The investigators have used a new ultra-sensitive test that employs technology developed at UMDNJ that not only can better diagnose Aspergillus infections, but also can spot signs of antifungal resistance to azoles - the class of drugs used to treat patients with aspergillosis.
“This innovative approach to drug resistance detection was made possible because of the application of molecular beacon technology, which was invented by scientists at New Jersey Medical School,” said study co-author David Perlin, Executive Director and Professor at New Jersey Medical School, whose laboratory designed and performed the advanced tests. Perlin is a world-renowned expert in fungal research.
Using the new test, which uses direct molecular detection rather than culturing the fungus in a Petri dish, the team found that 55% of aspergillosis patients had telltale signs known as 'markers' that indicated they had developed resistance to azoles. The findings compare to resistance rates of 28% carried out by the team just two years ago using traditional culturing methods. The analysis was conducted on phlegm from patients with allergic and chronic lung disease caused by Aspergillus.
Furthermore, the study - published in the prestigious journal Clinical Infectious Diseases - discovered azole-resistance markers in three-quarters of the small number of aspergillosis patients (eight) who had never been treated with an azole, suggesting widespread dissemination of resistance.
"Aspergillus significantly worsens asthma symptoms and causes life-threatening infections in those with long-term lung infections or damaged immune systems, such as chemotherapy and transplant patients or people with HIV," said study co-author David Denning, Professor of Medicine and Medical Mycology at The University of Manchester and Director of the National Aspergillosis Centre at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. "This is an extraordinarily high rate of resistance, so the findings have major implications for the sustainability of azoles for human antifungal therapy." Dr. Denning notes that one possible source of the resistance may be the frequent use of azoles as agricultural pesticides. The azoles itraconazole (Johnson & Johnson), voriconazole (Pfizer) and posaconazole (Merck) have annual sales of more than $1 billion.
Professor Denning added, "Not only is molecular testing much more sensitive than conventional culture for diagnosis, but it enables testing for resistance, which until now has been impossible if cultures are negative. Given the rising frequency of resistance in Aspergillus in northern Europe, China and the United States, this study provides key data for doctors to shift antifungal therapy in the face of resistance."
Notes to media:
A copy of the paper, Denning DW, Park S, Lass-Florl C, Fraczek MG, Kirwan M, Gore R, Smith J, Bueid A, Bowyer P, Perlin DS. 'High frequency triazole resistance found in non-culturable Aspergillus fumigatus from lungs of patients with chronic fungal disease.' Clin Infect Dis 2011;52:1123-9, is available on request.
Molecular beacons are licensed by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), with offices at 1 World’s Fair Drive, Suite 2100, Somerset, New Jersey 08873.
The primary molecular detection test is Myconostica’s MycAssay Aspergillus, commercialized through Myconostica, a spin-out company founded by Professor David Denning. Patents were licensed to Myconostica by UMDNJ.About UMDNJ:
Rob Forman | Newswise Science News
Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik
Chips, light and coding moves the front line in beating bacteria
16.08.2018 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences
16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences