Tag Archives: human infections

Postdoc: Aspergillus Pathogenesis and Immune Activation Dartmouth

A postdoctoral position is available to study the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis and host defense during Aspergillus fumigatus infection. The project will focus on fungal and host factors that are responsive to in vivo oxygen levels which subsequently modulate virulence and host inflammatory responses in clinically relevant models of aspergillosis.

Two years of initial funding are guaranteed for generating data and applying for independent funding. Applicants should have a PhD in microbiology, immunology or closely related field. Experience in molecular mycology and/or immunology are preferred, but those interested in mycology from other backgrounds are welcome to apply.

The Cramer Laboratory is located at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. The position affords the opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art facilities and resources associated with a major research and teaching institution, while enjoying the quality of life characteristic of the upper valley in New England.

For further information on our institution and department see: http://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu and http://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/microbio/. For the Cramer laboratory, see http://www.thecramerlab.com and the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~lbcobre/.

PDF: CramerDartmouth_Postdoc_2014

Coprinus on the heart?

Here’s a fungal infection you don’t hear much about. One of the fungi we work on, a model for mushroom development as it can be fruited in the lab is Coprinopsis cinerea (previously named Coprinus cinereus). C. cinerea is a saprobric coprophillic fungus so it is usually found on dung.  Although rare in human infections there are a few reports in immunocopromised patients.  Below is an abstract describing isolation of C. cinerea from an implanted heart valve from a pig. This definitely not its typical habitat and Coprinus growing in yeast form I’m sure I’ve really heard of either.  Would be great to see if the clinical strains are still sexually competent and/or are significantly different in other ways (growth rate, resistance to drugs and oxidative stress) from the wild or laboratory strains.

A 77-year-old female initially presented with symptomatic mitral valve stenosis involving a bioprosthesis that had been implanted 8 months earlier for myxomatous mitral valve disease and severe valvular regurgitation. The patient was taken for a second mitral valve replacement due to stenosis. Intraoperatively, the bioprosthetic mitral valve was noted to have an unusual clot-like mass on the atrial side. Initial fungal smears were positive for yeast stains, and pathology revealed extensive colonization by thick filamentous fungus with apparent true hyphae, pseudohyphae, and yeast forms. The fungus was identified as Hormographiella aspergillata, the asexual form of Coprinus cinereus, a common inky cap mushroom that grows in the lawn.

Continue reading Coprinus on the heart?