83
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: not found

      The contribution of melanin to microbial pathogenesis.

      Cellular Microbiology

      Animals, Bacteria, metabolism, pathogenicity, Fungi, Helminths, Humans, Laccase, Melanins, Oxidoreductases, Phagocytosis, physiology, Virulence

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPubMed
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Melanins are enigmatic pigments that are produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including several species of pathogenic bacteria, fungi and helminths. The study of melanin is difficult because these pigments defy complete biochemical and structural analysis. Nevertheless, the availability of new reagents in the form of monoclonal antibodies and melanin-binding peptides, combined with the application of various physical techniques, has provided insights into the process of melanization. Melanization is important in microbial pathogenesis because it has been associated with virulence in many microorganisms. Melanin appears to contribute to virulence by reducing the susceptibility of melanized microbes to host defence mechanisms. However, the interaction of melanized microbes and the host is complex and includes immune responses to melanin-related antigens. Production of melanin has also been linked to protection against environmental insults. Interference with melanization is a potential strategy for antimicrobial drug and pesticide development. The process of melanization poses fascinating problems in cell biology and provides a type of pathogenic strategy that is common to highly diverse pathogens.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 128

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Cryptococcus neoformans interactions with amoebae suggest an explanation for its virulence and intracellular pathogenic strategy in macrophages.

          Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn) is a soil fungus that causes life-threatening meningitis in immunocompromised patients and is a facultative intracellular pathogen capable of replication inside macrophages. The mechanism by which environmental fungi acquire and maintain virulence for mammalian hosts is unknown. We hypothesized that the survival strategies for Cn after ingestion by macrophages and amoebae were similar. Microscopy, fungal and amoebae killing assays, and phagocytosis assays revealed that Cn is phagocytosed by and replicates in Acanthamoeba castellanii, which leads to death of amoebae. An acapsular strain of Cn did not survive when incubated with amoebae, but melanization protected these cells against killing by amoebae. A phospholipase mutant had a decreased replication rate in amoebae compared with isogenic strains. These observations suggest that cryptococcal characteristics that contribute to mammalian virulence also promote fungal survival in amoebae. Intracellular replication was accompanied by the accumulation of polysaccharide containing vesicles similar to those described in Cn-infected macrophages. The results suggest that the virulence of Cn for mammalian cells is a consequence of adaptations that have evolved for protection against environmental predators such as amoebae and provide an explanation for the broad host range of this pathogenic fungus.
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Practice guidelines for the management of cryptococcal disease. Infectious Diseases Society of America.

            An 8-person subcommittee of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Mycoses Study Group evaluated available data on the treatment of cryptococcal disease. Opinion regarding optimal treatment was based on personal experience and information in the literature. The relative strength of each recommendation was graded according to the type and degree of evidence available to support the recommendation, in keeping with previously published guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). The panel conferred in person (on 2 occasions), by conference call, and through written reviews of each draft of the manuscript. The choice of treatment for disease caused by Cryptococcus neoformans depends on both the anatomic sites of involvement and the host's immune status. For immunocompetent hosts with isolated pulmonary disease, careful observation may be warranted; in the case of symptomatic infection, indicated treatment is fluconazole, 200-400 mg/day for 36 months. For those individuals with non-CNS-isolated cryptococcemia, a positive serum cryptococcal antigen titer >1:8, or urinary tract or cutaneous disease, recommended treatment is oral azole therapy (fluconazole) for 36 months. In each case, careful assessment of the CNS is required to rule out occult meningitis. For those individuals who are unable to tolerate fluconazole, itraconazole (200-400 mg/day for 6-12 months) is an acceptable alternative. For patients with more severe disease, treatment with amphotericin B (0.5-1 mg/kg/d) may be necessary for 6-10 weeks. For otherwise healthy hosts with CNS disease, standard therapy consists of amphotericin B, 0.7-1 mg/kg/d, plus flucytosine, 100 mg/kg/d, for 6-10 weeks. An alternative to this regimen is amphotericin B (0.7-1 mg/kg/d) plus 5-flucytosine (100 mg/kg/d) for 2 weeks, followed by fluconazole (400 mg/day) for a minimum of 10 weeks. Fluconazole "consolidation" therapy may be continued for as along as 6-12 months, depending on the clinical status of the patient. HIV-negative, immunocompromised hosts should be treated in the same fashion as those with CNS disease, regardless of the site of involvement. Cryptococcal disease that develops in patients with HIV infection always warrants therapy. For those patients with HIV who present with isolated pulmonary or urinary tract disease, fluconazole at 200-400 mg/d is indicated. Although the ultimate impact from highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is currently unclear, it is recommended that all HIV-infected individuals continue maintenance therapy for life. Among those individuals who are unable to tolerate fluconazole, itraconazole (200-400 mg/d) is an acceptable alternative. For patients with more severe disease, a combination of fluconazole (400 mg/d) plus flucytosine (100-150 mg/d) may be used for 10 weeks, followed by fluconazole maintenance therapy. Among patients with HIV infection and cryptococcal meningitis, induction therapy with amphotericin B (0.7-1 mg/kg/d) plus flucytosine (100 mg/kg/d for 2 weeks) followed by fluconazole (400 mg/d) for a minimum of 10 weeks is the treatment of choice. After 10 weeks of therapy, the fluconazole dosage may be reduced to 200 mg/d, depending on the patient's clinical status. Fluconazole should be continued for life. An alternative regimen for AIDS-associated cryptococcal meningitis is amphotericin B (0.7-1 mg/kg/d) plus 5-flucytosine (100 mg/kg/d) for 6-10 weeks, followed by fluconazole maintenance therapy. Induction therapy beginning with an azole alone is generally discouraged. Lipid formulations of amphotericin B can be substituted for amphotericin B for patients whose renal function is impaired. Fluconazole (400-800 mg/d) plus flucytosine (100-150 mg/kg/d) for 6 weeks is an alternative to the use of amphotericin B, although toxicity with this regimen is high. In all cases of cryptococcal meningitis, careful attention to the management of intracranial pressure is imperative to assure optimal c
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              A role for excreted quinones in extracellular electron transfer.

              Respiratory processes in bacteria are remarkable because of their ability to use a variety of compounds, including insoluble minerals, as terminal electron acceptors. Although much is known about microbial electron transport to soluble electron acceptors, little is understood about electron transport to insoluble compounds such as ferric oxides. In anaerobic environments, humic substances can serve as electron acceptors and also as electron shuttles to ferric oxides. To explore this process, we identified mutants in Shewanella putrefaciens that are unable to respire on humic substances. Here we show that these mutants contain disruptions in a gene that is involved in the biosynthesis of menaquinone. During growth, the wild type releases a menaquinone-related redox-active small molecule into the medium that complements the mutants. This finding raises the possibility that electron transfer to a variety of oxidants, including poorly soluble minerals, may be mediated by microbially excreted quinones that have yet to be identified.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                12675679

                Comments

                Comment on this article