The A. terreus working group consists of a diverse group of mycologists, clinicians and molecular biologists. This unique consortium will work towards the common goal of augmenting existing knowledge on the biology, genetic diversity, population dynamics, clinical epidemiology, virulence and antifungal susceptibilities of the emerging fungal pathogen A. terreus. The working group will sustain a communication network through which the members can exchange research idea and thoughts freely and will also function as a portal for the group to meet and exchange research data.
1. Explore the genetic diversity and population dynamics of A. terreus. Under this aim, we propose to:
a. develop a comprehensive culture repository comprising both clinical and environmental isolates of A. terreus and other isolates in section Terrei,
b. design a multilocus sequence typing scheme (MLST) for species identification in Section Terrei,
c. using the repository and the MLST scheme, generate data on the genetic diversity and population dynamics of A. terreus,
d. establish a new typing method based on the polymorphism of tandem repeats in A. terreus,
e. recognize and validly publish new species.
2. Understand the epidemiology of A. terreus by
a. Developing a microsatellite marker panel for strain discrimination and use test this panel on several environmental and clinical isolates of A. terreus to understand the molecular epidemiology of this organism
b. Elucidating the clinical epidemiology of A. terreus
3. Investigate amphotericin B resistance in A. terreus
4. Study immune response and virulence potential of A. terreus
5. Set up animal models to establish in vivo and in vitro correlation
6. Study clinical infections.
7. Create an A. terreus proteome map
8. Build a web-based database for all participants for studies.
9. Prepare a genomic bank for A. terreus which will be use for the identification and characterization of some putative virulence factors of the fungus (e.g. anti-oxidant systems, proteases, etc.).
10. Exo-metabolomics on Aspergillus terreus and related species.
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Speth C et al. Virulence and thrombocyte affectation of two Aspergillus terreus isolates differing in Amphotericin B susceptibility. Med Microbiol Immunol 2013;202: 379-389.
Blatzer M et al. Amphotericin B resistance in Aspergillus terreus is overpowered by co-application of pro-oxidants. Antioxid Redox Signal 2015;23:1424-1438.
Blatzer M et al. Blocking Hsp70 enhances the efficiency of amphotericin B treatment against resistant Aspergillus terreus strains. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015;59:3778-3788.
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