Fungal Infections

February 25, 2012

Sensing of mammalian IL-17A regulates fungal adaptation and virulence.

Sensing of mammalian IL-17A regulates fungal adaptation and virulence.

Feb 2012

Zelante TIannitti RGDe Luca AArroyo JBlanco NServillo GSanglard DReichard UPalmer GELatgè JPPuccetti PRomani L.

Source

Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia, Perugia 06122, Italy.

Abstract

Infections by opportunistic fungi have traditionally been viewed as the gross result of a pathogenic automatism, which makes a weakened host more vulnerable to microbial insults. However, fungal sensing of a host’s immune environment might render this process more elaborate than previously appreciated. Here we show that interleukin (IL)-17A binds fungalcells, thus tackling both sides of the host-pathogen interaction in experimental settings of host colonization and/or chronic infection. Global transcriptional profiling reveals that IL-17A induces artificial nutrient starvation conditions in Candida albicans, resulting in a downregulation of the target of rapamycin signalling pathway and in an increase in autophagic responses and intracellular cAMP. The augmented adhesion and filamentous growth, also observed with Aspergillus fumigatus, eventually translates into enhanced biofilm formation and resistance to local antifungal defenses. This might exemplify a mechanism whereby fungi have evolved a means of sensing host immunity to ensure their own persistence in an immunologically dynamic environment.

Nature

Invasive fungal disease in PICU: epidemiology and risk factors.

Invasive fungal disease in PICU: epidemiology and risk factors.

Feb 2012

Brissaud OGuichoux JHarambat JTandonnet OZaoutis T.

Abstract

 Candida and Aspergillus spp. are the most common agents responsible for invasive fungal infections in children. They are associated with a high mortality and morbidity rate as well as high health care costs. An important increase in their incidence has been observed over the past two decades. In infants and children, invasive candidiasis is five times more frequent than invasive aspergillosis. Candida sp. represents the third most common agent found in healthcare-associated bloodstream infections in children. Invasive aspergillosis is more often associated with haematological malignancies and solid tumours. Recommendations concerning prophylactic treatment for invasive aspergillosis have been recently published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Candida albicans is the main Candida sp. associated with invasive candidiasis in children, even if a strong trend towards the emergence of Candida non-albicans has been observed. The epidemiology and the risk factors for invasive fungal infections are quite different if considering previously healthy children hospitalized in the pediatric intensive care unit, or children with a malignancy or a severe haematological disease (leukemia). In children, the mortality rate for invasive asp

Annals of Intensive Care

 

February 13, 2012

Shedding natural light on fungal infections.

Shedding natural light on fungal infections.

Vecchiarelli Ad’Enfert C.

Source

Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Science; Microbiology Section; Perugia, Italy.

Abstract

Bioluminescence imaging allows the visualization of the temporal and spatial progression of biological phenomena, in particular infection, by non-invasive methods in vivo. This nature-borrowed technology has been successfully used to monitor bacterial infections but recent studies have also succeeded in tracking fungal infections such as those caused by the two major opportunistic fungal pathogens Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus. The findings of Donat and collaborators published in this issue now show that by combining the sensitivity of the Gaussia princeps luciferase with a surface display expression system it is possible to perform longitudinal infection studies on cutaneous forms of aspergillosis with a small number of animals. Besides providing new and valuable information in the field of aspergillosis, the findings of Donat et al. offer a new perspective on the general applicability of bioluminescence methodologies for eukaryotic pathogens where the bacterial lux operon cannot be exploited.

Landis Bioscience

Triple fungal infection in a patient with liver cirrhosis.

Triple fungal infection in a patient with liver cirrhosis.

Feb 2012

Alidjinou KMathieu DColombel JFFrançois NPoulain DSendid B.

Source

Laboratoire de parasitologie-mycologie, Institut de microbiologie, Centre de biologie pathologie.

Abstract

Keywords : triple fungal infection, Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus, Pneumocystis jirovecci, liver cirrhosis

The prevalence of invasive mycoses is increasing, especially among patients who are immunocompromised or hospitalized with serious underlying diseases. Such infections are associated with a high morbidity and significant mortality, requiring early diagnosis and appropriate treatment but also an optimal prophylaxis in patients with high risk factors. We report a case of triple fungal infection including an invasive pulmonary aspergillosis by Aspergillus fumigatus, a candidemia by Candida albicans and a Pneumocystis pneumonia. The overall clinical picture of this patient was liver cirrhosis with medical history of immunosuppressive treatment for Crohn disease and a non-hodgkin lymphoma. There was no antifungal prophylaxis for this patient. Under treatment, the issue was unfavourable with multivisceral failure.

