The Role of Lectin in Aspergillus Pathogenicity.

Aspergillus fumigatus is an important allergen and opportunistic pathogen responsible for airborne infections. Similarly to many other pathogens, it is able to produce lectins that may be involved in host-pathogen interactions.

The article published in PLOSONE by an international team of scientists indicates that a fucose binding lectin produced by A. fumigatus contributes to the inflammatory response observed upon the exposure of patients to A. fumigatus. The combination of affinity to human epithelial epitopes, production by conidia and pro-inflammatory activity is remarkable and shows that the lectin might be an important virulence factor involved in an early stage of A. fumigatus infection.

1. Central European Institute for Technology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, 2. National Centre for Biomolecular Research, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic,
3. European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France,
4. CERMAV-CNRS affiliated to Université de Grenoble, Grenoble, France,
5. Department of Medicine and CVRI, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America,
6. School of Chemistry, University of Bangor, Bangor, United Kingdom,
7. Unité de Défense Innée et Inflammation, Institut Pasteur and INSERM U874, Paris,
8. Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic