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J. Fungi 2015, 1(3), 397-421;

Masking the Pathogen: Evolutionary Strategies of Fungi and Their Bacterial Counterparts

Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 10, Rm 11N222, MSC 1888, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John R. Perfect
Received: 11 November 2015 / Revised: 3 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Yeasts Are Beasts)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4843 KB, uploaded 10 December 2015]   |  


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: capsule; fungal immunity; Cryptococcus; Histoplasma; Blastomyces capsule; fungal immunity; Cryptococcus; Histoplasma; Blastomyces

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Park, Y.-D.; Williamson, P.R. Masking the Pathogen: Evolutionary Strategies of Fungi and Their Bacterial Counterparts. J. Fungi 2015, 1, 397-421.

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