Current Articles


Medical and veterinary mycology

Fungi, the second most frequent eukaryotic organisms, are responsible for many diseases in plants, animals and humans. They cause significant problems and economic losses in agriculture, food security and the health system as well as having an impact of the biodiversity and ecosystems. Of the estimated 5 million fungal species, about 600 are known to cause human or animal infections, ranging from superficial infections of the nails and skin caused by dermatophytes, through mucocutaneous candidiasis to life-threatening invasive fungal infecti...

Wieland Meyer, Laszlo Irinyi and Tania Sorrell     01-May-2015
DNA barcoding of human and animal pathogenic fungi: the ISHAM-ITS database

Human and animal fungal pathogens are a growing threat worldwide. They lead to emerging infections and create new risks for established ones. As such, there is a growing need for the rapid and accurate identification of mycoses agents to enable early diagnosis and targeted antifungal therapy. An international consortium of medical mycology laboratories was formed in order to establish a quality controlled ITS database under the umbrella of the ISHAM (International Society for Human and Animal Mycology) working group on ‘DNA barcoding of ...

Laszlo Irinyi and Wieland Meyer     16-Mar-2015
Phosphate theft: a path to fungal pathogenic success

Inorganic phosphate/PO43–/Pi is an essential and major constituent of numerous cellular components in all eukaryotes, including fungi. These components include nucleic acids, phospholipids and ATP. Despite its abundance in organic compounds, Pi is relatively scarce in its free form. To become successful pathogens, fungi must therefore acquire free Pi from the host environment via enzyme-mediated hydrolysis of Pi-containing molecules and/or via more efficient use of their o...

Julianne T Djordjevic and Sophie Lev     19-Mar-2015
Candida and macrophages: a deadly affair

The human fungal pathogen Candida albicans is a significant cause of invasive disease in hospital patients. Treatments are inadequate resulting in high financial costs and mortality rates that approach 50%15. Over the past decades, extensive use of immunosuppressive therapies and invasive medical procedures has exacerbated the problem6. Recent advances have shed light on the intimate relationship between Candida and innate immune cells, which triggers rapid fatal infect...

Timothy Tucey, Thomas Naderer and Ana Traven     17-Mar-2015
Clinical and Translational Mycology on the southern shores: perspective from the Australia and New Zealand Mycoses Interest Group

The hosting of the 19th International Society of Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM) Congress, the premier international forum for medical, veterinary and basic science mycology, in Melbourne, Australia in 2015, has prompted the opportunity to journey through the beginnings and rationale of coordinated and systematic study of clinical and applied mycology in Australia. The Australia and New Zealand Mycoses Interest Group (ANZMIG) is a special interest group of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID). This year, it has the honour o...

Monica A Slavin and Sharon C-A Chen     25-Mar-2015
The Westmead Medical Mycology Collection: basis for research and diagnosis of fungal diseases

The Westmead Medical Mycology Collection is completing 20 years of existence. During this time there have been 10,073 strains deposited representing 437 species, which are currently maintained in the collection. Established originally under the curation of Professor Wieland Meyer at the Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory, in the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the Sydney Medical School – Westmead Hospital, The University of Sydney, it recently moved to the new Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research in W...

Wieland Meyer, Krystyna Maszewska, Aziza Khan and Kennio Ferreira-Paim     17-Mar-2015
The role of clinical mycology reference laboratories

Mycology reference laboratories fulfil a critical role in clinical microbiology. Staff with extensive training and expertise in mycology: (1) perform testing (e.g. fungal identification, susceptibility testing, fungal antigen detection, fungal DNA detection) using methodologies conforming to internationally accepted standards; (2) provide education and training in mycology; (3) provide scientific advice; (4) collaborate with regulatory bodies to deliver quality assurance programs; and (5) participate in research including monitoring emerging fu...

Sarah Kidd, Catriona Halliday and David Ellis     17-Mar-2015
Australia in the global picture of the molecular epidemiology of Cryptococcus gattii molecular type VGII

Cryptococcosis, a life-threatening disease of the lung and central nervous system of humans and a broad range of other animals, is caused by the basidiomycetous yeasts Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii1. Although most cases of infection in the world are caused by C. neoformans, there is an important prevalence of C.gattii among clinical and veterinary samples in Australia24 and the natural habitat of the yeast is strongly associated with nati...

Carolina Firacative, Kennio Ferreira-Paim, Luciana Trilles, David M Engelthaler and Wieland Meyer     17-Mar-2015
On the surface of it: the role of materials science in developing antifungal therapies and diagnostics

Surfaces are often considered to play a passive role in clinical mycology; that is, the outward face of a medical device to which fungal cells attach and form biofilms. However, materials chemistry and nanotechnology are now transforming passive surfaces into active interfaces and driving innovation into antifungal agents, their surface delivery and mechanisms, and diagnostic devices. Beyond technological improvements, there is great opportunity to drive basic research into fungal-surface interactions; however, this can only be accomplished wit...

