Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/14921
The Caspofungin Paradoxical Effect is a Tolerant "Eagle Effect" in the Filamentous Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus
mBio. 2022 Jun 28;13(3):e0044722.
Cell responses against antifungals other than resistance have rarely been studied in filamentous fungi, while terms such as tolerance and persistence are well-described for bacteria and increasingly examined in yeast-like organisms. Aspergillus fumigatus is a filamentous fungal pathogen that causes a disease named aspergillosis, for which caspofungin (CAS), a fungistatic drug, is used as a second-line therapy. Some A. fumigatus clinical isolates can survive and grow in CAS concentrations above the minimum effective concentration (MEC), a phenomenon known as "caspofungin paradoxical effect" (CPE). Here, we evaluated the CPE in 67 A. fumigatus clinical isolates by calculating recovery rate (RR) values, where isolates with an RR of ≥0.1 were considered CPE+ while isolates with an RR of <0.1 were classified as CPE-. Conidia produced by three CPE+ clinical isolates, CEA17 (RR = 0.42), Af293 (0.59), and CM7555 (0.38), all showed the ability to grow in high levels of CAS, while all conidia produced by the CPE- isolate IFM61407 (RR = 0.00) showed no evidence of paradoxical growth. Given the importance of the calcium/calcineurin/transcription factor-CrzA pathway in CPE regulation, we also demonstrated that all ΔcrzACEA17 (CPE+) conidia exhibited CPE while 100% of ΔcrzAAf293 (CPE-) did not exhibit CPE. Because all spores derived from an individual strain were phenotypically indistinct with respect to CPE, it is likely that CPE is a genetically encoded adaptive trait that should be considered an antifungal-tolerant phenotype. Because the RR parameter showed that the strength of the CPE was not uniform between strains, we propose that the mechanisms which govern this phenomenon are multifactorial. IMPORTANCE The "Eagle effect," initially described for bacterial species, which reflects the capacity of some strains to growth above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of specific antimicrobial agents, has been known for more than 70 years. However, its underlying mechanism of action in fungi is not fully understood and its connection with other phenomena such as tolerance or persistence is not clear yet. Here, based on the characterization of the "caspofungin paradoxical effect" in several Aspergillus fumigatus clinical isolates, we demonstrate that all conidia from A. fumigatus CPE+ strains are able to grow in high levels of the drug while all conidia produced by CPE- strains show no evidence of paradoxical growth. This work fills a gap in the understanding of this multifactorial phenomenon by proposing that CPE in A. fumigatus should be considered a tolerant but not persistent phenotype.
Aspergillus fumigatus | Eagles | Animals | Antifungal Agents | Caspofungin | Echinocandins | Fungal Proteins | Microbial Sensitivity Tests | Spores, Fungal
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