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Department of Parasitology and Mycology

Aspergillus Unit

Pr. Jean-Paul Latgé
Head of the Unit

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from the genes to the fungus

Aspergillus fumigatus is the most ubiquitous thermophyllic airborne fungus. Humans and animals constantly inhale its numerous conidia (1-100 conidia / air mm3 indoors and outdoors). the soil is the natural ecological niche of this saprophytic organism which plays an essential role in the degradation and recycling of carbon and nitrogen (it is indeed the unique fungal inhabitant of the compost).
The inhaled conidia are normally eliminated in the immunocompetent host by innate immune mechanisms. Aspergilloma and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, uncommon clinical syndromes, are the only infections observed in such hosts.
A. fumigatus was considered for years to be a weak pathogen. With increases in the number of immunosuppressed patients, however, there has been a dramatic increase in severe and usually fatal invasive aspergillosis, now the most common mold infection worldwide.
The focus of the research in our laboratory is on the biology of
A. fumigatus and the diseases it causes. Themes developed are centered both on clinical and fundamental aspects using molecular, cellular and biochemical methodologies. Three major research areas have been developed:

    diagnosis of aspergillosis in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts,
    identification of host and fungal factors that play a role in the establishment of the fungus
in vivo,
    study of cell wall biosynthesis with the aim of discovering new antifungal drugs.

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Unité des Aspergillus
25, rue du Docteur Roux
75724 Paris Cedex 15
FRANCE

(33) 1 40 61 35 18
Office: (33) 1 40 61 35 19
fax (33) 1 40 61 34 19

 

version française

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