi Arabia & Tanzania presented at ICAAC 2014.
Articles
NOTE access to all articles now requires registration (free of charge)
 
Aspergillus fumigatus secreted allergen proteases, Asp f 5 and Asp f 13, are important for recruitment of inflammatory cells and remodelling of the airways in this murine model. However, deletion of a single allergen protease fails to alleviate airway hyperreactivity and allergic immune response. Targeting protease activity of Aspergillus fumigatus in conditions such as SAFS or ABPA may have beneficial effects in preventing key aspects of airway pathology.
 
The aim of this study was to identify isolates to species level and describe the new species found. Secondly, we wanted to create a reliable reference sequence database to be used for next-generation sequencing projects. isolates represented 59 Aspergillus species, including eight undescribed species, 49 Penicillium species of which seven were undescribed and 18 Talaromyces species including three described here as new. In total, 568 ITS barcodes were generated, and 391 p-tubulin and 507 calmodulin sequences, which serve as alternative identification markers.
 
Here, we report two cases of Aspergillus FM with dominant cardiac involvement in immune-competent patients. Both cases presented with large mediastinal mass and large vegetation in the left atrium. Autopsy findings showed the granulomatous Aspergillus mediastinitis and extension into the heart with associated fibrosis. One case was proven to be due to Aspergillus flavus by fungal genomic sequencing. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Aspergillus FM with pancarditis.
Reviews/Overviews
Otomycosisis commonly presented with decreased hearing, pruritis, otalgia & otorrhoea. It usually resolves with local toilet of ear and instillation of antifungal agents. Eradication of disease is difficult in presence of a mastoid cavity and metabolic diseases like diabetes mellitus.
 
Key recommendations for adult patients are as follows: Posaconazole remains the drug of choice during remission-induction chemotherapy in acute myeloid leukaemia, myelodysplastic syndrome and allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation with graft versus host disease (AI). In the pre-engraftment period of allogeneic transplantation, several antifungals are appropriate and can be recommended with equal strength: voriconazole (BI), micafungin (BI), fluconazole (BI) and posaconazole (BII). There is poor evidence regarding antifungal prophylaxis in the post-engraftment period of allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation if no steroids for treatment of graft versus host disease are required. Aerosolised liposomal amphotericin B inhalation in conjunction with fluconazole can be used in patients with prolonged neutropenia (BII).  
 
The regulation of zinc homeostasis and zinc acquisition could be promising targets for the discovery and development of a new generation of antifungals for the treatment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.
Conference Deadlines
Registration opens 5th November 2014
 
Advance registration deadline November 5, 2014
 
 
Courses
The next CBS Course in Medical Mycology will take place in Utrecht, The Netherlands, 17-28 November, 2014.
 
 
Medical Mycology CPD courses Four (three-week) units of the University of Manchester Medical Mycology MSc programme are now available as Continuing Professional Development courses.
 
Allergy Academy, King's College, London. Online resources for allergy education. Intended for all audiences including doctors & patients.
Veterinary
The aim of the study was to determine the in vitro susceptibility of 85 Aspergillus fumigatus strains isolated from domestic geese and from their environment to amphotericin B, clotrimazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, enilconazole, miconazole, ketoconazole, and tioconazole. The disk diffusion method showed that the all of the strains, irrespective of source, were resistant to miconazole. Resistance to the remaining azoles and amphotericin B ranged from 90.6 to 70.6%. Complete susceptibility was noted for voriconazole and enilconazole. A correlation was noted between the susceptibility of the strains and their source. The highest percentage of resistant strains was noted in isolates from the lungs (100% for amphotericin B and clotrimazole and 35.7% for itraconazole). 
Attention Clinicians & Scientists
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Antifungal drug interactions
 
Antifungal drugs can interact strongly with other medications. Check your medications using our free APP
 
 
Look out for our App in iTunes and Android (search for 'antifungal interactions).
 
Interactions with 739 prescription drugs are searchable, 2216 interactions listed, 443 severe.
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