J. Fungi2015, 1(3), 332-344; doi:10.3390/jof1030332 - published 30 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The environmental isolation of Cryptococcus spp. is typically a difficult undertaking. Collecting samples in the field is costly in terms of travel, personnel time and materials. Furthermore, the recovery rate of Cryptococcus spp. may be very low, thereby requiring a large number of samples to be taken without any guarantee of success. Ecological niche modeling is a tool that has traditionally been used to forecast the distribution of plant and animal of species for biodiversity and conservation purposes. Here, we use it in a public health application to produce risk area maps for cryptococcal disease in Colombia. The Genetic Algorithm for Ruleset Production (GARP) was used to create models for Cryptococcus neoformans (C. neoformans) and Cryptococcus gattii (C. gattii), based on environmental sampling and clinical records data recorded since 1987. These maps could be used to focus public health messaging related to cryptococcal disease, and it enables us to characterize the ecological niche for Cryptococcus in Colombia. We found that the OPEN ACCESS J. Fungi 2015, 1 333 ecological niche for C. gattii in Colombia is quite diverse, establishing itself in sub-tropical and temperate ecoregions within the country. This suggests that C. gattii is highly adaptive to different ecological conditions in Colombia and different regions of the world.
J. Fungi2015, 1(3), 293-331; doi:10.3390/jof1030293 - published 28 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Pneumocystispneumonia (PCP) is well known and described in AIDS patients. Due to the increasing use of cytotoxic and immunosuppressive therapies, the incidence of this infection has dramatically increased in the last years in patients with other predisposing immunodeficiencies and remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in solid-organ transplant (SOT) recipients. PCP in HIV-negative patients, such as SOT patients, harbors some specificity compared to AIDS patients, which could change the medical management of these patients. This article summarizes the current knowledge on the epidemiology, risk factors, clinical manifestations, diagnoses, prevention, and treatment of Pneumocystis pneumonia in solid-organ transplant recipients, with a particular focus on the changes caused by the use of post-transplantation prophylaxis.
J. Fungi2015, 1(2), 277-292; doi:10.3390/jof1020277 - published 16 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Candida glabrata is mostly good, but, at times, it is an opportunistic pathogen. Previously known as Torulopsis glabrata, it enjoyed a good reputation and was even present in starter cultures. Its haploid genome and lack of mating made it an attractive challenge for yeast genetics studies. However, more recently it has become better known due to its character as an emerging cause of candidiasis, and for its resistance to multidrugs that are employed for candidiasis treatment. While now classified as Candida glabrata, it is still not a good fit and tends to stand alone as a very unique yeast. In terms of sequence, it is dissimilar to other Candida yeast and most similar to Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
J. Fungi2015, 1(2), 252-276; doi:10.3390/jof1020252 - published 10 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The morbidity and mortality of hematopoietic stem cell and solid organ transplant patients with invasive fungal infections (IFIs) remain high despite an increase in the number of effective antifungal agents. Early diagnosis leading to timely administration of antifungal therapy has been linked to better outcomes. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of IFIs remains challenging. The current gold standard for diagnosis is a combination of histopathology and culture, for which the sensitivity is <50%. Over the past two decades, a plethora of non-culture-based antigen and molecular assays have been developed and clinically validated. In this article, we will review the performance of the current commercially available non-cultural diagnostics and discuss their practical roles in the clinic.
J. Fungi2015, 1(2), 217-251; doi:10.3390/jof1020217 - published 31 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The diagnosis of invasive candidiasis (IC) and cryptococcosis is often complicated by slow and insensitive culture-based methods. Such delay results in poor outcomes due to the lack of timely therapeutic interventions. Advances in serological, biochemical, molecular and proteomic approaches have made a favorable impact on this process, improving the timeliness and accuracy of diagnosis with resultant improvements in outcome. This paper will serve as an overview of recent developments in the diagnostic approaches to infections due to these important yeast-fungi.
J. Fungi2015, 1(2), 211-216; doi:10.3390/jof1020211 - published 31 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Since the early 20th century, onychomycosis originated with the onset of war, the use of occlusive footwear, and the mass migration of people by transportation in the United States. Even though onychomycosis has a high prevalence in the US, other parts of the world including Canada, West Africa, Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, and Europe have been well documented with cases of fungal toenail infection in their environments. Trichophyton rubrum (T. rubrum) is the major dermatophyte responsible for toenail fungal infection and is typically diagnosed in conjunction with tinea pedis, especially in individuals older than 60 years. Gender roles, age, cultural habits, shoe gear, sports activities, and genetic predisposition all contribute to the different presentation of onychomycosis in these areas where organisms like dermatophytes, candida, and molds were isolated in a variety of cases. Despite the differences in isolated pathogens, treatment outcomes remained consistent. This literature review discusses the influence of tinea pedis, genetics, shoe gear, sports, and age on the development of onychomycosis.