J. Fungi2015, 1(2), 94-106; doi:10.3390/jof1020094 - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Histoplasmosis and blastomycosis are geographically restricted dimorphic fungi that cause infection after the conidia produced in the mold phase are inhaled into the lungs. In the lungs, at 37 °C, these organisms undergo transformation into the yeast phase. In transplant recipients, infection can occur by exposure to the mold in the environment, by reactivation of infection that had occurred previously and had been controlled by the host until immunosuppressive medications were given post-transplantation, and finally by transmission from the donor organ in the case of histoplasmosis. In transplant recipients, disseminated infection is common, and pulmonary infection is more likely to be severe than in a non-immunosuppressed person. Diagnosis has been improved, allowing earlier treatment, with the use of rapid antigen tests performed on serum and urine. Initial treatment, for all but the mildest cases of acute pulmonary histoplasmosis, should be with a lipid formulation of amphotericin B. After clinical improvement has occurred, step-down therapy with itraconazole is recommended for a total of 12 months for most transplant recipients, but some patients will require long-term suppressive therapy to prevent relapse of disease.
J. Fungi2015, 1(1), 76-93; doi:10.3390/jof1010076 - published 25 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
J. Fungi2015, 1(1), 55-75; doi:10.3390/jof1010055 - published 30 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
J. Fungi2015, 1(1), 44-54; doi:10.3390/jof1010044 - published 3 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
J. Fungi2015, 1(1), 30-43; doi:10.3390/jof1010030 - published 27 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Onychomycosis is the most common nail infective disorder. It is caused mainly by anthropophilic dermatophytes, in particular by Trichophyton rubrum and T. mentagrophytesvar. 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.
J. Fungi2015, 1(1), 13-29; doi:10.3390/jof1010013 - published 12 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.