Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

fungal pathogen Related Abstracts

3 In vitro and in vivo Effects of 'Sonneratia alba' Extract against the Fish Pathogen 'Aphanomyces invadans'

Authors: S. F. Afzali, W. L. Wong

Abstract:

The epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) causes by the oomycete fungus, Aphanomyces invadans; known to be one of the infectious fish diseases for farmed and wild fishes in fresh and brackish-water from the Asia-pacific region, America and Africa. Although, EUS had been documented by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) since 1995, hitherto, there is neither standard chemical agents that can be used for successful treatment of this destructive infection in the time of outbreak; nor available vaccine for prevention. Plant-based remedies in controlling fish diseases are gaining much attention recently as an alternative to chemical treatments, which possess negative effects to the environment and human. In present study, Sonneratia alba, a mangrove plant belongs to the Sonneratiaceae family, was screened in vitro and in vivo for its antifungal activity against A. invadans mycelium growth and its effects on fish innate immune system and disease resistant. The in vitro tests was performed using the disc diffusion methods with measurements of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and inhibition zone. For in vivo study, the S. alba extract supplemented diets were administrated at 0.0, 1.0%, 3.0%, and 5.0% on healthy goldfish, Carassius auratus, which challenged with A. invadans zoospores (100 spores/ml). To compare the significant differences in the hematological and immunological parameters obtained from the experiments, the data were analysed using the SPSS. The methanol extract of S. alba effectively inhibited the mycelial growth of A. invadans at a minimum concentration of 1000 ppm for agar and filter paper diffusion experiments. In the agar diffusion test, 500 ppm of the extract inhibited the fungus mycelial growth up to 96 hours after exposure. The mycelial growth from the edge of the pre-inoculated A. invadans agar discs treated with S. alba extracts at concentrations of 100, 500 and 1000 ppm were 15, 8 and 0 mm respectively. The results of the filter paper disc test showed that the S. alba extract at its minimal inhibitory concentration (1000 ppm) has similar qualitative inhibitory effect as malachite green at 1 ppm and formalin at 250 ppm. According to the in vivo tests findings, in the infected fish fed with 3.0% and 5.0% supplementation diet, the numbers of white blood cell and myeloperoxidase activity significantly increased after the second week of treatment. Whilst the numbers of red blood cell significantly decreased in the infected fish fed with 0.0 and 1.0% supplementation diet. After the third week of feeding, significant increases in the total protein, albumin level, lysozyme activity were recorded in the infected fish fed with 3.0% and 5.0% supplementation diet. Also, the enriched diets increased the survival rate as compared to the untreated group that suffered from 90% mortality. The present study indicated that S. alba extract may inhibit the mycelial growth of A. invadans effectively, suggesting an alternative to other chemotherapeutic agents, which brought much environmental and health concerns to the public, for EUS treatment.

Keywords: treatment, Goldfish, fungal pathogen, organic extract

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2 Unravelling of the TOR Signaling Pathway in Human Fungal Pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans

Authors: Yong-Sun Bahn, Yee-Seul So, Guiseppe Ianiri, Alex Idnurm

Abstract:

Tor1 is a serine/threonine protein kinase that is widely conserved across eukaryotic species. Tor1 was first identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a target of rapamycin (TOR). The TOR pathway has been implicated in regulating cellular responses to nutrients, proliferation, translation, transcription, autophagy, and ribosome biogenesis. Here we identified two homologues of S. cerevisiae Tor proteins, CNAG_06642 (Tor1) and CNAG_05220 (Tlk1, TOR-like kinase 1), in Cryptococcus neoformans causing a life-threatening fungal meningoencephalitis. Both Tor1 and Tlk1 have rapamycin-binding (RB) domains but Tlk1 has truncated RB form. To study the TOR-signaling pathway in the fungal pathogen, we attempt to construct the tor1Δ and tlk1Δ mutants and phenotypically analyze them. Although we failed to construct the tor1Δ mutant, we successfully construct the tlk1Δ mutant. The tlk1Δ mutant does not exhibit any discernable phenotypes, suggesting that Tlk1 is dispensable in C. neoformans. The essentiality of TOR1 is independently confirmed by constructing the TOR1 promoter replacement strain by using a copper transporter 4 (CTR4) promoter and the TOR1/tor1 heterozygous mutant in diploid C. neoformans strain background followed by sporulation analysis. To further analyze the function of Tor1, we construct TOR1 overexpression mutant using a constitutively active histone H3 in C. neoformans. We find that the Tor1 overexpression mutant is resistant to rapamycin but the tlk1Δ mutant does not exhibit any altered resistance to rapamycin, further confirming that Tor1, but not Tlk1, is critical for TOR signaling. Furthermore, we found that Tor1 is involved in response to diverse stresses, including genotoxic stress, oxidative stress, thermo-stress, antifungal drug treatment, and production of melanin. To identify any TOR-related transcription factors, we screened C. neoformans transcription factor library that we constructed in our previous study and identified several potential downstream factors of Tor1, including Atf1, Crg1 and Bzp3. In conclusion, the current study provides insight into the role of the TOR signaling pathway in human fungal pathogens as well as C. neoformans.

Keywords: Transcription Factor, serine/threonine kinase, fungal pathogen, target of rapamycin

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1 Assessing Immunization across Life Stages of the Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) to the Pathogenic Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)

Authors: Kerri L. Surbaugh, Lakmini Y. Mallikarachchi, Jason R. Rohr

Abstract:

Emerging diseases are key factors in the disconcerting rate of contemporary amphibian declines. The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), ranks among the chief pathogenic challenges to vulnerable amphibian populations. Although live Bd can immunosuppress amphibian hosts, amphibian exposure to dead Bd can induce an adaptive immune response, leading to acquired resistance to the pathogen. In this experiment, dose and duration of flash-frozen Bd were manipulated over a variety of life-stages of the Cuban treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) and the magnitude of acquired resistance to the pathogen was quantified via qPCR analyses of spore abundance post subsequent live Bd challenges. It was found that Cuban treefrogs can develop resistance to Bd and that life stage, dose and duration thresholds exist for acquired resistance. This experiment will aid in facilitating the development of a vaccine against Bd which could be used on location and could help curb worldwide amphibian declines associated with this pathogen.

Keywords: Immunization, fungal pathogen, acquired resistance, ecoimmunology, emerging infectious disease, fungal host response

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