Pathogenicity factors such as adhesins, toxins, capsules, and other microbial gene products are involved as causative agents for infectious diseases. Therefore, the pathogenicity of organisms is increasingly studied on a molecular level. In bacteriology, unspecific adherence mechanisms and receptor-specific adhesins have to be distinguished. An adhesin-mediated invasion of pathogenic organisms in eukaryotic host cells could be relevant for pathogenesis. In mycology, various specific adhesins are involved in colonization of the host. Aspartyl proteases and phospholipases are relevant for adherence and invasion of host structures by pathogenic yeasts. Resistance factors have a central function in the distribution of infectious organisms. Gene-transfer, point mutations and efflux mechanisms are involved in the development of antibiotic drug resistance. Antifungal drug resistance does occur predominantly in Candida albicans against azole drugs. As underlying mechanisms point mutations in the ERG11 gene, encoding for the target enzyme of azoles, as well as energy-dependent efflux mechanisms were identified. Whether these mycotic factors are specific virulence factors or 'fitness-factors' for a better survival of these organisms in the host, and if a possible alternating effect exists between resistance and virulence mechanisms is currently under investigation.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1999|
- Development of resistence
- Fitness factors
- Virulence factors