Mushroom worker's lung resulting from indoor cultivation of Pleurotus osteatus.
Indoor cultivation of oyster mushroom Pleurotus osteatus lead to an outbreak of extrinsic allergic alveolitis in two workers. High titer of indirect fluorescent antibody and positive precipitins against basidiospores of P. osteatus were demonstrated in sera of the patients. Mushroom workers should protect themselves from the basidiospores, being aware of their pathogenicity. (+info)
Variants of a Cryptococcus neoformans strain elicit different inflammatory responses in mice.
The virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans isolates with high and low extracellular proteolytic activity was investigated in mice. No consistent relationship between proteolytic activity and virulence was observed, but isolates derived from one strain were shown to elicit different inflammatory responses. (+info)
Detection of cell wall mannoprotein Mp1p in culture supernatants of Penicillium marneffei and in sera of penicilliosis patients.
Mannoproteins are important and abundant structural components of fungal cell walls. The MP1 gene encodes a cell wall mannoprotein of the pathogenic fungus Penicillium marneffei. In the present study, we show that Mp1p is secreted into the cell culture supernatant at a level that can be detected by Western blotting. A sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) developed with antibodies against Mp1p was capable of detecting this protein from the cell culture supernatant of P. marneffei at 10(4) cells/ml. The anti-Mp1p antibody is specific since it fails to react with any protein-form lysates of Candida albicans, Histoplasma capsulatum, or Cryptococcus neoformans by Western blotting. In addition, this Mp1p antigen-based ELISA is also specific for P. marneffei since the cell culture supernatants of the other three fungi gave negative results. Finally, a clinical evaluation of sera from penicilliosis patients indicates that 17 of 26 (65%) patients are Mp1p antigen test positive. Furthermore, a Mp1p antibody test was performed with these serum specimens. The combined antibody and antigen tests for P. marneffei carry a sensitive of 88% (23 of 26), with a positive predictive value of 100% and a negative predictive value of 96%. The specificities of the tests are high since none of the 85 control sera was positive by either test. (+info)
Aspergillus meningitis: diagnosis by non-culture-based microbiological methods and management.
The performance of antibody detection, antigen detection, and Aspergillus genus-specific PCR for diagnosing Aspergillus meningitis was investigated with 26 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples obtained from a single patient with proven infection caused by Aspergillus fumigatus. Immunoglobulin G antibodies directed against Aspergillus were not detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in CSF or serum. The antigen galactomannan was detected in the CSF 45 days before a culture became positive, and Aspergillus DNA was detected 4 days prior to culture. Decline of the galactomannan antigen titer in the CSF during treatment with intravenous and intraventricular amphotericin B and intravenous voriconazole corresponded with the clinical response to treatment. (+info)
Production of specific monoclonal antibodies to Aspergillus species and their use in immunohistochemical identification of aspergillosis.
Two anti-Aspergillus murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), designated 164G and 611F, have been produced; both specifically recognize cytoplasmic antigens of A. fumigatus, A. flavus, and A. niger by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The MAbs can identify Aspergillus spp. both in frozen sections by immunofluorescence and in paraffin-embedded clinical specimens by immunofluorescence and immunoperoxidase staining. (+info)
Molecular cloning, characterization, and expression of the M antigen of Histoplasma capsulatum.
The major diagnostic antigens of Histoplasma capsulatum are the H and M antigens, pluripotent glycoproteins that elicit both humoral and T-cell-mediated immune responses. These antigens may play a role in the pathogenesis of histoplasmosis. M antigen is considered immunodominant because antibodies against it are the first precipitins to arise in acute histoplasmosis and are commonly present during all phases of infection. The biological activity of monomolecular M antigen and its ability to elicit a protective immune response to H. capsulatum are largely unknown. A molecular approach was used to identify the biological nature of M antigen, including its purification from histoplasmin, partial digestion with proteinases, and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography to separate the released peptides. The amino acid sequences of the purified peptides were obtained by Edman degradation, and using degenerate oligonucleotide primers for PCR, a 321-bp fragment of the gene encoding the M antigen was amplified from genomic H. capsulatum DNA. This fragment was used to screen an H. capsulatum genomic DNA library, leading to the isolation, cloning, and sequencing of the full-length gene. The M gene consists of 2, 187-bp DNA encoding a protein of 80,719 Da, which has significant homology to catalases from Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, and Eimericella nidulans. A cDNA was generated by reverse transcription-PCR and cloned into the expression vector pQE40. The identity of the cloned, expressed protein was confirmed by Western blotting. The recombinant fusion protein was immunoreactive with monoclonal antibodies raised against M antigen, with polyclonal mouse anti-M antiserum, and with a serum sample from a patient with histoplasmosis. The gene encoding the major immunodominant M antigen of H. capsulatum is a presumptive catalase, and the recombinant protein retains serodiagnostic activity. (+info)
Two-dimensional electrophoresis of Malassezia allergens for atopic dermatitis and isolation of Mal f 4 homologs with mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase.
The yeast Malassezia furfur is a natural inhabitant of the human skin microflora that induces an allergic reaction in atopic dermatitis. To identify allergens of M. furfur, we separated a crude preparation of M. furfur antigens as discrete spots by 2-D PAGE and detected IgE-binding proteins using sera of atopic dermatitis patients. We identified the known allergens, Mal f 2 and Mal f 3, and determined N-terminal amino acid sequences of six new IgE-binding proteins including Mal f 4. The cDNA and genomic DNA encoding Mal f 4 were cloned and sequenced. The gene was mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase and encoded Mal f 4 composed of 315 amino acids and a signal sequence of 27 amino acids. We purified Mal f 4, which had a molecular mass of 35 kDa from a membrane fraction of a lysate of cultured cells. Thirty of 36 M. furfur-allergic atopic dermatitis patients (83.3%) had elevated serum levels of IgE to purified Mal f 4, indicating that Mal f 4 is a major allergen. There was a significant correlation of the Phadebas RAST unit values of Mal f 4 and the crude antigen, but not between Mal f 4 and the known allergen Mal f 2. (+info)
Heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) as a major target of the antibody response in patients with pulmonary cryptococcosis.
Cryptococcus neoformans causes infection in individuals with defective T cell function, such as AIDS, as well as without underlying disease. It has been suggested that humoral as well as cellular immunity might play an important role in the immune response to C. neoformans infection. We have recently shown, using immunoblotting, that the 70-kD hsp family of C. neoformans was the major target molecule of the humoral response in murine pulmonary cryptococcosis. In this study we also used immunoblotting to define the antibody responses in the sera of 24 patients with pulmonary cryptococcosis: 21 proven and three suspected diagnoses. Anti-C. neoformans hsp70 antibody was detected in 16 of 24 (66.7%) patients with pulmonary cryptococcosis. Fourteen of 17 (82.3%) patients with high antigen titres (> or = 1:8) and two of seven (28.6%) patients with low titres (< or = 1:4) had detectable levels of anti-hsp70 antibody. Sera from patients positive for anti-hsp70 antibody showed high titres in the Eiken latex agglutination test for the detection of serum cryptococcal antigen. Our results indicate that the 70-kD hsp family from C. neoformans appears to be a major target molecule of the humoral response, not only in murine pulmonary cryptococcosis, but also in human patients with pulmonary cryptococcosis. (+info)