and Aspergillosis

Editors: Jean-Paul Latgé1, William J. Steinbach2
Affiliations: 1: Unité des Aspergillus, Institut Pasteur Paris, France; 2: Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Duke University Medical Center Durham, North Carolina USA
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Hardcover, Electronic
Publication Year: 2009

Category: Clinical Microbiology; Fungi and Fungal Pathogenesis

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Modern medical technologies are repairing the human body in ways never imagined only a few years ago, but they are leaving an increasing population of patients who are newly susceptible to opportunistic pathogens. Invasive and chronic fungal infections have become a formidable clinical opponent, and foremost among them is .

assembles chapters from a large and international contingent of experts in the field to explore every major aspect of and how it kills so many patients. This volume offers the latest insights into the fundamental biology and pathogenesis of and how it establishes disease, as well as the newest strategies for characterizing, diagnosing, and treating its spectrum of clinical infection.

This valuable book is an instrumental resource for both scientists and clinicians tackling the current problems with Aspergillosis. It presents chapters on the species itself, including morphology and unique and specific genes, the importance of polarized growth, as well as the organism’s response to environmental stress by moving from a saprophyte to a pathogen. The interface with the host immune system-paramount to disease phenotype-is detailed, as are the many faces of disease created by . Newer diagnostic and treatment strategies are covered, including the optimal timing of antifungal therapy and the strategic choice of which agent to use.

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Microbiology Today

03 March 2013

The co-editors, Drs Jean-Paul Latge and William Steinbach, are both experienced in the basic sciences of the organism and disease manifestations caused by this fungus. The text is extremely timely given the emerging interest in the medical mycology and infectious disease community to treat and diagnose these infections. It is also important to focus upon A. fumigatus since by far it is the most common offending pathogen among the aspergilli. Aspergillosis is the most common infection caused by a filamentous fungus, and in the case of invasive aspergillosis (IA), a high mortality is associated with outcome. The text also goes beyond IA to examine allergic and bronchopulmonary manifestations, the non-invasive forms of these diseases, which in many instances are often forgotten among scientists and clinicians since the latter forms are not usually life-threatening. It is very clear that research into this organism has advanced at many levels, especially in biochemistry and molecular biology. Thus, the literature is rapidly expanding on subjects ranging from virulence, diagnostics, treatments, immune responses, with long-term goals of developing novel therapies and diagnostics to treat an otherwise very devastating disease (IA). The expansive subject matter has in part resulted in three international conferences on 'Advances Against Aspergillosis', with a 4th planned for February 2010. Thus, this text is perfect for all interested readers in that it centralizes all areas of studies.

There are 9 sections, each of which includes a variable number of chapters on: 1, the species; 2, growth and sensing; 3, immunity; 4, the spectrum of disease; 5, diagnosis; 6, therapy; 7, timing of anti-fungal therapy; 8, disease and patient populations; and 9, future directions of research. There are 41 chapters in all. The authors are to be cited for a good balance of material distributed among clinical and basic science chapters. One of the many outstanding features of the majority of chapters is the use of multiple authors. This of course is harder to co-ordinate, given the proclivities of scientists to develop their own theme, but, nevertheless, many chapters thus reflect each viewpoint. The text is quite comprehensive. It is therefore difficult to focus upon a critique of each chapter; however, chapters on comparative genomics (chapter 4), growth and biofilm formation (chapters 11 &amp; 12), the cell wall as a dynamic structure (chapter 14), innate defenses (chapter 18), allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (chapter 26), prophylaxis, and current consensus and controversies over IA (chapters 36, &amp; 37) are especially relevant, but in no way is this comment meant to minimize the quality of the other contributed chapters.

A critical component of the text is, not surprisingly, the last chapter (chapter 41) on a perspective on A. fumigatus research for the next 10 years. The first 40 chapters tackle the state-of-the-art in regard to the many subjects mentioned above. Given all of this, what is next? It is clear that defining virulence factors of this organism remains difficult to accomplish, given the tried and true definitions of virulence. Thus, is auxotrophy a virulence determinant? The answer is a resounding 'no' and the authors are to be given credit for saying so. Are the current animal models representatives of these diseases? How does one begin to decipher virulence functions among genes that comprise large, redundant families? These questions not only complicate definitions of virulence, but point to the lack of defined virulence targets for the development of new antifungal drugs. Aspergillosis scientists, and really all of us, need to believe in the concept of avirulence therapies which have become quite fashionable among scientists that advocate this approach with bacterial pathogens. There is also discussion of the -omics approach to discovery, and both pros and cons are discussed. New therapies and diagnostics remain at the forefront of discovery. In regard to diagnostics, a theme that is developed is the identification of specific host responses, rather than features of the fungus, i.e. galactomannan antigenemia or PCR- based techniques. Perhaps a combination of host and fungal factor diagnostics is needed. The prophecy herein is that the development of new therapies is exciting but unrealistic, of which one could debate this point of view. Rather, emphasis is placed upon increasing the efficacy and reducing the toxicity of current drugs. Immune therapy and approaches are discussed.

