Integration of electron microscopy and solid-state NMR analysis for new views and compositional parameters of Aspergillus fumigatus biofilms

Courtney Reichhardt, Lydia Marie Joubert, Karl V. Clemons, David A. Stevens, Lynette Cegelski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The general ability and tendency of bacteria and fungi to assemble into bacterial communities, termed biofilms, poses unique challenges to the treatment of human infections. Fungal biofilms, in particular, are associated with enhanced virulence in vivo and decreased sensitivity to antifungals. Much attention has been given to the complex cell wall structures in fungal organisms, yet beyond the cell surface, Aspergillus fumigatus and other fungi assemble a self-secreted extracellular matrix that is the hallmark of the biofilm lifestyle, protecting and changing the environment of resident members. Elucidation of the chemical and molecular detail of the extracellular matrix is crucial to understanding how its structure contributes to persistence and antifungal resistance in the host. We present a summary of integrated analyses of A. Fumigatus biofilm architecture, including hyphae and the extracellular matrix, by scanning electron microscopy and A. Fumigatus matrix composition by new top-down solid-state NMR approaches coupled with biochemical analysis. This combined methodology will be invaluable in formulating quantitative and chemical comparisons of A. Fumigatus isolates that differ in virulence and are more or less resistant to antifungals. Ultimately, knowledge of the chemical and molecular requirements for matrix formation and function will drive the identification and development of new strategies to interfere with biofilm formation and virulence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S239-S244
JournalMedical Mycology
Volume57
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Keywords

  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • biofilms
  • electron microscopy
  • solid-state NMR

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