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Invasive Aspergillus terreus morphological transitions and immunoadaptations mediating antifungal resistance

Authors Bengyella L, Yekwa EL, Subhani MN, Tambo E, Nawaz K, Hetsa BA, Iftikhar S, Waikhom SD, Roy P

Received 26 July 2017

Accepted for publication 25 August 2017

Published 7 November 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 425—436

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IDR.S147331

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sahil Khanna


Louis Bengyella,1–3 Elsie Laban Yekwa,4 Muhammad Nasir Subhani,5 Ernest Tambo,6,7 Kiran Nawaz,5 Bakoena Ashton Hetsa,2 Sehrish Iftikhar,5 Sayanika Devi Waikhom,1 Pranab Roy8

1Department of Biomedical Science, The School of Basic and Biomedical Sciences, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana; 2Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa; 3Department of Biotechnology, University of Burdwan, Bardhaman, India; 4Division of Medical Virology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa; 5Department of Plant Pathology, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan; 6Department of Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Université des Montagnes, Bangangté, 7Department of Communications, Africa Disease Intelligence and Surveillance, Communication and Response Institute, Yaoundé, Cameroon; 8Department of Biotechnology, Haldia Institute of Technology, Haldia, India

Background and aims: Aspergillus terreus Thom is a pathogen of public health and agricultural importance for its seamless abilities to expand its ecological niche. The aim of this study was holistically to investigate A. terreus morphological and immunoadaptations and their implication in antifungal resistance and proliferation during infection.
Materials and methods: In-depth unstructured mining of relevant peer-reviewed literature was performed for A. terreus morphological, immune, resistance, and genetic diversity based on the sequenced calmodulin-like gene.
Results: Accessory conidia and phialidic conidia produced by A. terreus confer discrete antifungal resistance that ensures survivability during therapies. Interestingly, by producing unique metabolites such as Asp–melanin and terretonin, A. terreus is capable of hijacking macrophages and scavenging iron, respectively. As such, A. terreus has established a rare mechanism to mitigate phagocytosis and swing the interaction dynamics in favor of its proliferation and survival in hosts.
Conclusion: It is further unraveled that besides A. terreus genetic diversity, morphological, biochemical, and immunologic adaptations associated with conidia germination and discharge of chemical signals during infection enable masking of the host defense as an integral part of its strategy to survive and rapidly colonize hosts.

Keywords: HSP70, terrein, terretonin, Asp–melanin, virulence, stomata atropism

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