Caister Academic Press

Animal Models of Human Fungal Infection

Donna M. MacCallum
from: Human Pathogenic Fungi: Molecular Biology and Pathogenic Mechanisms (Edited by: Derek J. Sullivan and Gary P. Moran). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)

Abstract

Fungal infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, with most infections caused by dermatophytes, Candida species, Aspergillus species, Cryptococcus neoformans and Pneumocystis jirovecii. Whilst dermatophytes can be considered primary pathogens, the majority of fungal infections are caused by opportunistic fungal species. Candida infections tend to originate from commensal sources, but Aspergillus, Cryptococcus and Pneumocystis infections are acquired from the environment. These infections are found in severely ill patients or in immunosuppressed individuals, particularly those with HIV/AIDS. Mortality associated with these infections remains high, partially due to difficulties in diagnosis, but also due to limited therapeutic choices. In order to facilitate development of these badly needed diagnostics and antifungal agents, a greater understanding of fungal pathogenesis is required. Animal models provide opportunities to investigate fungal disease initiation and progression and to evaluate novel antifungal agents. Animal models of dermatophyte, Candida, Aspergillus, Cryptococcus and Pneumocystis infections are described and their contribution to our current understanding of these important fungal infections discussed read more ...
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