Experimental animals are an obligate screen to investigate microorganism pathogenicity. Numerous animal models have been used to analyse the virulence of the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus but none of the experimental models used previously have been satisfactory. This report discuss these models and presents a murine model of pulmonary aspergillosis that is very easy and the most adapted to compare the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus strains. Strains to be tested are inoculated intranasally and synchronously to mice and strains isolated from the lung of mice killed by the infection are typed. The number of colonies recovered is directly correlated to the virulence of the strain.
A female four-toed hedgehog probably imported from Africa and kept as a pet by a family suffered from depilation and mite (Caparinia tripilis) infection. Depilated quills were inoculated on a commercially available medium and an isolate of the dermatophytes was obtained. A giant colony after 14 days incubation on yeast extract Sabouraud's agar had a central umbo with white granular surface and a yellow pigment ring in the reverse. The hedgehog isolate produced numerous elongated microconidia singly attached along the sides of hyphae. Macroconidia were somewhat irregular in shape and size and 2-6 septa. Abundant intermediate sized spores between micro- and macro conidia and few spirals were observed. Hair perforation and urease activity tests were positive. Maximum growth temperature was 40. In the mating tests using the tester strains of both African and Americano-European races of Arthroderma benhamiae, the strain produced numerous gymnothecia only when paired with the African race mating type minus (-). In addition, 591 bases of the internal transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal RNA gene including the 5.8S region (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) were sequenced and corresponded to those of T. mentagrophytes var. erinacei (DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank accession numbers Z97996 and Z97997) by more than 99.7%. Therefore, our case is the first isolation of A. benhamiae with T. mentagrophytes var. erinacei anamorph in Japan.
Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 25 environmental isolates of Sporothrix schenckii from northeastern China was investigated. Based on the mtDNA-RELP patterns with Hae III, 6 isolates were confirmed to be S. schenckii, while the other 19 isolates were confirmed to be species distinct from S. schenckii. The mtDNA RFLP patterns of the 19 non-S. schenckii were identical to each other. The non-S. schenckii isolates could not be discriminated from S. schenckii by their macro- or micro-morphological features, and were not pathogenic in guinea pigs. Serological and delayed hypersensitivity cross-reactions were found between S. schenckii and the non-S. schenckii species, suggesting antigenic similarity. These results indicate that RFLP analysis of mtDNA is essential for the identification of environmental isolates of S. schenckii.
Exophiala spinifera, a black yeast, rarely causes systemic infection, and only a very few cases of its infection by the invasion of internal organs or bones have been reported. We examined the ability of E. spinifera to invade bone tissues in vitro. The fungus was inoculated on the surface of murine bones, and then these bones were incubated at 30°C for 2, 4, and 12 weeks on water agar plates and on brain heart infusion agar supplemented with 1 % glucose (BHIA) plates. Histopathological examination demonstrated that the fungus was initially found in the non-calcified parts of the bone tissue, such as the growth plate and articular cartilage. Thereafter, the fungus invaded the calcified parts: cancellous and cortical bones. Our experiments showed that the capability of E. spinifera to invade bone tissue is higher than that of Candida albicans or other black fungi. E, spinifera grew in the mycelial form and C. albicans in the yeast form in these experiments. Our results suggest that E. spinifera may have a high potential to invade bone tissues, and that the mycelial form can invade bone more deeply than the yeast form. Therefore, bone degeneration should/ must be carefully monitored in any systemic infection with E. spinifera.