We previously reported that Candida albicans responded to mild heat stress in a range of temperature elevations simulating fever, and concluded that mild heat stress increases susceptibility to antifungal drugs. In this study, we show that mild heat stress causes a morphological change in hyphae during the process of biofilm formation. We found that mild heat stress extended the period of hyphal stage maintenance in C. albicans biofilm. Although the rate of hyphal change from yeast form to hyphal form reached the maximum within 3 hr, later, almost every cell quickly reverted to the yeast growth phase within 6 hr at 37°C but not at 39°C, or under mild heat stress. Electron microscopy using a smart specimen preparation technique revealed that mild heat stress significantly increased the thickness of the inner cell wall accompanied by a decrease in density of the outer cell wall in the hyphae of C. albicans biofilm. To identify the gene responsible for the morphological changes associated with mild heat stress, we performed microarray gene expression analysis. Eleven genes were upregulated and 17 genes were downregulated under mild heat stress in biofilm cells. The increased PHR1 gene expression in response to mild heat stress was confirmed in quantitative RT-PCR analysis. The mutant upregulated PHR1 expression showed the same sensitivity against antifungal drug micafungin as dependent on mild heat stress. Our findings point to possible therapeutic effects of hyperthermia as well as to the effect of fever during infections.
In a 2012-2014 epidemiological study of feline and canine dermatophytoses in Japan, we investigated the prevalence of fungi among 296 cats and 170 dogs treated at a veterinary clinic and 51 cats and dogs at an animal shelter at Fukui City in Japan. Microsporum canis was isolated from only one cat out of the 517 animals. Also, from 2012 to 2017, we analyzed isolates from 76 cats and 15 dogs with dermatophytoses at 14 veterinary clinics across 10 prefectures in Honshu and Shikoku. M. canis was the cause for 85 of the cases and Microsporum gypseum for the other six. M. canis infection routes in cats are thought to include stray cats as well as breeding facilities and pet shops, whereas for dogs, only breeding facilities and pet shops. Tinea was found in 18.7% (14/75) of the owners of these animals. We showed that microsatellite genotyping is useful for molecular epidemiological investigations such as determination of infection routes of M. canis.
Lophophyton gallinae (Microsporum gallinae) is a zoophilic fungus that causes ringworm in chickens and related species, and occasionally in humans. There are 45 human cases worldwide including a Japanese case from Okinawa in 2009. After the finding of the human L. gallinae case, 793 chickens in Japan, including 293 from the mainland and 500 from the Nansei Island areas, were investigated to determine the prevalence of dermatophytes and their related fungal species. The survey was carried out from December 2008 to March 2013. Various dermatophytes and related fungal species were isolated from the studied chickens, with a prevalence of 24.6%. In total, 224 dermatophytes and related species were isolated in the survey. The most commonly isolated species included, in descending order of frequency, Arthroderma multifidum, Aphanoascus terreus, and Chrysosporium spp. Ar. multifidum and Ap. terreus have no record of pathogenicity, and the present isolates of Chrysosporium spp. were not matched to pathogenic Chrysosporium spp. based on the ITS rDNA sequences. Interestingly, an L. gallinae isolate was detected in a male 10-month-old shamo (fighting cock) from the main island. Furthermore, one strain of Arthroderma simii was also isolated as the second record in Japan following that from an imported chimpanzee. Although L. gallinae and Ar. simii are likely to be endemic in our country, the transmission of dermatophytosis from chickens to humans is unlikely to occur because of the reduced chances for citizens to come in contact with chickens due to various factors.
Many nomenclatural changes, including proposals of new taxa, have been carried out in fungi to adapt to the “One fungus = One name” (1F=1N) principle. In yeasts, while some changes have been made in response to 1F=1N, most have resulted from two other factors: i) an improved understanding of biological diversity due to an increase in number of known species, and ii) progress in the methods for analyzing and evaluating biological diversity. The method for constructing a backbone tree, which is a basal tree used to infer phylogeny, has also progressed from single-gene trees to multi-locus trees and further, to genome trees. This paper describes recent advances related to the contribution of genomic data to taxonomy, using the order Trichosporonales as an example.