About this Research Topic
Over the past few decades, frequency of invasive fungal diseases has increased enormously. The risk of fungal infection is exacerbated by indiscriminate use of broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs, immunosuppressive agents and cancer chemotherapy.
Immunocompromised populations are especially at increased risk for susceptibility to several opportunistic fungal diseases including candidiasis, aspergillosis, mucormycosis, and cryptococcosis. Despite the efficacy of old and new antifungal drugs against these diseases, rapidly emerging drug resistance has become a major concern for treatment of such patients. This increase in fungal infections in the last few decades has almost directly paralleled the increase and widespread use of a broad range of medical implant devices, such as stents, shunts, prostheses, implants, endotracheal tubes, pacemakers and various types of catheters. In fact, studies of catheter-related fungal infections, especially Candida infection, have unequivocally shown that retention of vascular catheters is associated with prolonged fungemia, high antifungal therapy failure rates, increased risk of metastatic complications and death.
In the past, systematic approaches to study fungal molecular characteristics, fungal interaction with the host, and identification of virulence determinants, have largely been successful in recognizing the underlying mechanisms of pathogenesis. These strategies have also assisted in identifying novel drug targets and immunotherapeutic interventions.
We welcome you to submit your potential manuscripts on studies of virulence properties of pathogenic fungi, such as adhesion, morphogenetic switching, biofilm formation and host cell damage. The genes and signaling pathways underlying the virulence traits, and the environmental factors (pH, heat, carbon sources, oxygen) modulating them, will also be considered desirable for review. Finally, reports on mechanisms of antifungal drug resistance (intrinsic, acquired or biofilm), and identification of potential new antifungal drugs or drug targets, will be within the scope of the current research topic.
Keywords: pathogenesis, resistance, biofilms, immunology, signaling
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