John Libbey Eurotext

Photodynamic Antifungal Chemotherapy

Photodynamic Antifungal Chemotherapy

Feb 2012

Piergiacomo CPTeresa RMRaffaella SMarina V.

Source

Department of Dermatology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Abstract

The growing resistance against antifungal drugs has renewed the search for alternative treatment modalities, and antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (PDT) seems to be a potential candidate. Preliminary findings have demonstrated that dermatophytes and yeasts can be effectively sensitized in vitro and in vivo by administering photosensitizers (PSs) belonging to four chemical groups: phenothiazine dyes, porphyrins and phthalocyanines, as well as aminolevulinic acid, which, while not a PS in itself, is effectively metabolized into protoporphyrin IX. Besides efficacy, PDT has shown other benefits. First, the sensitizers used are highly selective, i.e., fungi can be killed at combinations of drug and light doses much lower than that needed for a similar effect on keratinocytes. Second, all investigated PSs lack genotoxic and mutagenic activity. Finally, the hazard of selection of drug resistant fungal strains has been rarely reported. We reviews the studies published to date on antifungal applications of PDT, with special focus on yeast, and aims to raise awareness of this area of research, which has the potential to make a significant impact in future treatment of fungal infections. 

PubMed

February 9, 2012

Photodynamic Antifungal Chemotherapy

Photodynamic Antifungal Chemotherapy

Feb 2012

Piergiacomo CPTeresa RMRaffaella SMarina V.

Source Feb 2012

Department of Dermatology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

 Abstract 

The growing resistance against antifungal drugs has renewed the search for alternative treatment modalities, and antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (PDT) seems to be a potential candidate. Preliminary findings have demonstrated that dermatophytes and yeasts can be effectively sensitized in vitro and in vivo by administering photosensitizers (PSs) belonging to four chemical groups: phenothiazine dyes, porphyrins and phthalocyanines, as well as aminolevulinic acid, which, while not a PS in itself, is effectively metabolized into protoporphyrin IX. Besides efficacy, PDT has shown other benefits. First, the sensitizers used are highly selective, i.e., fungi can be killed at combinations of drug and light doses much lower than that needed for a similar effect on keratinocytes. Second, all investigated PSs lack genotoxic and mutagenic activity. Finally, the hazard of selection of drug resistant fungal strains has been rarely reported. We reviews the studies published to date on antifungal applications of PDT, with special focus on yeast, and aims to raise awareness of this area of research, which has the potential to make a significant impact in future treatment of fungal infections.  

PubMed

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22313493


September 25, 2009

Causes and Symptoms of Ringworm

Filed under: fungal infections, Health, skin fungal infection — patoconnor @ 10:56 am

Ringworm

Ringworm

Causes and Symptoms of Ringworm
Posted by Bin Du | 16 September 2009, 7:29 am

Ringworm is a skin condition that is far more common than many understand. Luckily, because of its common occurrence, ringworm can be quite easy to identify and treat if one knows what to look for.

The condition’s name, “Ringworm”, is quite misleading. The tell-tale rings of red or flaking patches of skin are actually not caused by a worm at all. Ringworm, formally known as Tinea, is actually caused by a microscopic skin fungus that is related very closely to the fungi that cause athlete’s foot and jock itch. These fungi feed off of skin cells and as they multiply and move on to new skin they produce an itchy and sometimes painful series of rings on the skin.

Identifying ringworm can be quite easy. When looking closely at ringworms, you will notice that the affected area will have a circular or oblong shape. The innermost section of the skin infection will have normal color and texture while the outer “ring” will appear to be red, dry or flakey. The irritated outer edge may appear as a thin line of peeling dead skin, or may look like a thick band of red rash.

The cause of the uniquely round shape of a ringworm infection is the way that the ringworm fungus grows. It begins in a tiny centralized point on the skin, and as the fungus feeds on skin cells it moves outwards towards new territory. The origination point eventually heals itself, and the fungi continue on their outward direction leaving a normal patch of skin in the center of a ring of irritated skin.

As with both jock itch and athlete’s foot, ringworm is contagious. The ringworm infection can be spread through both person to person and person to animal contact. It is most commonly contracted through the sharing of personal items (combs, clothing, etc.) or through direct skin to skin contact (i.e. petting a dog or cat). Fortunately, once ringworms receive treatment and the rash begins to fade they are no longer contagious.

