Host Response to Fungal Infections

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This special issue belongs to the section "Fungal Pathogens".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 1331

Special Issue Editors

School of Medicine, Mercer University, Macon, GA 31207, USA
Interests: new microbial niches created by immune modulation; Candida; Pneumocystis; Aspergillus

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Guest Editor
Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: fungal infections; laboratory diagnosis of IFI and SFI; antifungal susceptibility testing; onychomycosis
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fungi are the third most abundant life form on Earth and evolving environmental changes could provide the selective advantage for some of these species to emerge as pathogens. This potential is compounded by increased application of suppressive immunotherapies, where populations of immune suppressed recipients are placed at increased risk. In this respect, there are 148,000 identified species of fungi, and likely many more that are undiscovered. Suffice it to say that environmental change may select and spread a new collection of these as dominant fungal pathogens. As encounters with potential fungal pathogens increases, it is then a matter of coincidental inoculation among permissive immune-deficient hosts. Gathering knowledge of immune recognition and effector function in known fungal infections provides valuable insight for understanding these emerging fungal diseases.

As with other microbes, resistance to fungal infection in healthy mammalian hosts is initiated by sensing simple molecular fingerprints know as pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMPs). Conserved fungal PAMPs initiate innate immune responses via pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), also a characterized as a phylogenetically conserved system for mounting resistance to microbial invaders. Research has shown us that some fungi possess mechanisms of resistance/virulence allowing them to minimize or avoid this detection system while others block immune effector functions and persist in the host. Enhancing essential anti-fungal responses by restoring or replacing dysfunctional innate recognition might offer a means of enhanced protection in certain susceptible populations.

In a broader sense, innate immunity needed for resisting infection, including fungi, uses an integrated system comprised of innate tissue barriers (e.g., skin), inflammation, phagocytes, opsonization and T cell immunity to provide comprehensive resistance and effective clearance. An indispensable cog for resisting systemic infections are phagocytes. Depending upon the location of the infection and the fungal species involved, neutrophils can display effective fungal resistance traits (e.g., Candida and Cryptococcus), but against other fungi neutrophils can be less than adequate (e.g., Histoplasma). Alternatively, T cell dependent macrophage activation may serve as the more protective effector mechanism. Indeed, fungal pathogenic adaptation can include phenotypic changes manifested during fungal infection as a mechanism that limits phagocytic clearance. Furthermore, the neutrophil’s capacity to eliminate invading fungal cells can be seriously limited by clinical interventions such as stress, bone marrow ablation, cytoreductive cancer treatment and long-term cortical steroid therapy. Moreover, advancing our understanding of the limits in altered host resistance can provide insight into the potential for new pathogenic niches and perhaps targeted treatments that address these dynamic changes in fungal distribution.

Dr. Ron Garner
Dr. Eleonora Dubljanin
Guest Editors

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  • fungi
  • fungal pathogens
  • fungal infection
  • host response
  • innate immunity
  • Candida
  • Cryptococcus
  • Histoplasma
  • Pneumocystis

  • Mucor
  • Aspergillus
  • emerging opportunistic fungal pathogens

Published Papers (1 paper)

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16 pages, 1416 KiB  
Naked Oat and Fusarium culmorum (W.G.Sm.) Sacc. Responses to Growth Regulator Effects
by Sulukhan K. Temirbekova, Oksana B. Polivanova, Irina I. Sardarova, Sholpan O. Bastaubaeva, Elena A. Kalashnikova, Marat Sh. Begeulov, Mukhtar Zh. Ashirbekov, Yuliya V. Afanasyeva, Natalya S. Zhemchuzhina, Natalya E. Ionova, Natalia V. Statsyuk, Rima N. Kirakosyan and Abdulrahman Saleh
Pathogens 2023, 12(8), 1051; - 17 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1012
The antioxidant defense system can be stimulated by growth regulators in plants when they are under stress, such as exposure to pathogens. There are a lot of natural growth regulators on the market, but no research has been carried out yet to determine [...] Read more.
The antioxidant defense system can be stimulated by growth regulators in plants when they are under stress, such as exposure to pathogens. There are a lot of natural growth regulators on the market, but no research has been carried out yet to determine how effective they are. This field and laboratory study examines the impact of two commonly used Russian growth regulators, Crezacin and Zircon, along with artificial infection with Fusarium culmorum on the antioxidant system of naked oat. The results show that, compared to the control, Crezacin-treated plants had higher contents of low molecular weight fructose and nonenzymatic antioxidants like proline, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids. Zircon-treated plants had a lower content of proline, carbohydrates, and lower total antioxidant activity than the control plants. The obtained data show that Crezacin treatment mainly affected nonenzymatic systems of the antioxidant defense. This treatment was more successful than the Zircon application, which did not show any appreciable effectiveness and was typically associated with an improvement in oat productivity. The treatment with growth regulators and a fungal suspension performed at the flowering phase provided the best effect on the biochemical parameters and productivity of naked oats. Moreover, oat treatment with the pathogen promoted the reproductive capabilities of the plants, while growth regulators helped in avoiding infectious stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host Response to Fungal Infections)
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