Aspergillus Newsletter
November 2013

Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections (GAFFI) Launched in London, New York

The launch at the Houses of Parliament, London began with a welcome from Paul Goggins where the NAC, University Hospital of South Manchester is located .
 
It went on to include two video presentations showing the support there is worldwide (music by Singer/Songwriter Katie Melua) and world renowned actor Rupert Everett read out four 'fungal poems', one written with a group of patients that attend the support meeting at the National Aspergillosis Centre and was called 'Hope is...', and one written by the NAC Poet-in-Residence Caroline Hawkridge called 'Aspergillus in a well loved pillow'.
 
Two patients Gail Iddon and Woodrow Maitland-Brown shared their stories and gave us very personal compelling accounts of how effective good diagnosis and treatment can be to restore health and quality of life.
 
GAFFI is focussed on raising the awareness and funding to improve the diagnosis and treatment of all serious fungal infections throughout the world. Aspergillosis is prominent among these illnesses as a result of TB and in severe asthma (contributing to 1 350 000 deaths every year) and in the loss of sight caused by eye infection after injury in millions of people every year.
 
The launch in London was matched by a standing room only event at the New York Academy of Sciences on the same day and featured talks from David Perlin (PHRI), David Warnock (ex-CDC) and Liise-Anne Pirofski (Albert Einstein).
News
For the first time in over 10 years the Aspergillus Website for Patients (now at nacpatients.org.uk) has now been rebuilt and has several improvements.
 
There is a full listing of all of our recordings of our support meetings, there are a series of chat groups for our local support groups (11 groups in all from UK, USA and Canada).
 
The website has also been completely restructured and is much easier for search engines like Google to index all our content - making our content better available to everyone who might need it.
 
Finally we have improved the accessibility of the website for smartphones and tablets as the webpages will adjust themselves according to what device they are being viewed on.
We hope these changes will improve access for everyone to our content.
 
The 6th Advances Against Aspergillosis is coming in Madrid, Spain on 27th February-1st March 2014 NOTE Deadline for abstracts 17th November
 
 
 
Our poetry and medicine event in October was a great success and was covered in the National Press and had some great reviews that serve to greatly improve awareness of aspergillosis. Our event had a 'patient poet' (Rebecca Goss) and we were able to contrast the poetry of her traumatic experiences in our hospitals as her daughter struggled for health with the poetry of the medical profession (Denise Bundred) as they struggle to restore us back to better quality of life - or even life itself.  
The power of the arts to interpret our feelings and emotions and make an impact was illustrated perfectly. There will be a recording made available for viewing on your computer as soon as possible - hopefully by end of November.
Articles
 
NOTE access to all articles now requires registration
 
The Fumagillin Gene Cluster, an Example of Hundreds of Genes under veA Control in Aspergillus fumigatus. 
 The results in this study argue that veA is a global regulator of secondary metabolism in A. fumigatus, and that veA may be a conduit via which chemical development is coupled to morphological development and other cellular processes.
 
Immune reconstitution syndrome-like entity in lung transplant recipients with invasive aspergillosis
Overall 7% of the lung transplant recipients with IA appear to develop an IRS-like entity. Clinically assessable factors can identify patients at risk for post-transplant IA-associated IRS. Deaths due to chronic rejection were significantly higher in patients with IRS than those without IRS.
 
A risk prediction score for invasive mold disease in patients with hematological malignancies
An objective, weighted risk score for Invasive Mould Disease (IMD) can accurately discriminate patients with hematological malignancies at low risk for developing mold disease, and could possibly facilitate "screening-out" of low risk patients less likely to benefit from intensive diagnostic monitoring or mold-directed antifungal prophylaxis.
 
Aspergillus galactosaminogalactan mediates adherence to host constituents and conceals hyphal β-glucan from the immune system
Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common cause of invasive mold disease in humans. The mechanisms underlying the adherence of this mold to host cells and macromolecules have remained elusive. Using mutants with different adhesive properties and comparative transcriptomics, we discovered that the gene uge3, encoding a fungal epimerase, is required for adherence through mediating the synthesis of galactosaminogalactan. Galactosaminogalactan functions as the dominant adhesin of A. fumigatus and mediates adherence to plastic, fibronectin, and epithelial cells. In addition, galactosaminogalactan suppresses host inflammatory responses in vitro and in vivo, in part through masking cell wall β-glucans from recognition by dectin-1. Finally, galactosaminogalactan is essential for full virulence in two murine models of invasive aspergillosis. Collectively these data establish a role for galactosaminogalactan as a pivotal bifunctional virulence factor in the pathogenesis of invasive aspergillosis.
Reviews
Recent Advances In The Use Of Cyclodextrins In Antifungal Formulations
Cyclodextrins are usually used in antifungal formulations as auxiliary substances to improve solubility, stability, or other physicochemical properties of the active compound. Nevertheless, more and more research and practical use results indicate that cyclodextrins might also act as active compounds in pharmaceutical formulations. The biological effects of cyclodextrins, important for their use within antimycotic formulations, can be divided into: effects based on the ability of cyclodextrins to form inclusion complexes with endogenous substances (membrane lipids, cellular cholesterol), effects based on formation of inclusion complexes with component parts of fungi cells, and effects based on the chemical nature of cyclodextrins and their derivatives. This review will cover the advances in research of biological activity of cyclodextrins with focus on their properties responsible for their synergistic effect with antimycotic compounds.
 
