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J. Fungi, Volume 1, Issue 3 (December 2015) – 6 articles , Pages 293-421

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Open AccessReview
Masking the Pathogen: Evolutionary Strategies of Fungi and Their Bacterial Counterparts
J. Fungi 2015, 1(3), 397-421; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1030397 - 10 Dec 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2062
Abstract
Pathogens reduce immune recognition of their cell surfaces using a variety of inert structural polysaccharides. For example, capsular polysaccharides play critical roles in microbial survival strategies. Capsules are widely distributed among bacterial species, but relatively rare in eukaryotic microorganisms, where they have evolved [...] Read more.
Pathogens reduce immune recognition of their cell surfaces using a variety of inert structural polysaccharides. For example, capsular polysaccharides play critical roles in microbial survival strategies. Capsules are widely distributed among bacterial species, but relatively rare in eukaryotic microorganisms, where they have evolved considerable complexity in structure and regulation and are exemplified by that of the HIV/AIDS-related fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. Endemic fungi that affect normal hosts such as Histoplasma capsulatum and Blastomyces dermatitidis have also evolved protective polysaccharide coverings in the form of immunologically inert α-(1,3)-glucan polysaccharides to protect their more immunogenic β-(1,3)-glucan-containing cell walls. In this review we provide a comparative update on bacterial and fungal capsular structures and immunogenic properties as well as the polysaccharide masking strategies of endemic fungal pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Yeasts Are Beasts)
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Open AccessArticle
The Biological Diversity and Production of Volatile Organic Compounds by Stem-Inhabiting Endophytic Fungi of Ecuador
J. Fungi 2015, 1(3), 384-396; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1030384 - 02 Dec 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2230
Abstract
Fungal endophytes colonize every major lineage of land plants without causing apparent harm to their hosts. Despite their production of interesting and potentially novel compounds, endophytes—particularly those inhabiting stem tissues—are still a vastly underexplored component of microbial diversity. In this study, we explored [...] Read more.
Fungal endophytes colonize every major lineage of land plants without causing apparent harm to their hosts. Despite their production of interesting and potentially novel compounds, endophytes—particularly those inhabiting stem tissues—are still a vastly underexplored component of microbial diversity. In this study, we explored the diversity of over 1500 fungal endophyte isolates collected from three Ecuadorian ecosystems: lowland tropical forest, cloud forest, and coastal dry forest. We sought to determine whether Ecuador’s fungal endophytes are hyperdiverse, and whether that biological diversity is reflected in the endophytes’ chemical diversity. To assess this chemical diversity, we analyzed a subset of isolates for their production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a representative class of natural products. This study yielded a total of 1526 fungal ITS sequences comprising some 315 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), resulting in a non-asymptotic OTU accumulation curve and characterized by a Fisher’s α of 120 and a Shannon Diversity score of 7.56. These figures suggest that the Ecuadorian endophytes are hyperdiverse. Furthermore, the 113 isolates screened for VOCs produced more than 140 unique compounds. These results present a mere snapshot of the remarkable biological and chemical diversity of stem-inhabiting endophytic fungi from a single neotropical country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal '-Omics': Is the Best Yet to Come?)
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Open AccessReview
Pushing the Limits of MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry: Beyond Fungal Species Identification
J. Fungi 2015, 1(3), 367-383; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1030367 - 16 Oct 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2301
Abstract
Matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF) is a powerful analytical tool that has revolutionized microbial identification. Routinely used for bacterial identification, MALDI-TOF has recently been applied to both yeast and filamentous fungi, confirming its pivotal role in the rapid and [...] Read more.
Matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF) is a powerful analytical tool that has revolutionized microbial identification. Routinely used for bacterial identification, MALDI-TOF has recently been applied to both yeast and filamentous fungi, confirming its pivotal role in the rapid and reliable diagnosis of infections. Subspecies-level identification holds an important role in epidemiological investigations aimed at tracing virulent or drug resistant clones. This review focuses on present and future applications of this versatile tool in the clinical mycology laboratory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Yeasts Are Beasts)
Open AccessReview
Role of New Antifungal Agents in the Treatment of Invasive Fungal Infections in Transplant Recipients: Isavuconazole and New Posaconazole Formulations
J. Fungi 2015, 1(3), 345-366; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1030345 - 15 Oct 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
Invasive fungal infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality among solid organ transplant (SOT) and hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients. Transplant patients are at risk for such invasive fungal infections. The most common invasive fungal infections are invasive candidiasis in [...] Read more.
Invasive fungal infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality among solid organ transplant (SOT) and hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients. Transplant patients are at risk for such invasive fungal infections. The most common invasive fungal infections are invasive candidiasis in the SOT and invasive aspergillosis in the HSCT. In this article, we will discuss the epidemiology of invasive fungal infections in the transplant recipients and susceptibility patterns of the fungi associated with these infections. Additionally, the pharmacology and clinical efficacy of the new antifungal, isavuconazole, and the new posaconazole formulations will be reviewed. Isavuconazole is a new extended-spectrum triazole that was recently approved for the treatment of invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis. Advantages of this triazole include the availability of a water-soluble intravenous formulation, excellent bioavailability of the oral formulation, and predictable pharmacokinetics in adults. Posaconazole, a broad-spectrum triazole antifungal agent, is approved for the prevention of invasive aspergillosis and candidiasis in addition to the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis. Posaconazole oral suspension solution has shown some limitations in the setting of fasting state absorption, elevated gastrointestinal pH, and increased motility. The newly approved delayed-release oral tablet and intravenous solution formulations provide additional treatment options by reducing interpatient variability and providing flexibility in these set of critically ill patients. This review will detail these most recent studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Transplant Recipients)
Open AccessArticle
The Fungus among Us: Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii Ecological Modeling for Colombia
J. Fungi 2015, 1(3), 332-344; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1030332 - 30 Sep 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2708
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Pneumocystis Pneumonia in Solid-Organ Transplant Recipients
J. Fungi 2015, 1(3), 293-331; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1030293 - 28 Sep 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1993
Abstract
Pneumocystis pneumonia (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 [...] Read more.
Pneumocystis pneumonia (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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Transplant Recipients)
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