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 a biofilm and increasing the fungal resistance to adverse environmental factors. Adherence to host cells and resistance to 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, it 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, which could be used to enhance pharmacological treatments.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-7
Numero di pagine7
RivistaMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012


  • Aspergillus


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