Once you have identified ringworm, begin treating with an over-the-counter antifungal cream. Although there are ringworm-specific ointments, athlete’s foot and jock-itch creams and sprays are also effective at treating ringworm as they are all a member of the same fungi family. With treatment ringworm will fade and clear up within two to four weeks. However, if after administering treatment for two weeks, there is no relief from symptoms or symptoms appear to be worsening you should notify your doctor as the infection may need more aggressive care.

To prevent yourself and others from contracting ringworm, follow the same steps that you would to avoid jock itch and athlete’s foot skin infections. Thorough washing and drying of the skin, nails and scalp are essential for preventing skin infections. Avoid sharing personal items with others and always wear shower shoes and use your own towel when using public showers. Change promptly out of damp or dirty clothing and do not re-wear clothing items until they have been thoroughly washed and dried.

Contact your doctor if you are unsure if your skin infection or rash is ringworm, or if you appear to have numerous skin infections on multiple parts of the body. If proper treatment for skin infection is not received they may worsen and spread, causing great discomfort.

More information on ringworm and other fungal infections can be found at any healthcare website. Two that are easy to use are http://www.medicinenet.com and http://www.webmd.com, although additional information can also be found through your medical insurance carrier site or local health department.

- By Denise Kawaii | AC

Ringworm

zikkar

 

The role of neutrophils in the development and outcome of zygomycosis in haematological patients.

The role of neutrophils in the development and outcome of zygomycosis in haematological patients.

Pagano L, Valentini CG, Fianchi L, Caira M.
Istituto di Ematologia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Francesco Vito, 1, I-00168 Rome, Italy. lpagano@rm.unicatt.it

Zygomycosis constitutes the third leading cause of invasive fungal infections following aspergillosis and candidosis. Patients with haematologic malignancies or haematopoietic stem cell transplantation are particularly susceptible to zygomycosis. Neutropenia represents the most important pathogenic mechanism influencing the onset and outcome of zygomycosis. Neutrophils cause a lesion of the fungal wall with subsequent destruction by macrophages. They also enhance the activity of antifungal drugs against Zygomycetes. Strategies that aim to increase neutrophil count and function, such as granulocyte colony stimulating factor and granulocyte transfusion, could play an important role in the management of this life-threatening infectious complication.

PMID: 19754754 [PubMed - in process]

Zygomycosis and diabetes mellitus.

Zygomycosis and diabetes mellitus.

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009 Oct;15

Lanternier F, Lortholary O.

Université Paris Descartes, Centre d’Infectiologie Necker-Pasteur, Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpital Necker-Enfants malades, Paris, France.

Zygomycoses are severe angio-invasive fungal infections that develop in immunocompromised and diabetic patients. Any episode of sinusitis not responding to short-term antibacterial therapy should evoke the diagnosis of zygomycosis in the latter population, especially in cases of a surrounding necrotic area. Appropriate diagnosis is obtained after careful direct examination of the sample and culture. Current therapy underscores the need to control glycaemia and acidosis in addition for urgent administration of high-dose liposomal amphotericin B in combination with extensive surgery.

PubMed

Incidence of zygomycosis in transplant recipients.

Incidence of zygomycosis in transplant recipients.

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009 Oct

Cuenca-Estrella M, Bernal-Martinez L, Isla G, Gomez-Lopez A, Alcazar-Fuoli L, Buitrago MJ.
Servicio de Micología, Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Ctra Majadahonda-Pozuelo Km 2, 28220 Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain. mcuenca-estrella@isciii.es

Recently, a remarkable increase in the incidence of zygomycosis has been reported from institutions in the USA and Europe. The use of voriconazole for the treatment of aspergillosis and, less frequently, the use of echinocandins as empirical treatment for invasive fungal infections are thought to be responsible for the increase. In addition, an increased incidence of this infection has been observed in transplant recipients, including both haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) and solid organ transplant (SOT) patients. There are no global surveys on the prevalence or incidence of zygomycosis, but data from individual institutions and countries show that zygomycosis is an emerging infection. The increased incidence of zygomycosis most probably reflects a greater frequency of predisposing factors, such as higher numbers of patients undergoing HSCT and immunosuppressive chemotherapy. In addition, the emergence of rare pathogens as a result of the rise in the use of antifungal therapy against common species can be postulated. Further, the availability of antifungal agents with activity profiles that are more specific for selected fungi increases the necessity of identifying pathogenic fungi; the frequency of Zygomycetes infections may have been underestimated until now because therapeutic decisions did not depend on the precise identification of pathogenic fungi.

PubMed

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