Friday, 1 November 2019

How fungal biofilm structure impacts lung disease



Findings from an innovative new study led by researchers at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine and published this week in Nature Microbiology reveal that the way in which human fungal pathogens form colonies can significantly impact their ability to cause disease.

Highly diverse and adaptable, these colonies, known as biofilms, allow invasive fungal pathogens such as Aspergillus fumigatus to grow and thrive, infecting the lungs of patients, even under demanding environmental circumstances.

In the study the researchers sought to assess how an important environmental stressor impacts disease progression in invasive aspergillosis, a disease caused by the mold Aspergillus fumigatus, and to identify fungal genetic factors involved in this process.

The research found that the appearance of the organism can actually tell medics something about how it is going to behave in the lung -- in this case, how this particular morphology gives the organism the ability to be more virulent and to cause more host damage.


See:

Caitlin H. Kowalski, Joshua D. Kerkaert, Ko-Wei Liu, Matthew C. Bond, Raimo Hartmann, Carey D. Nadell, Jason E. Stajich, Robert A. Cramer. Fungal biofilm morphology impacts hypoxia fitness and disease progression. Nature Microbiology, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41564-019-0558-7

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology

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