Authors attempt to assess whether the risk of development of resistance to antifungal drugs was increased by agricultural use of DeMethylation Inhibitor antifungals (which includes many azole drugs). The risk of resistance was concluded to be highest during medical and veterinary applications and much less during agricultural use but the risk of resistant spores being generated by agricultural use could not be ruled out.
Damp & Health
Indoor Environment Professionals
Join our LinkedIn group on Damp Building and Human Health.
 
Living in a damp home?
Please check out our LinkedIn group: Is my damp home making me ill? and read our new website pages
Conference Deadlines
6th Advances Against Aspergillosis (Madrid, Spain Feb 27 - March 1) Deadline for abstracts is 17th November 2013.
 
World Immune Regulation Meeting (Davos, Switzerland March 19-22 2014) Deadline for registration & abstracts is 30th November 2013.
 
CHEST World Congress (Madrid, Spain March 21-24) Early Registration Opportunity 30 August 2013 – 18 December 2013
 
12th European Conference on Fungal Genetics (Seville, Spain March 23-27) Opening of registration and abstract submission: October 2013, Deadline for fellowship application: 18 November 2013, Deadline for reduced registration & abstracts: 16 December 2013.
 
40th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transfusions EBMT (Milan, Italy March 30 - April 2) Abstract submission deadline December 15th (Physicians) November 13 (Nurses)
Courses
 
March 5-7th 2014.
The course provides an overview of the general principles of state-of-the-art molecular techniques for diagnosis of infectious diseases: Quantitative PCR, (Next-Generation) Sequencing and Mass Spectrometry. In addition, the course educates participants on the set-up, validation and quality control of the different techniques and discusses the latest and upcoming developments in the field.
 
Bringing PK and PD in Fungal Infections into the Clinic July 4-6 2014, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. For more information check website in January 2014.
 
Online course, Start approximately July 2014
Mechanisms in Fungal Infections is a blended, e-learning resource with CME content developed by an expert, multidisciplinary group of specialists.

The content on this Web site is intended for oncologists, hematologists, and infectious disease specialists who treat transplant patients and other patient populations at risk for developing fungal infections.
Veterinary
A model for treating avian aspergillosis: serum and lung tissue kinetics for Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) following single and multiple aerosol exposures of a nanoparticulate itraconazole suspension
 
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 administration requires repeated oral dosing and the safety margin is narrow. We describe lung tissue and serum pharmacokinetics of a nanoparticulate ITRA suspension administered to Japanese quail by aerosol exposure. Aerosolized ITRA (1 and 10% suspension) administered over 30 min did not induce adverse clinical reactions in quail upon single or 5-day repeated doses. High lung concentrations, well above the inhibitory levels for A. fumigatus, of 4.14 ± 0.19 μg/g and 27.5 ± 4.58 μg/g (mean ± SEM, n = 3), were achieved following single-dose inhalation of 1% and 10% suspension, respectively.

 This formulation may represent a novel, easy to administer treatment modality for fungal lung infection, preventing high systemic exposure. It may also be useful as metaphylaxis to prevent the outbreak of aspergillosis in colonized animals.
Attention Clinicians & Scientists
Case Histories Database 212 aspergillosis cases already recorded and you can add yours too.
 
Information on mycetoma on the WHO List of Neglected Tropical Diseases can be found here, and see also the media briefing of the Mycetoma Consortium here.
 
 
The Joint Genome Institute (JGI) welcomes nominations of genomes to be sequences in its Community Sequencing Program. For procedures how to submit a proposal, see here. The current fungal program can be found here.
 
You may like to contribute to the following collaborative groups who are collecting clinical data on these rare infections:
 
Fungiscope is a global rare fungal infection registry, a working group of ISHAM.
 
International Pediatric Fungal Network (PFN) collating information on treatment of pediatric patients
AspICU2 is a web-based multicentre observational survey to assess the burden of aspergillosis and other fungi in critically ill patients.
Patients
 
Patients and carers newsletter - please click here to access
Visit our Website
Donate to help upkeep of the Aspergillus Website
 
Also of interest...
6th TIMM's
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jobs:
Five jobs are currently being advertised including Faculty positions, PhD Studentship, Research & Clinical Fellowships
 
PhD Research Project: Molecular basis of host-pathogen cross-talk during type 2 respiratory inflammation 
 
EAACI RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS 2014
 
EAACI Clinical Fellowships 2014
Conferences:
 
Courses:
 
Books:

Antimicrobial Compounds: Current Strategies and New Alternativesby Tomas G. Villa and Patricia Veiga-Crespo (30 Oct 2013)
 

Evaluation of Mold Contamination in a Hotel Before and After Remediation by Department of Health and Human Services (25 Oct 2013)
 

Isolation of citric acid producing Aspergillus niger strains by Perkins Muredzi, Hilda Nyati and Misheck Mudyiwa (25 Oct 2013)
Theses:
 
Adaptive resistance mechanisms of Aspergillus fumigatus biofilms Author:  Rajendran, Ranjith
Awarding Body:   University of Glasgow 
 
Analysis of the sltA (stzA) gene and its orthologues in Aspergillus nidulans and other filamentous fungi Author:  Chilton, Ian James 
Awarding Body:   University of Wolverhampton 
 
Clinical Trials (35 Recruiting):

Research Grants:
 
Lab protocols:
 
Networking:
 
News blog:

Fungal Infection Trust, PO Box 482, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 9AR, UK,www.fungalinfectiontrust.org.uk