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J. Fungi, Volume 1, Issue 1 (June 2015), Pages 1-93

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Welcome Message from the Editor-in-Chief
J. Fungi 2015, 1(1), 1-3; doi:10.3390/jof1010001
Received: 7 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
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Abstract
Fungi are one of the most important and diverse groups of organisms on the planet, having a dual impact on humanity. They adversely impact human and animal health and can be a scourge to agriculture, while in turn serving as a beneficial source
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Fungi are one of the most important and diverse groups of organisms on the planet, having a dual impact on humanity. They adversely impact human and animal health and can be a scourge to agriculture, while in turn serving as a beneficial source for foods and beverages, new medications, and biocontrol. There are approximately 1.5 million different species of fungi on Earth, which largely reside in soil and plant. They are also readily found on human skin and within the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tract, yet only about 300 species are known to make people sick [1,2]. Fungi are bountiful in the environment and we encounter them everyday, usually in the form of freely dispersed spores and hyphal fragments that we breath-in. Typically, encounters with fungi are harmless, as the human immune systems is well poised to handle such interactions. However, some fungal species pose significant health risks, such as endemic mycoses or those producing toxins like mycotoxins. Most importantly, immune dysfunction can lead to serious life-threatening diseases or severe fungal-induced allergic diseases such as asthma or other chronic conditions [3]. In fact, most invasive fungal diseases are associated with changes in the host such as immunosuppression, antibiotic-mediated disruption of microflora, or other immunosuppressing conditions resulting from HIV/AIDS and hematologic malignancies [3,4]. Such diseases require therapy with antifungal agents. Yet, there are only limited classes available to treat invasive fungal infection, and emerging drug resistance further restricts treatment options. In some cases, agents used to control agriculturally important moulds are the same class as those used to treat humans, and de novo resistance can emerge from the environment [5]. Fungi are not always easy to detect and cryptic chronic infections in the form of unculturable organisms can confound diagnosis [6]. [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Host-Specialist Dominated Ectomycorrhizal Communities of Pinus cembra are not Affected by Temperature Manipulation
J. Fungi 2015, 1(1), 55-75; doi:10.3390/jof1010055
Received: 6 March 2015 / Revised: 20 April 2015 / Accepted: 23 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (984 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ectomycorrhizae (EM) are important for the survival of seedlings and trees, but how they will react to global warming or changes in soil fertility is still in question. We tested the effect of soil temperature manipulation and nitrogen fertilization on EM communities in
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Ectomycorrhizae (EM) are important for the survival of seedlings and trees, but how they will react to global warming or changes in soil fertility is still in question. We tested the effect of soil temperature manipulation and nitrogen fertilization on EM communities in a high-altitude Pinus cembra afforestation. The trees had been inoculated in the 1960s in a nursery with a mixture of Suillus placidus, S. plorans and S. sibircus. Sampling was performed during the third year of temperature manipulation in June and October 2013. Root tips were counted, sorted into morphotypes, and sequenced. Fungal biomass was measured as ergosterol and hyphal length. The EM potential of the soil was assessed with internal transcribed spacers (ITS) clone libraries from in-growth mesh bags (MB). Temperature manipulation of ± 1 °C had no effect on the EM community. A total of 33 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified, 20 from the roots, 13 from MB. The inoculated Suillus spp. colonized 82% of the root tips, thus demonstrating that the inoculation was sustainable. Nitrogen fertilization had no impact on the EM community, but promoted depletion in soil organic matter, and caused a reduction in soil fungal biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments)
Open AccessArticle Analyses of Sporocarps, Morphotyped Ectomycorrhizae, Environmental ITS and LSU Sequences Identify Common Genera that Occur at a Periglacial Site
J. Fungi 2015, 1(1), 76-93; doi:10.3390/jof1010076
Received: 28 February 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 25 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1044 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Periglacial substrates exposed by retreating glaciers represent extreme and sensitive environments defined by a variety of abiotic stressors that challenge organismal establishment and survival. The simple communities often residing at these sites enable their analyses in depth. We utilized existing data and mined
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Periglacial substrates exposed by retreating glaciers represent extreme and sensitive environments defined by a variety of abiotic stressors that challenge organismal establishment and survival. The simple communities often residing at these sites enable their analyses in depth. We utilized existing data and mined published sporocarp, morphotyped ectomycorrhizae (ECM), as well as environmental sequence data of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and large subunit (LSU) regions of the ribosomal RNA gene to identify taxa that occur at a glacier forefront in the North Cascades Mountains in Washington State in the USA. The discrete data types consistently identified several common and widely distributed genera, perhaps best exemplified by Inocybe and Laccaria. Although we expected low diversity and richness, our environmental sequence data included 37 ITS and 26 LSU operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that likely form ECM. While environmental surveys of metabarcode markers detected large numbers of targeted ECM taxa, both the fruiting body and the morphotype datasets included genera that were undetected in either of the metabarcode datasets. These included hypogeous (Hymenogaster) and epigeous (Lactarius) taxa, some of which may produce large sporocarps but may possess small and/or spatially patchy genets. We highlight the importance of combining various data types to provide a comprehensive view of a fungal community, even in an environment assumed to host communities of low species richness and diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments)

