Abstract

Aspergillus fumigatus has become a leading cause of fungal morbidity and mortality, especially in immunocompromised patients. This fungus is able to grow as a multicellular community and produce a hydrophobic extracellular matrix (ECM), mainly composed of galactomannan and α-1,3 glucans, to protect itself from host defenses and antimicrobial drugs. This matrix envelops the fungus hyphae, binding them into a contiguous sheath on the colony surface, forming the biofilm and increasing the fungal resistance to adverse environmental factors. Adhere to host cells and resist physical removal play a key role in fungal colonization and invasion of the host and in a wide range of infections. Here we show that, by using atomic force spectroscopy, is possible to exploit the peculiar hydrophobicity of the biofilm components (i.e. cell walls, ECM) to detect the biofilm spread, its growth and lysis on rough surfaces. By means of this approach we demonstrate that alginate lyase, an enzyme known to reduce negatively charged alginate levels in microbial biofilms, reduces the biofilm adhesion forces suggesting a loss of ECM from the biofilm and could be used to enhance pharmacological treatments
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • aspergillus fumigatus
  • atomic force spectroscopy

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