Filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus
spp. are opportunistic pathogens, which cause highly invasive infections, especially in immunocompromised individuals. Control of such fungal pathogens is increasingly problematic due to the small number of effective drugs available for treatment. Moreover, the increased incidence of fungal resistance to antifungal agents makes this problem a global human health issue. The cell wall integrity system of fungi is the target of antimycotic drugs echinocandins, such as caspofungin (CAS). However, echinocandins cannot completely inhibit the growth of filamentous fungal pathogens, which results in survival/escape of fungi during treatment. Chemosensitization was developed as an alternative intervention strategy, where co-application of CAS with the intervention catalyst octyl gallate (OG; chemosensitizer) greatly enhanced CAS efficacy, thus achieved ≥99.9% elimination of filamentous fungi in vitro. Based on hypersensitive responses of Aspergillus
antioxidant mutants to OG, it is hypothesized that, besides destabilizing cell wall integrity, the redox-active characteristic of OG may further debilitate the fungal antioxidant system.
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