Fungal Infections

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

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