Aspergillus fumigatus and aspergillosis: can the mould be broken?

Rogers T.R

Author address: 

Department of Clinical Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital Dublin Ireland


That Aspergillus fumigatus has proven to be such a successful opportunistic pathogen to some extent reflects medical progress in treating malignancies, such as leukaemia, and chronic conditions, thereby enabling patients to survive but with ongoing immune compromise. Even though there is a growing body of information on the pathogenesis of aspergillosis, and a decent antifungal repertoire, the morbidity from this infectious disease is considerable. Two particular challenges are: firstly, how can aspergillus infection be detected early enough to prevent progression of the disease with a likely fatal outcome?; the second challenge is how can host immunity be boosted bearing in mind that response rates to antifungal therapy are so poor? Recent research suggests that some individuals may have a genetic susceptibility to aspergillus infection as a consequence of polymorphisms in innate immune receptors that may impair Th1 responses. Immune modulation may be a worthwhile strategy as a complementary approach to antifungal therapy. Other issues include reports of emerging antifungal drug resistance in A fumigatus notably to triazole antifungals, and continuing concerns over risk to patients of nosocomial aspergillosis as a consequence of building or refurbishment works close to clinical areas.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

Society for General Microbiology
    • SGM 2012