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What Makes A Fungus Virulent? It's Lipase

Date:
September 20, 2007
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Infection with the fungus Candida parapsilosis is a major problem for individuals in intensive care units, as well as for premature infants and immunocompromised adults. Innovative research using a new way to eliminate genes in C. parapsilosis has identified the C. parapsilosis lipase as an important virulence factor for this pathogen, leading to the suggestion that targeting this lipase might be of therapeutic benefit to individuals who become infected with C. parapsilosis.

Infection with the fungus Candida parapsilosis is a major problem for individuals in intensive care units, as well as for premature infants and immunocompromised adults.

Despite this, little is known about which of its genes account for its virulence. New insight into the virulence mechanisms of C. parapsilosis has now been provided by Attila Gacserand colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, who have developed a new way to eliminate genes in C. parapsilosis.

In the study, growth in lipid-rich media of C. parapsilosis engineered to lack lipase activity was shown to be dramatically reduced compared with the growth of normal C. parapsilosis.

Furthermore, the mutant fungi were more easily destroyed in vitro by macrophage cell lines and were less virulent when used to infect human cells in vitro and mice in vivo.

These data have demonstrated that C. parapsilosis lipase is an important virulence factor for this pathogen and led the authors to suggest that developing drugs that target this lipase might be of therapeutic benefit to individuals who become infected with C. parapsilosis.

Article: Targeted gene deletion in Candida parapsilosis demonstrates the role of secreted lipase in virulence


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The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Journal of Clinical Investigation. "What Makes A Fungus Virulent? It's Lipase." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070914090711.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2007, September 20). What Makes A Fungus Virulent? It's Lipase. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070914090711.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "What Makes A Fungus Virulent? It's Lipase." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070914090711.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

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