Bis(methyl)gliotoxin proves to be a more stable and reliable marker for invasive aspergillosis than gliotoxin and suitable for use in diagnosis

Instituto de Carboquímica ICB-CSIC, Zaragoza, Spain.
Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease (Impact Factor: 2.46). 04/2012; 73(1):57-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2012.01.012
Source: PubMed


The virulence factor gliotoxin (GT) and its inactive derivative, bis(methylthio)gliotoxin (bmGT), are produced by pathogens of the genus Aspergillus. Here we report the detection of GT and bmGT in serum of humans at risk of invasive aspergillosis (IA) as well as in cultures of fungal isolates derived from patients with proven infection with A. fumigatus. Although both compounds are readily recoverable from spiked human serum or plasma, only bmGT is retained in whole blood, indicating that bmGT may be the better marker for in vivo detection. Accordingly, bmGT was found more frequently than GT in samples from patients at risk of IA and incultures of clinical isolates of A. fumigatus. In some cases, bmGT was detected before mycologic evidence ofinfection was gained. Importantly, neither GT nor bmGT was found in serum from healthy donors or from neutropenic patients without any sign of infection. Thus, bmGT presence might provide a more reliable indicator of A. fumigatus infections than GT. Due to its simplicity and sensitivity, a diagnostic technology based on this test could be easily adopted in clinical laboratories to help in the diagnosis of this often fatal fungal infection.

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    • "Additionally, these mutants show reduced virulence in non-neutropenic murine models but not neutropenic models [6], [18]–[20]. This toxin and/or its derivatives are also considered for use for diagnosis of IA [21], [22]. Aside from gliZ, no other transcription factors have been described to regulate the gli cluster. "
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