The use of embryonated egg as an alternative in the study of the pathogenesis of fungi is evolving. Although murine models are the “gold standard,” embryonated egg models are also used to screen determinants of virulence among fungi species. This study was aimed at determining the virulence potential of Cryptococcus gattii strains R265, R272, and EJB18, and Malassezia sympodialis using chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of embryonated egg. At a concentration of 107 cfu/ml, C. gattii R272 was more virulent than R265 in the egg model, while EJB18 had low virulence. The CAM model supported the growth of Malassezia sympodialis strain and induced the formation of hyphae. The formation of lesions by the organism and its re-isolation from CAM suggest that the model can be used for evaluating the virulence of C. gattii. Histopathology of CAM from both strains also revealed massive disruption of CAM. This study suggests that embryonated egg is a useful alternative tool to pre-screen Cryptococcus gattii strains to select strains for subsequent testing in murine models and could also be a potential medium for studying the hyphal growth in Malassezia species.
Echinocandins are antifungal agents that specifically inhibit the biosynthesis of 1,3-β-D-glucan, a major structural component of fungal cell walls. Echinocandins are recommended as first-line or alternative/salvage therapy for candidiasis and aspergillosis in antifungal guidelines of various countries. Resistance to echinocandins has been reported in recent years. The mechanism of echinocandin resistance involves amino acid substitutions in hot spot regions of the FKS gene product, the catalytic subunit of 1,3-β-D-glucan synthase. This resistance mechanism contributes to not only acquired resistance in Candida spp., but also inherent resistance in some pathogenic fungi. An understanding of the echinocandin resistance mechanism is important to develop both effective diagnosis and treatment options for echinocandin-resistant fungal diseases.