Aspergillus Newsletter
May 2013
Nearly 5 million asthmatics could benefit from antifungals
An estimated 4,837,000 asthmatics with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) could benefit substantially from antifungal treatment, say researchers from The University of Manchester and the University of Toronto.
Fungal mycorhizzal networkOn a more unexpected note it was also reported this month that fungi may somehow facilitate communication between plants! A research team from the University of Aberdeen devised an experiment to isolate and examine the effects of this underground network of fungi. Five broad bean plants were grown, with three allowed to form the network of fungus and network formation was prevented in the other two. What was observed was that if the plants were connected by mycorrhizae, the un-infested plant prepared a chemical defence against the aphids. If they were not connected, then no response was observed.
The University of Manchester have announced a new Masters Degree Program for Medical Mycology starting in September 2013.

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.
Indoor Environment Professionals
Please 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?
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Comparison of a novel Aspergillus lateral-flow device and the Platelia® galactomannan assay for the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis following haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
There are many limitations associated with the galactomannan assay. Due to the methodological and economic reasons, the test frequences vary between daily to weekly, meaning that results may be available too late to be clinically useful. The novel Aspergillus lateral-flow device (Aspergillus-LFD) is a rapid test that may overcome these limitations.
Light Sensing in Aspergillus fumigatus Highlights the Case for Establishing New Models for Fungal Photobiology
Genome-wide transcript analyses found that about 2.6% of genes increase or decrease their transcript levels in response to light.
Discovery of a sexual cycle in Aspergillus lentulus, a close relative of A. fumigatus
Research has shown that A. lentulus has a heterohallic sexual breeding system. The discovery of the A. lentulus sexual stage has significant implications for the management of drug resistance and control of invasive aspergillosis associated with this emerging fungal pathogen.
Bacterium Induces Cryptic Meroterpenoid Pathway in the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.
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).
Aspeverin, a New Alkaloid from an Algicolous Strain of Aspergillus versicolor
A novel carbonate- and cyano-containing alkaloid, aspervin, was isolated from an algicolous A. versicolor strain. The structure and absolate configuration has been identified.
Fungal diagnosis: how do we do it and can we do better?
This review examines traditional and newer approaches to the diagnosis of invasive fungal infections and what advances have been made.
Microbes and mucosal immune response in asthma
Knowledge on how exposure to bacteria affects the prevalence of asthma provide the rationale for new specific treatments that can be assessed in clinical trials. Specific host biomarkers might then allow personalised treatment to become a reality for patients with asthma.
New Masters Degree in Medical Mycology at the University of Manchester starting in September 2013 This University of Manchester Medical Mycology Masters programme has been specifically designed for graduates who wish to develop their skills as medical mycologists. The programme aims to combine a significant level of theoretical understanding and practical skills.
This educational course will provide an updated overview about the antifungal resistance phenomenon and its implications in prevention and therapy of invasive fungal infections, both in children and adults. Antifungal susceptibility testing guidelines, resistance epidemiology in Europe and correlation between MIC and clinical outcome will also be discussed as important milestones in this field. The course will be a mix of lectures by expert scientists in the domain and interactive group discussions.
Opportunistic infection of Aspergillus and bacteria in captive Cape vultures (Gyps coprotheres) To describe clinical signs, pathology, diagnosis and treatment of Cape vultures in which Aspergillus fumigatusA. fumigatus) and mixed species of bacteria were isolated.
Of the many important avian wildlife diseases, aspergillosis, West Nile virus, avipoxvirus, Wellfleet Bay virus, avian influenza, and inclusion body disease of cranes are covered in this article.
Attention Clinicians
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.
Public Health and Tropical Medicine Fellowships. It has come to our attention that there are a series of Fellowships funded by the Wellcome Trust available to applicants for low and middle income countries. We would like to encourage medical mycology applicants and would be happy to provide facilities and expertise for training at the National Aspergillosis Centre for applicants. We would like to identify applicants for these Fellowships and help facilitate application - please contact us
Request for assistance from clinics in all five continents of the world with a study entitled “Pulmonary aspergillosis in kidney transplant recipients” supported by REIPI and GESITRAThis study has two targets. The first target is to define some risk factors that allow the identification of a subgroup of kidney transplant recipients that would be candidates for antifungal prophylaxis active against Aspergillus The second target is to find factors implicated in the outcome that were amenable to intervention.
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Also of interest...
Research Grants:
Advances in Genetics: 81 by Theodore Friedmann (19 Apr 2013)
Clinical Trials
(35 Recruiting):
Lab Protocols:
News Blog:
Fungal Infection Trust, PO Box 482, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 9AR, UK,