I would conclude by saying that all of us who study these pathogens need to become stronger advocates of this science. Fungi continue to cause disease and death, and health care costs to patients and hospitals are staggering. Somehow we have not convinced the people who make decisions on funding research on fungal diseases (which is badly needed) to continue the cause of delivering better health care.

In summary, this text is a welcome addition to the library of basic and clinical scientists, graduate and medical students, and to those of us that teach graduate and medical students. Especially in regard to the upcoming generation of physicians, unless we tell them the significance of these infections, we will only remain hopeful with 'promising' approaches to improved health care. This text is important to spark interest in doing fungal research.

Society for General Microbiology: Microbiology Today

Reviewer: Richard Calderone, Georgetown University

Review Date: 2008

Quarterly Review of Biology

20 February 2013

This book contains 41 chapters, which review original research on the basic biology of Aspergillus, its pathogenesis strategies, host defense mechanisms, and clinical therapy. These chapters are grouped into nine sections: The Species; Growth and Sensing, or Resisting Environmental Stress; Immune Defense Against Aspergillus; The Spectrum of Disease; Diagnosis; Therapy; Timing of Antifungal Therapy; Specific Patient Populations; and Future Directions.

The volume covers a wide range of topics and will be a good handbook for anyone interested in the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and the diseases it causes. As science is becoming more and more specialized, this book offers a place where, for example, fungal biologists can learn about host immune defense and antifungal therapy against this pathogen. In addition, authors of the chapters not only compiled facts and observations, they also provide interesting and thought provoking hypotheses, problems to be solved, and a look to the future. After reading this volume, I am amazed at the progress that has been made in the past decades and yet, at the same time, concerned about the challenges that researchers face to deepen our understanding about the fungus, the disease, and the patients. The last chapter, in which important areas that need improvement and more investigation were discussed, is a must read.

As a researcher in medical mycology as well as a teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and will use some of the materials in my courses.

The Quarterly Review of Biology

Reviewer: Xiaorong Lin, Biology, Texas TAMU University, College Station, Texas

Review Date: March 2010

Doody Enterprises

26 January 2013

At A Glance

* Focuses on Aspergillus fumigatus, the most serious human pathogen of the Aspergillus genus * Offers an authoritative collection of reviews from both clinical and scientific perspectives * Examines the basic metabolism, genetics, structure, and biochemistry of Aspergillus fumigatus as well as the range of diseases, their diagnosis, their treatment and prophylaxis, and the variability of diseases in specific patient populations * Offers a multidisciplinary approach to better understand the complexity of the situation, and to gain a more complete understanding of this fungus.


This comprehensive review of Aspergillus fumigatus includes a description of the species, virulence, immunodefense, and diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of this fungal infection.


The aim is to provide a current overview of Aspergillus fumigatus infections in a variety of hosts that are more susceptible to this microorganism. The book covers the spectrum of disease manifestations, diagnostic challenges, individual therapeutic agents, and the management of specific patient populations such as solid organ and stem cell transplant recipients, patients with a malignancy, and children. Both editors are experts in the field.


This book is directed at microbiologists, investigators, and clinicians, but this extensive review is mostly of interest to those in the fields of infectious diseases, transplantation, and oncology. Of note, this book may be a valuable help to general practitioners who see patients susceptible to these infections, but do not have access to an experienced consultant.


All essential aspects of Aspergillus are covered. The chapters on the different therapeutic agents are comprehensive, and the chapters on specific patient populations are well written. Tables in the basic microbiology chapters are very well done, and both color and black-and-white figures show excellent resolution. Some of the most recent clinical studies on newer drugs for Aspergillus are missing, but this is expected due to the time that takes to complete such an extensive textbook.


This is an excellent book on Aspergillus fumigatus. It will assist both basic and clinical microbiologists, as well as clinicians who take care of patients with these infections.

Doody Enterprises

Reviewer: Andre Kalil, MD (University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Review Date: Unknown

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