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J. Fungi, Volume 1, Issue 2 (September 2015) , Pages 94-292

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Open AccessReview
Candida glabrata, Friend and Foe
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 277-292; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020277 - 16 Sep 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1973
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Yeasts Are Beasts)
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Open AccessReview
Diagnostic Modalities for Invasive Mould Infections among Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant and Solid Organ Recipients: Performance Characteristics and Practical Roles in the Clinic
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 252-276; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020252 - 10 Sep 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1705
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Transplant Recipients)
Open AccessReview
Application of Culture-Independent Rapid Diagnostic Tests in the Management of Invasive Candidiasis and Cryptococcosis
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 217-251; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020217 - 31 Aug 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1595
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Yeasts Are Beasts)
Open AccessReview
Environmental and Genetic Factors on the Development of Onychomycosis
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 211-216; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020211 - 31 Aug 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1838
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutaneous Fungal Diseases)
Open AccessArticle
Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Communities and Enzymatic Activities Vary across an Ecotone between a Forest and Field
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 185-210; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020185 - 28 Aug 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1715
Abstract
Extracellular enzymes degrade macromolecules into soluble substrates and are important for nutrient cycling in soils, where microorganisms, such as ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, produce these enzymes to obtain nutrients. Ecotones between forests and fields represent intriguing arenas for examining the effect of the environment [...] Read more.
Extracellular enzymes degrade macromolecules into soluble substrates and are important for nutrient cycling in soils, where microorganisms, such as ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, produce these enzymes to obtain nutrients. Ecotones between forests and fields represent intriguing arenas for examining the effect of the environment on ECM community structure and enzyme activity because tree maturity, ECM composition, and environmental variables may all be changing simultaneously. We studied the composition and enzymatic activity of ECM associated with loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) across an ecotone between a forest where P. taeda is established and an old field where P. taeda saplings had been growing for <5 years. ECM community and environmental characteristics influenced enzyme activity in the field, indicating that controls on enzyme activity may be intricately linked to the ECM community, but this was not true in the forest. Members of the Russulaceae were associated with increased phenol oxidase activity and decreased peroxidase activity in the field. Members of the Atheliaceae were particularly susceptible to changes in their abiotic environment, but this did not mediate differences in enzyme activity. These results emphasize the complex nature of factors that dictate the distribution of ECM and activity of their enzymes across a habitat boundary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments)
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Open AccessReview
The Dermatologist’s Approach to Onychomycosis
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 173-184; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020173 - 19 Aug 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1761
Abstract
Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails that can involve any component of the nail unit, including the matrix, bed, and plate. It is a common disorder that may be a reservoir for infection resulting in significant medical problems. Moreover, [...] Read more.
Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails that can involve any component of the nail unit, including the matrix, bed, and plate. It is a common disorder that may be a reservoir for infection resulting in significant medical problems. Moreover, onychomycosis can have a substantial influence on one’s quality of life. An understanding of the disorder and updated management is important for all health care professionals. Aside from reducing quality of life, sequelae of the disease may include pain and disfigurement, possibly leading to more serious physical and occupational limitations. Dermatologists, Podiatrists, and other clinicians who treat onychomycosis are now entering a new era when considering treatment options—topical modalities are proving more effective than those of the past. The once sought after concept of viable, effective, well-tolerated, and still easy-to-use monotherapy alternatives to oral therapy treatments for onychomycosis is now within reach given recent study data. In addition, these therapies may also find a role in combination and maintenance therapy; in order to treat the entire disease the practitioner needs to optimize these topical agents as sustained therapy after initial clearance to reduce recurrence or re-infection given the nature of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutaneous Fungal Diseases)
Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue: Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 168-172; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020168 - 10 Aug 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1440
Abstract
The scope of this special issue is to understand whether and how mycorrhizal symbiosis can be included as an agriculture and agroforestry tool that promotes more environmentally friendly practices, and whether it promotes the protection of sensitive areas. Three papers are included in [...] Read more.
