Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillosis in 2019.

Author: 

Latgé JP, Chamilos G
January 2020, Volume 33, Issue 1, e00140-18, Clinical Microbiology Reviews

Abstract: 

Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprotrophic fungus; its primary habitat is the soil. In its ecological niche, the fungus has learned how to adapt and proliferate in hostile environments. This capacity has helped the fungus to resist and survive against human host defenses and, further, to be responsible for one of the most devastating lung infections in terms of morbidity and mortality. In this review, we will provide (i) a description of the biological cycle of A. fumigatus; (ii) a historical perspective of the spectrum of aspergillus disease and the current epidemiological status of these infections; (iii) an analysis of the modes of immune response against Aspergillus in immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients; (iv) an understanding of the pathways responsible for fungal virulence and their host molecular targets, with a specific focus on the cell wall; (v) the current status of the diagnosis of different clinical syndromes; and (vi) an overview of the available antifungal armamentarium and the therapeutic strategies in the clinical context. In addition, the emergence of new concepts, such as nutritional immunity and the integration and rewiring of multiple fungal metabolic activities occurring during lung invasion, has helped us to redefine the opportunistic pathogenesis of A. fumigatus.