Fungal respiratory infections in cystic fibrosis (Fri-CF)

Convenor(s):

Jean-Philippe Bouchara (jean-philippe.bouchara@univ-angers.fr)

Co-convenors:

Françoise Symoens

Ana Alastruey-Izquierdo

Carsten Schwarz

Overview

Objectives of the working group are to improve the management of fungal respiratory infections in cystic fibrosis by:

  • Improvement of the biological diagnosis of airway colonization / respiratory infections
  • Identification of the reservoirs of the fungi and of the origin of contamination (preventive measures)
  • Detection of the emergence of new fungal pathogens
  • Improvement of the treatment (defining new therapeutic schemes, understanding antifungal resistance, defining new targets in the fungal cells)

Achievements

For faster progress in the identification of the pathogenic mechanisms of Scedosporium species and of new therapeutic targets, it became obvious in the past few years that research would be greatly facilitated by the availability of the genome of these fungi. From the availability of the whole genome sequence of a first strain of Scedosporium apiospermum (Vandeputte et al. Genome Announc. 2014), sequencing data from a strain of Scedosporium aurantiacum were assembled and 40% of the genome was annotated (Pérez-Bercoff et al. Genome Announc. 2015). Comparative genomics studies are underway in order to understand the inability of Scedosporium dehoogii to establish within the respiratory tract.

Regarding clinical surveillance, three collaborative studies are underway in order to highlight the emergence of species of the Rasamsonia argillacea complex, to describe risk factors for the development of some new yeast species, and a new filamentous fungus.

Improvement of the biological diagnosis of these infections was also the focus of other studies. The first guidelines for mycological examination of sputum have been published last year in France, but results from a multicentre study conducted in Europe and Australia using new culture media are being analysed to publish more reliable recommendations. The interest of rep-PCR for genotype study has been evaluated for Scedosporium species (Matray et al., see below), and Rasamsonia species (submitted).

The fourth meeting of the working group recently took place from June 5-6th 2017 in Seville, Spain and the programme, report and photos (1 and 2) from the meeting are available.

Publications

Matray et al Semi-automated repetitive sequence-based PCR amplification for species of the Scedosporium apiospermum complex. Med Mycol (2016) 54(4): 409-419 (Link here to the article)