Review

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Open AccessReview Antifungal Treatment for Pityriasis Versicolor
J. Fungi 2015, 1(1), 13-29; doi:10.3390/jof1010013
Received: 24 December 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2015 / Accepted: 4 March 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
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Abstract
Background: Pityriasis versicolor (PV), also known as tinea versicolor, is caused by Malassezia species. This condition is one of the most common superficial fungal infections worldwide, particularly in tropical climates. PV is difficult to cure and the chances for relapse or recurrent infections
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Background: Pityriasis versicolor (PV), also known as tinea versicolor, is caused by Malassezia species. This condition is one of the most common superficial fungal infections worldwide, particularly in tropical climates. PV is difficult to cure and the chances for relapse or recurrent infections are high due to the presence of Malassezia in the normal skin flora. This review focuses on the clinical evidence supporting the efficacy of antifungal treatment for PV. Method: A systematic review of literature from the PubMed database was conducted up to 30 September 2014. The search criteria were “(pityriasis versicolor OR tinea versicolor) AND treatment”, with full text available and English language required. Conclusions: Topical antifungal medications are the first-line treatment for PV, including zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, and terbinafine. In cases of severe or recalcitrant PV, the oral antifungal medications itraconazole and fluconazole may be more appropriate, with pramiconazole a possible future option. Oral terbinafine is not effective in treating PV and oral ketoconazole should no longer be prescribed. Maintenance, or prophylactic, therapy may be useful in preventing recurrent infection; however, at this time, there is limited research evaluating the efficacy of prophylactic antifungal treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutaneous Fungal Diseases)
Open AccessReview Onychomycosis: A Review
J. Fungi 2015, 1(1), 30-43; doi:10.3390/jof1010030
Received: 28 February 2015 / Revised: 13 March 2015 / Accepted: 18 March 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
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Abstract
Onychomycosis is the most common nail infective disorder. It is caused mainly by anthropophilic dermatophytes, in particular by Trichophyton rubrum and T. mentagrophytes var. interdigitale. Yeasts, like Candida albicans and C. parapsilosis, and molds, like Aspergillus spp., represent the
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Onychomycosis is the most common nail infective disorder. It is caused mainly by anthropophilic dermatophytes, in particular by Trichophyton rubrum and T. mentagrophytes var. interdigitale. Yeasts, like Candida albicans and C. parapsilosis, and molds, like Aspergillus spp., represent the second cause of onychomycosis. The clinical suspect of onychomycosis should be confirmed my mycology. Onychoscopy is a new method that can help the physician, as in onychomycosis, it shows a typical fringed proximal margin. Treatment is chosen depending on the modality of nail invasion, fungus species and the number of affected nails. Oral treatments are often limited by drug interactions, while topical antifungal lacquers have less efficacy. A combination of both oral and systemic treatment is often the best choice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutaneous Fungal Diseases)
Open AccessReview Laser Therapy for Onychomycosis: Fact or Fiction?
J. Fungi 2015, 1(1), 44-54; doi:10.3390/jof1010044
Received: 12 January 2015 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
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Abstract
Onychomycosis is a common fungal infection, afflicting some 10% of the adult population in industrialized countries. Aside from cosmetic concerns, onychomycosis can be the cause of toe and foot pain, as well as the underlying etiology for serious secondary bacterial infections and traumatic
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Onychomycosis is a common fungal infection, afflicting some 10% of the adult population in industrialized countries. Aside from cosmetic concerns, onychomycosis can be the cause of toe and foot pain, as well as the underlying etiology for serious secondary bacterial infections and traumatic ulcerations. In select populations, such as diabetics, the latter conditions may even result in loss of all or part of the lower extremity. Thus, a simple, cost-effective and safe treatment for onychomycosis is highly desirable. Although both topical and oral systemic antifungal agents are available for this purpose, they are not always effective, carry some medical risks, are associated with potentially significant drug-drug interactions, and may be unacceptable to patient and healthcare provider alike. Physical modalities, such as laser therapy, therefore appear appealing. The question is whether laser treatment is sufficiently efficacious and safe to warrant the current high cost per treatment. The readily available literature on this controversy will be reviewed herein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutaneous Fungal Diseases)

Other

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Open AccessCase Report Cutaneous Protothecosis in a Patient with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A Case Report and Literature Review
J. Fungi 2015, 1(1), 4-12; doi:10.3390/jof1010004
Received: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 31 December 2014 / Published: 14 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2849 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Protothecosis is a rare infection, which has the potential to cause severe disease in patients with underlying immunosuppression. We describe a case of an elderly female with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), as well as other risk factors, who presented with pustular and erythematous
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Protothecosis is a rare infection, which has the potential to cause severe disease in patients with underlying immunosuppression. We describe a case of an elderly female with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), as well as other risk factors, who presented with pustular and erythematous plaques, initially presumed to be leukemia cutis. A biopsy with special stains revealed the lesions to be cutaneous protothecosis, thus presenting a most unusual concurrence of disease entities. The literature to date on this rare infection will be reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutaneous Fungal Diseases)

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