Experimental pathogenesis and virulence

D. Kontoyiannis

Author address: 

UT MD Anderson Cancer center, Houston, USA


Preclinical studies of the pathogenesis and pharmacotherapy of invasive fungal are mainly based on inhalational or disseminated animal models. Yet, these conventional animal models are expensive, and logistically laborious. Furthermore, these models are limited by the ubiquitous use of death as an experimental end-point. To address the above limitations, we have worked in two areas. First the development of a Toll-deficient fly model of systemic fungal infection that provides a simple experimental system to study the pathogenesis, host innate immune responses and drug efficacy against a variety of fungal invaders (Aspergillus, Candida, Fusarium and Zygomycetes). Our studies with this model have allowed for the simultaneous exploration using high throughput screens of molecular mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity and candidate oral agents with antifungal activity. Second, we have recently developed a non-lethal murine cutaneous model system of invasive aspergillosis. This model that allows dynamic visual monitoring of the infectious process, allows simple experiments to study virulence attributes and the protective effect of antifungals. We believe that this novel model system should be applicable to comparative studies of the pathogenesis, treatment and tissue specificity of invasive aspergillosis. In this presentation, I will give an overview of the relevance, advantages, and pitfalls and design of these recent experimental systems.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

4th Trends in Medical Mycology
    • TIMM 4th (2012)