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Murine model to follow hyphal development in invasive pulmonary aspergillosis

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Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogen, the leading cause of invasive and disseminated aspergillosis in systemic immunocompromised patients, and an important cause of mortality. The aim of the present study was to adapt a pulmonary aspergillosis murine model, to determine pathodynamical parameters quantitatively, and to follow the progression of fungal infection in vivo. The nasal inoculation of Aspergillus conidia in mice previously subjected to immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide (CP) turned out to be a more suitable model than that of immunosuppressed with hydrocortisone (HC). The following parameters were found to correlate quantitatively with the progress of the infection: (i) survival rate, (ii) weight loss of mice, (iii) infected focal plaque size, (iv) hyphal density, (v) hyphal length distribution of A. fumigatus, and the (vi) the histopathological status and scores. These parameters will be essential elements for the development of antifungal drugs and therapies, and important for the investigation of the pathogenicity in different strains of A. fumigatus.

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Correspondence to Gaspar Banfalvi.

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Animal and human care

Animal experiments were carried out in our Experimental Animal Facility (reg. num. III/3.-KÁT./2015) under the supervision of the Animal Care Committee, University of Debrecen. The experimental protocol was approved by the Animal Care Committee (license number 2/2014 DEMAB). Animal experiments and care of research staff against A. fumigatus inhalation conformed to the general guidelines of the protection of European Community (86/609/EEC) and special guidelines of BSL2 (200/54/EC 16. Human protection against A. fumigatus inhalation included minimizing exposure to mold spores as much as possible, using respiratory protective equipment by observing the Health Protection Agency facemask guidelines and using the standard FFP2 equivalent to N95 HEPA filter.

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Szigeti, Z.M., Talas, L., Palicz, Z. et al. Murine model to follow hyphal development in invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 102, 2817–2825 (2018).

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