The pathobiology of Aspergillus fumigatus


Jean-Paul Latge

Date: 11 July 2005


Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent airborne fungal pathogen in developed countries, and in immunocompromised patients causes a usually fatal invasive aspergillosis (IA). Understanding the pathobiology of this fungal species requires not only analysis of the putative fungal virulence factors that stimulate fungal growth and/or survival in the lung environment, but also knowledge of the immune factors containing A. fumigatus in the immunocompetent host that can be debilitated by immunosuppressive therapies, triggering IA. Although the incidence of IA has dramatically increased in recent years, progress in these areas has been limited and, as yet, a single, true virulence factor has not been identified and the mechanisms responsible for protective immunity against A. fumigatus have yet to be elucidated.

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