Bryan R Coad     16-Mar-2015
Microsphaeropsis arundinis: an emerging cause of phaeohyphomycosis in cats and people

Microsphaeropsis arundinis is an anamorphic dematiaceous fungus ubiquitous in soil and fresh water14. It typically inhabits terrestrial plant hosts14 and has a well-known association with Aruno donax, a garden escape weed known as ‘giant reed’ or ‘elephant grass’. M. arundinis (fungi imperfecti) is a coelomycete, which encompasses an emerging group of pathogens capable of causing soft tissue infe...

George Reppas, Thomas Gottlieb, Mark Krockenberger, Catriona Halliday and Richard Malik     17-Mar-2015
Pneumocystis canis pneumonia in dogs

Pneumocystis canis is a potential cause of life-threatening interstitial fungal pneumonia in dogs. It is seen almost exclusively in two canine breeds, miniature Dachshunds and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS)1. Historically, Australian veterinarians had a key role in the documentation of this entity and its conspicuous breed associations24. Affected Dachshunds and CKCS are likely to have an inherited immunodeficiency that predisposes them to infection with this commensal organism o...

Elizabeth Ralph, George Reppas, Catriona Halliday, Mark Krockenberger and Richard Malik     17-Mar-2015
Mucormycosis in the platypus and amphibians caused by Mucor amphibiorum

Mucormycosis in the platypus and the anuran (frogs and toads) is a serious fungal disease affecting these aquatic taxa. Mucor amphibiorum infection causes significant morbidity and mortality in free-living platypuses in Tasmania. Infection has also been reported in free-ranging cane toads and frogs from mainland Australia, but not confirmed in platypuses from the mainland. This paper reviews mucormycosis in the platypus and anuran, including consideration of the clinical, epidemiological, pathological and diagnostic features....

Joanne H Connolly     17-Mar-2015
Rethinking the targets for antifungal development

Cryptococcus neoformans is the leading cause of fungal meningoencephalitis and one of the major causes of death in immunocompromised individuals; this AIDS-defining illness has a reported fatality rate of up to 20% in high-income countries such as Australia, and as high as 65% in developing nations1,2. The current treatment regime recommended by the World Health Organization is induction therapy with flucytosine and amphotericin B, followed by maintenance and consolidation therapy of fluconazole3

Jessica L Chitty and James A Fraser     20-Mar-2015
Sporotrichosis: an Australian perspective of a global infection

Sporotrichosis is a fungal infection caused by Sporothrix schenckii sensu lato usually acquired after a penetrating injury with contaminated material1,2. The infection may establish at the site of the injury, potentially disseminate along the lymphatics, or rarely cause systemic infections including occasional primary pulmonary sporotrichosis3. New knowledge of the organism reveals a diverse infection with regard to its epidemiology, geographical distribution, and species characteristics....

Ian Arthur, Michael Leung and Elin Westergaard     19-Mar-2015
You are what you secrete: extracellular proteins and virulence in Cryptococcus

Fungal organisms secrete a wide range of biomolecules, including degradative enzymes that are essential for nutrition, toxins, effectors and secondary compounds that modulate interactions with host animals and plants, and a variety of signaling and stress-related proteins. As these are likely to be key determinants of virulence and may also be useful diagnostic and therapeutic targets, we investigated the secretome of different strains of the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus. Virulent strains secreted predominantly hydrolytic and proteoly...

Leona T Campbell, Matthew P Padula, Elizabeth Harry and Dee A Carter     01-May-2015
Morphogenesis and pathogenesis: control of cell identity in a dimorphic pathogen

Fungal pathogens span all major phylogenetic groupings within the fungal kingdom, infecting animals, plants and other fungi. Intrinsic to their ability to infect a host and survive host defense mechanisms is the capacity to produce the appropriate cell type. The link between morphogenesis and pathogenesis is clear for a number of pathogenic fungi that undergo a phase transition known as dimorphism (or dimorphic switching)1. Dimorphic fungi are able to alternate between multicellular filamentous growth, characterised by highly ...

Hayley E Bugeja and Alex Andrianopoulos     19-Mar-2015
Use of Caenorhabditis elegans as a non-mammalian model system to study Candida virulence

Candida albicans forms part of the normal human commensal flora but has the ability to cause serious, invasive disease in those who are immunosuppressed. One of its key virulence determinants is its ability to transition from a yeast to a filamentous form. This article focuses on the utility of using the worm model, Caenorhabditis elegans, to study Candida pathogenesis. C. elegans provides an in vivo infection environment that is ideally suited to study the mechanisms of filamentation and its role in disease. ...

Farkad Bantun, Sanjiveeni Dhamgaye and Anton Y Peleg     17-Mar-2015

Volume 36 Number 2

01-May-2015

Feature Product

Marine Parasitology

Marine Parasitology

A thorough overview of all aspects of marine parasitology.

Feature Product

Australia's Poisonous Plants, Fungi and Cyanobacteria

Australia's Poisonous Plants, Fungi and Cyanobacteria

A full-colour, comprehensive guide to the major poisonous plants in Australia affecting both livestock and humans.

The Australian Society of Microbiology

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Feature Product

Pathology of Australian Native Wildlife

Pathology of Australian Native Wildlife

All the available information on the anatomical pathology of Australian native vertebrate wildlife.