The scope of this special issue is to understand whether and how mycorrhizal symbiosis can be included as an agriculture and agroforestry tool that promotes more environmentally friendly practices, and whether it promotes the protection of sensitive areas. Three papers are included in this special issue, each dealing with a different sensitive environment. These papers present fundamental aspects that should be taken into account when planning or reporting studies related to mycorrhizal fungi in sensitive environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments)
Open AccessReview
Is Cryptococcus gattii a Primary Pathogen?
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 154-167; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020154 - 29 Jul 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2162 | Correction
Abstract
The two etiologic agents of cryptococcal meningoencephalitis, Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii, have been commonly designated as either an opportunistic pathogen for the first species or as a primary pathogen for the second species. Such a distinction has been based on epidemiological [...] Read more.
The two etiologic agents of cryptococcal meningoencephalitis, Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii, have been commonly designated as either an opportunistic pathogen for the first species or as a primary pathogen for the second species. Such a distinction has been based on epidemiological findings that the majority of patients presenting meningoencephalitis caused by C. neoformans are immunocompromised while C. gattii infection has been reported more often in immunocompetent patients. A recent report, however, showed that GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) neutralizing antibodies were prevalent in the plasma of “apparently immunocompetent” C. gattii patients with meningoencephalitis. Because GM-CSF is essential for differentiation of monocytes to macrophages and modulating the immune response, it is not surprising that the lack of GM-CSF function predisposes otherwise healthy individuals to infection via inhalation of environmental pathogens such as C. gattii. Since the test for anti-GM-CSF autoantibodies is not included in routine immunological profiling at most hospitals, healthy patients with GM-CSF neutralizing antibodies are usually categorized as immunocompetent. It is likely that a comprehensive immunological evaluation of patients with C. gattii meningoencephalitis, who had been diagnosed as immunocompetent, would reveal a majority of them had hidden immune dysfunction. This paper reviews the relationship between GM-CSF neutralizing antibodies and the risk for C. gattii infection with CNS involvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Yeasts Are Beasts)
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Open AccessArticle
Effective Single Photodynamic Treatment of ex Vivo Onychomycosis Using a Multifunctional Porphyrin Photosensitizer and Green Light
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 138-153; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020138 - 27 Jul 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1933
Abstract
Onychomycosis is predominantly caused by the dermatophytes Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton tonsurans. The main treatment obstacle concerns low nail-plate drug permeability. In vitro antifungal photodynamic treatment (PDT) and nail penetration enhancing effectiveness have been proven for multifunctional photosensitizer 5,10,15-tris [...] Read more.
Onychomycosis is predominantly caused by the dermatophytes Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton tonsurans. The main treatment obstacle concerns low nail-plate drug permeability. In vitro antifungal photodynamic treatment (PDT) and nail penetration enhancing effectiveness have been proven for multifunctional photosensitizer 5,10,15-tris(4-N-methylpyridinium)-20-(4-(butyramido-methylcysteinyl)-hydroxyphenyl)-[21H,23H]-porphine trichloride (PORTHE). This study investigates single PORTHE green laser/LED PDT of varying degrees of ex vivo onychomycoses in a human nail model. T. mentagrophytes, T. rubrum, T. tonsurans onychomycoses were ex vivo induced on nail pieces at 28 °C (normal air) and 37 °C (6.4% CO2) during 3 to 35 days and PDTs applied to the 37 °C infections. All dermatophytes showed increasingly nail plate invasion at 37 °C between 7 and 35 days; arthroconidia were observed after 35 days for T. mentagrophytes and T. tonsurans. Using 81 J/cm2 (532 nm) 7-day T. mentagrophytes onychomycoses were cured (92%) with 80 µM PORTHE (pH 8) after 24 h propylene glycol (PG, 40%) pre-treatment and 35-day onychomycoses (52%–67%) with 24 h PORTHE (40–80 µM)/40% PG treatment (pH 5). 28 J/cm2 LED light (525 ± 37 nm) improved cure rates to 72%, 83% and 73% for, respectively, T. mentagrophytus, T. rubrum and T. tonsurans 35-day onychomycoses and to 100% after double PDT. Data indicate PDT relevance for onychomycosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutaneous Fungal Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
The Immunologic Response to Trichophyton Rubrum in Lower Extremity Fungal Infections
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 130-137; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020130 - 17 Jul 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2397
Abstract
Manifestations of Trichophyton rubrum infestations, such as tinea pedis, tinea cruris, and tinea corporis, are among the most common human skin diseases seen throughout the world. About 80% of patients presenting with acute dermatophytosis respond well to topical antifungal treatment. However, the remaining [...] Read more.
