A novel elastase inhibitor from Aspergillus nidulans NBRC 4340, Asnidin, was isolated, and biochemical properties and partial amino acid sequence were examined. Column chromatography using diethylaminoethyl (DE) 52-Cellulose and reversed-phase HPLC were used to purify the inhibitor. Purified Asnidin was found to be homogeneous as indicated by reversed-phase HPLC and TOF-MS (Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry). Asnidin has a molecular weight of 4,181.63 as determined by TOF-MS. The elastolytic activities of elastases from A. fumigatus, A. flavus, and human leukocytes but not chymotrypsin, and elastases from snake venom and bacteria were inhibited by Asnidin. The fibrinogenase and collagen type IV hydrolytic activities of the elastase from A. fumigatus were inhibited by Asnidin. Asnidin was found to be stable under heat treatment and over a wide pH range. The elastolytic inhibitory activity of Asnidin was inhibited by dithiothreitol (DTT), while no inhibition was observed with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA-2Na) and benzamidine. Since there is a possibility of Asnidin becoming another drug in the arsenal of weapons against aspergillosis or interstitial pneumonia, further studies are warranted.
A 58-year-old Japanese woman who was engaged in dairy farming presented with multiple subcutaneous nodules and abscesses on the dorsum of her left hand from 5 months ago. These had been unsuccessfully treated with oral itraconazole. The patient had a history of Sjögren syndrome and diabetes mellitus, for which she had been taking oral prednisolone for 10 years. Direct microscopy of a pus sample treated with potassium hydroxide (KOH) showed brownish-red branching hyphae. In fungal culture, black colonies covered with gray-white villi were formed. Slide culture showed conidiogenesis from an annellide. The fungal strain was identified as Exophialia oligosperma by molecular biological techniques. Histopathological examination revealed abscesses and surrounding granulomatous infiltration in the dermis and subcutis, and hyphae in the granulomatous infiltration in the outer area. However, no eumycotic granules were observed. The diagnosis was phaeohyphomycosis caused by E. oligosperma. Since the previous treatment with itraconazole had not been effective, we performed daily hyperthermia using a disposable body warmer and drainage of the pus, which ceased after 3 weeks. After approximately 4 months, the skin eruptions became scarred. To the best of our knowledge, this is the second case of phaeohyphomycosis caused by E. oligosperma reported in Japan which was successfully treated with hyperthermia.
The prevalence of cerebral meningitis caused by Cryptococcus neoformans in HIV-infected patients in Eastern Thailand is high. However, little is known about the occurrence of this pathogenic yeast in the environment of this region. The aim of our study was to characterize the prevalence of C. neoformans, its serotypes and antifungal drug susceptibilities in environmental isolates from Chon Buri, Eastern Thailand. C. neoformans was isolated from 10% of fifty pigeon excreta examined from this province. All C. neoformans isolates were of serotype A and although the isolates displayed slightly decreased susceptibility towards fluconazole, all tested sensitive to amphotericin B, fluconazole and itraconazole. This study is the first report of the occurrence of C. neoformans in pigeon excreta in eastern Thailand.