An overview of fungal infections.
ABSTRACT The incidence of fungal infections is increasing at an alarming rate, presenting an enormous challenge to healthcare professionals. This increase is directly related to the growing population of immunocompromised individuals, resulting from changes in medical practice such as the use of intensive chemotherapy and immunosuppressive drugs. HIV and other diseases which cause immunosuppression have also contributed to this problem. Superficial and subcutaneous fungal infections affect the skin, keratinous tissues and mucous membranes. Included in this class are some of the most frequently occurring skin diseases, affecting millions of people worldwide. Although rarely life threatening, they can have debilitating effects on a person's quality of life and may in some circumstances spread to other individuals or become invasive. Most superficial and subcutaneous fungal infections are easily diagnosed and readily amenable to treatment. Systemic fungal infections may be caused by either an opportunistic organism that infects an at-risk host, or may be associated with a more invasive organism that is endemic to a specific geographical area. Systemic infections can be life threatening and are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Because diagnosis is difficult and the causative agent is often confirmed only at autopsy, the exact incidence of systemic infections is difficult to determine. The most frequently encountered pathogens are Candida albicans and Aspergillus spp. but other fungi such as non-albicans Candida spp. are increasingly important.
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ABSTRACT: CaIPF7817, a functionally unknown gene in Candida albicans, was suggested to be involved in the redox system previously, but its exact role is unknown. In this study, ipf7817 null mutant was generated with the URA-blaster method. After the deletion of CaIPF7817, intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species were significantly increased; mitochondrial membrane potential, a direct indicator of mitochondrial function, was elevated; some important redox-related genes, including GLR1, SOD2, and TRR1, were up-regulated; and the GSH/GSSG ratio was raised. These changes indicated that CaIPF7817 played important roles in the regulation of redox homeostasis in C. albicans.Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 08/2007; 359(1):163-7. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.05.081 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The prevalence of opportunistic fungal infections has increased dramatically among the aged population in recent years. This work investigated the effect of ageing on murine defences against Candida albicans. Aged C57BL/6 mice that were experimentally infected intravenously had a significantly impaired survival and a higher tissue fungal burden compared with young mice. In vitro production of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha by macrophages from aged mice in response to yeast cells and hyphae of C. albicans was significantly lower than production by macrophages from young mice. In vitro production of cytokines, such as TNF-alpha and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), by antigen-stimulated splenocytes from mice intravenously infected with C. albicans cells was also diminished in old mice. This decrease in production of T helper 1 cytokines in old mice correlated with a diminished frequency of IFN-gamma-producing CD4+ T lymphocytes, although the ability to develop an acquired resistance upon vaccination (primary sublethal infection) of mice with the low-virulence PCA2 strain was not affected in aged mice. The diversity of antigens recognized by C. albicans-specific antibodies in sera from infected aged mice was clearly diminished when compared with that from infected young mice. Taken together, these data show that aged mice develop an altered innate and adaptive immune response to C. albicans and are more susceptible to systemic primary candidiasis.Journal of Medical Microbiology 01/2007; 55(Pt 12):1649-56. DOI:10.1099/jmm.0.46740-0 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: LAAE-14, a lipidic acid-amido ether derivative, has been recently described as a new anti-inflammatory drug. We have studied the effect of treatment with this compound on the susceptibility of mice to in vivo experimental Candida albicans infection. ICR mice orally treated with LAAE-14 (25 mg kg(-1)) and experimentally intravenously infected showed a significantly increased survival as compared to control mice. In vitro, the compound did not inhibit the growth of C. albicans yeast cells or the yeast-to-hyphal transition. The in vitro production of prostaglandin E2 by peritoneal macrophages in response to the yeasts and hyphae of C. albicans was significantly decreased upon treatment with LAAE-14, in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, reduced prostaglandin production during fungal infection could be an important factor in controlling fungal colonisation and infection.FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology 05/2004; 40(3):239-42. DOI:10.1016/S0928-8244(03)00371-7 · 2.55 Impact Factor