Manifestations of Trichophyton rubrum infestations, such as tinea pedis, tinea cruris, and tinea corporis, are among the most common human skin diseases seen throughout the world. About 80% of patients presenting with acute dermatophytosis respond well to topical antifungal treatment. However, the remaining 20% of patients progress into a chronic state of dermatophytosis, which is resistant to antifungal treatment. Therefore, it is necessary to have a better understanding and appreciation for the diverse immune responses to Trichophyton as this is critical for the development of therapeutic strategies for those individuals who suffer from a chronic manifestation of Trichophyton rubrum (T. rubrum) infection. As a result, a comprehensive literature review was conducted to review and discuss previous studies that evaluated the human body’s defense to T. rubrum infections and to understand why and how these fungal infections invade the host defense system. Our research revealed that a cell-mediated immune response is critical in defending the body against T. rubrum. However, this organism has mechanisms that enable it to evade the immune system. Therefore, a more successful treatment for chronic T. rubrum infection would involve targeting the mechanisms of T. rubrum that diminish the immune response, while restoring the cell-mediated immune response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutaneous Fungal Diseases)
Open AccessReview
Cryptococcus: Shedding New Light on an Inveterate Yeast
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 115-129; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020115 - 14 Jul 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2141
Abstract
Cryptococcus has emerged as a significant pathogen in immunocompromised patients. While the diagnostic testing and the antifungal treatment of cryptococcal infections have become firmly established in clinical practice, new developments and areas of ambiguity merit further consideration. These include the potential for donor [...] Read more.
Cryptococcus has emerged as a significant pathogen in immunocompromised patients. While the diagnostic testing and the antifungal treatment of cryptococcal infections have become firmly established in clinical practice, new developments and areas of ambiguity merit further consideration. These include the potential for donor transmission of Cryptococcus; cirrhosis-associated cryptococcosis, particularly during transplant candidacy; the utility of serum cryptococcal antigen testing of asymptomatic individuals in high-prevalence, poor-resource areas; pathogenesis and treatment of the immune reconstitution syndrome, specifically in relation to antiretroviral therapy and immunosuppressive medications; and new challenges posed by the emerging species of Cryptococcus gatti. In this article, we summarize the literature pertaining to these topics, focusing on recent progress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Transplant Recipients)
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Open AccessReview
Efinaconazole Topical Solution, 10%: Factors Contributing to Onychomycosis Success
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 107-114; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020107 - 03 Jul 2015
Viewed by 2840
Abstract
To provide an adequate therapeutic effect against onychomycosis, it has been suggested that topical drugs should have two properties: drug permeability through the nail plate and into the nail bed, and retention of their antifungal activity in the disease-affected areas. Only recently has [...] Read more.
To provide an adequate therapeutic effect against onychomycosis, it has been suggested that topical drugs should have two properties: drug permeability through the nail plate and into the nail bed, and retention of their antifungal activity in the disease-affected areas. Only recently has the importance of other delivery routes (such as subungual) been discussed. Efinaconazole has been shown to have a more potent antifungal activity in vitro than the most commonly used onychomycosis treatments. The low keratin affinity of efinaconazole contributes to its effective delivery through the nail plate and retention of its antifungal activity. Its unique low surface tension formulation provides good wetting properties affording drug delivery both through and under the nail. High antifungal drug concentrations have been demonstrated in the nail of onychomycosis patients, and effectiveness of efinaconazole topical solution, 10% confirmed in two large well-controlled multicenter Phase 3 clinical studies in patients with mild-to-moderate disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutaneous Fungal Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Histoplasmosis and Blastomycosis in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 94-106; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020094 - 30 Jun 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1802
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Transplant Recipients)
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