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Chapter 6 : Virulence Factors

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Abstract:

A common term in the description of pathogens is virulence factor. A fungal infection is generally an accidental encounter in the life cycle of the fungus. It is likely that there are many subtle virulence factors in fungi, such as the simple ability to survive and grow within the host, that are important to their ability to be pathogens. The focus on and its melanin production has two potential benefits. First, it may help to understand the regulation of virulence of this infection with a well-defined phenotype that is easy to measure. Second, with further understanding of the molecular biology and biochemistry of melanin, it could become a unique and selective target for antifungal drugs against and other dematiaceous fungi. Identification and characterization of extracellular proteins in are important because proteinases, esterases, and lipases have been associated with virulence in other pathogens, and these proteins may also elicit strong immune responses from the host. The potential importance of urease in the virulence composite could involve its ability to change local pH in the host, such as when the yeast resides in a phagolysosome. Production of the phospholipases appears to be extracellular, and at least one enzymatic component appears to be phospholipase B.

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Virulence Factors, p 145-176. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch6

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Tables

Generic image for table
Table 1

Advantages and disadvantages of as a model yeast for the study of virulence

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Virulence Factors, p 145-176. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch6
Generic image for table
Table 2

Phenotypes and pathways: association with virulence in studied on a genetic, molecular, or biochemical basis

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Virulence Factors, p 145-176. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch6
Generic image for table
Table 3

Capsular polysaccharide effects which may contribute to and function for virulence

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Virulence Factors, p 145-176. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch6
Generic image for table
Table 4

Possible molecular mechanism(s) for melanin in pathogenesis of cryptococcosis

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Virulence Factors, p 145-176. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch6

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