Isolate-dependent growth, virulence, and cell wall composition in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

Nansalmaa Amarsaikhan, Evan M. O'Dea, Angar Tsoggerel, Henry Owegi, Jordan Gillenwater, Steven P. Templeton

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Abstract

The ubiquitous fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is a mediator of allergic sensitization and invasive disease in susceptible individuals. The significant genetic and phenotypic variability between and among clinical and environmental isolates are important considerations in host-pathogen studies of A. fumigatus-mediated disease. We observed decreased radial growth, rate of germination, and ability to establish colony growth in a single environmental isolate of A. fumigatus, Af5517, when compared to other clinical and environmental isolates. Af5517 also exhibited increased hyphal diameter and cell wall β-glucan and chitin content, with chitin most significantly increased. Morbidity, mortality, lung fungal burden, and tissue pathology were decreased in neutropenic Af5517-infected mice when compared to the clinical isolate Af293. Our results support previous findings that suggest a correlation between in vitro growth rates and in vivo virulence, and we propose that changes in cell wall composition may contribute to this phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere100430
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 19 2014

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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