Aspergillus fumigatus

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Aspergillus fumigatus
A conidophore of A. fumigatus.
A conidophore of A. fumigatus.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Eurotiomycetes
Order: Eurotiales
Family: Trichocomaceae
Genus: Aspergillus
Species: A. fumigatus
Binomial name
Aspergillus fumigatus
Fresenius 1863

Aspergillus fumigatus is a fungus of the genus Aspergillus, and is one of the most common Aspergillus species to cause disease in immunocompromised individuals.

A. fumigatus has a stable haploid genome, with no known sexual cycle, and reproduces by forming conidiospores that are released into the environment. Capable of growth at 37°C (human body temperature), spores are common inhalation pollutants; typically, however, these are quickly eliminated by the immune system in healthy individuals.

When the fermentation broth of A. fumigatus was screened, a number of indolic alkaloids with anti-mitotic properties were discovered.[1] The compounds of interest have been of a class known as tryprostatins, with spirotryprostatin B being of special interest as an anti-cancer drug.

Pathogenesis

A. fumigatus is common in the natural environment and can also be found in the upper respiratory tracts of healthy individuals.[2] Exposure to A. fumigatus in immunocompromised individuals can lead to aspergillosis, a pulmonary infection. Leukemia or bone marrow transplant patients are at particular risk.[2] Symptoms can include fever, weakness, chest pain, unexplained weight loss, aches, a heart murmur, blood in the urine or abnormal urine color, and straight, narrow red lines of broken blood vessels under the nails. Several virulence factors had been described [3].

A. fumigatus is also the causative pathogen in stonebrood, a disease of honeybees.

Genome

The genome sequences of three Aspergillus species—A. fumigatus, A. nidulans, and A. oryzae—were published in the journal Nature in December 2005.[4],[5],[6]

File:Aspergillus fumigatus.jpg
Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from woodland soil

See also

References

  1. Cui CB; et al. (1996). "Spirotryprostatin B, a novel mammalian cell cycle inhibitor produced by Aspergillus fumigatus". J. Antibiot. 49: 832–835. PMID 8823522. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Washington JA (1996). Principles of Diagnosis. In: Barron's Medical Microbiology (Barron S et al, eds.) (4th ed. ed.). Univ of Texas Medical Branch. (via NCBI Bookshelf) ISBN 0-9631172-1-1. 
  3. Rementaria A; et al. (2005). "Genes and molecules involved in Aspergillus fumigatus virulence". Rev Iberoam Micol. 22 (1): 1–23. PMID 15813678. 
  4. Galagan JE; et al. (2005). "Sequencing of Aspergillus nidulans and comparative analysis with A. fumigatus and A. oryzae". Nature. 438 (7071): 1105–15. PMID 16372000. 
  5. Nierman WC; et al. (2005). "Genomic sequence of the pathogenic and allergenic filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus". Nature. 438 (7071): 1151–6. PMID 16372009. 
  6. Machida M; et al. (2005). "Genome sequencing and analysis of Aspergillus oryzae". Nature. 438 (7071): 1157–61. PMID 16372010. 

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