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From Biology to Drug Development: New Approaches to Combat the Threat of Fungal Biofilms

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  • Authors: Christopher G. Pierce1, Anand Srinivasan3, Anand K. Ramasubramanian5, José L. López-Ribot7
  • Editors: Mahmoud Ghannoum9, Matthew Parsek10, Marvin Whiteley11, Pranab Mukherjee12
  • VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Departments of Biology; 2: South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249; 3: Biomedical Engineering; 4: South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249; 5: Biomedical Engineering; 6: South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249; 7: Departments of Biology; 8: South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249; 9: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH; 10: University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 11: University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX; 12: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Source: microbiolspec June 2015 vol. 3 no. 3 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.MB-0007-2014
  • Received 07 August 2014 Accepted 04 September 2014 Published 05 June 2015
  • José L. López-Ribot, jose.lopezribot@utsa.edu
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  • Abstract:

    Fungal infections constitute a major threat to an escalating number of critically ill patients. Fungi are eukaryotic organisms and, as such, there is a limited armamentarium of antifungal drugs, which leads to high mortality rates. Moreover, fungal infections are often associated with the formation of biofilms, which contribute to virulence and further complicate treatment due to the high level of antifungal drug resistance displayed by sessile cells within these microbial communities. Thus, the treatment of fungal infections associated with a biofilm etiology represents a formidable and unmet clinical challenge. The increasing importance and awareness of fungal biofilms is reflected by the fact that this is now an area of very active research. Studies in the last decade have provided important insights into fungal biofilm biology, physiology, and pathology, as well as into the molecular basis of biofilm resistance. Here we discuss how this accumulated knowledge may inform the development of new antibiofilm strategies and therapeutics that are urgently needed.

  • Citation: Pierce C, Srinivasan A, Ramasubramanian A, López-Ribot J. 2015. From Biology to Drug Development: New Approaches to Combat the Threat of Fungal Biofilms. Microbiol Spectrum 3(3):MB-0007-2014. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.MB-0007-2014.

Key Concept Ranking

Antifungal Agents
0.61276716
Fungal Infections
0.60540396
Murine Hematogenously Disseminated Candidiasis
0.4439909
Antifungal Drugs
0.44210127
Chemicals
0.41562954
0.61276716

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/content/journal/microbiolspec/10.1128/microbiolspec.MB-0007-2014
2015-06-05
2017-11-23

Abstract:

Fungal infections constitute a major threat to an escalating number of critically ill patients. Fungi are eukaryotic organisms and, as such, there is a limited armamentarium of antifungal drugs, which leads to high mortality rates. Moreover, fungal infections are often associated with the formation of biofilms, which contribute to virulence and further complicate treatment due to the high level of antifungal drug resistance displayed by sessile cells within these microbial communities. Thus, the treatment of fungal infections associated with a biofilm etiology represents a formidable and unmet clinical challenge. The increasing importance and awareness of fungal biofilms is reflected by the fact that this is now an area of very active research. Studies in the last decade have provided important insights into fungal biofilm biology, physiology, and pathology, as well as into the molecular basis of biofilm resistance. Here we discuss how this accumulated knowledge may inform the development of new antibiofilm strategies and therapeutics that are urgently needed.

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FIGURE 1

Images depicting the BChip as a new technology platform for microbial culture at the nanoscale level. The technique allows for a variety of high-throughput applications, including ultra-high-throughput drug screening. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.MB-0007-2014.f1

Source: microbiolspec June 2015 vol. 3 no. 3 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.MB-0007-2014
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