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Abstract Detail


MSA - Ecology/Pathology

Ratekin, Angela [1], Taylor, Bernadette [2], Volk, Thomas [3].

The Immune Battlefield: An educational overview of the human immune defenses against mycoses.

The number of clinical presentations of fungal diseases, or mycoses, has been steadily increasing over the past three decades. The incidence of mycoses has risen due to the increase in immunocompromised patients that have undergone organ transplantation, aggressive cancer therapies, or are suffering from HIV/AIDS and other conditions resulting in a decreased immune response. Fungal diseases may result from true pathogens, such as Histoplasma capsulatum or Coccidioides immitis, or from an opportunistic fungus that may gain a foothold within an immunosuppressed host, both resulting in a high rate of morbidity and mortality. Fungal infections present many immunological challenges for an immunocompromised host. Any deficit in the immune system can allow many opportunistic fungi the chance to establish devastating diseases. For example, neutropenia, a decrease in the phagocytic white blood cells, may allow Candida albicans, which is often found in the hostís normal flora, to develop into candidiasis. Another example is the development of Aspergillosis in the stem cell or bone marrow transplant patient. Conversely, in the immunocompetent patient, defense against fungal infections is usually managed by two major principles of the immune system. The innate branch manages the constant exposure to fungal elements, and the adaptive branch is summoned when an infection begins to develop. Both branches have cellular and effector molecular features that interact with each other when identifying self vs. foreign particles to initiate the immune response. The immune response itself involves constant interplay between activation and repression that requires stringent regulation. Understanding the fungal-host interactions is vital in developing treatment and prevention of mycoses. This educational poster was created for use in our Medical Mycology Class to describe the principles of the immune system, the overall fungal-host interactions and the components involved in the immune response to fungal infection.


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Related Links:
Tom Volk's Fungi


1 - University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, Microbiology, 3002 Cowley Hall, La Crosse, WI, 54601, USA
2 - University of Wiscosin-La Crosse, Microbiology, 3002 Cowley Hall, La Crosse, WI , 54601, USA
3 - University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, Biology, 3005 Cowley Hall, La Crosse, WI, 54601, USA

Keywords:
immunology
Candida
neutropenia
education
opportunistic pathogens
medical mycology.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P2
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: P2EP034
Abstract ID:662


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