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The pathogenic fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum, causes the respiratory and systemic disease 'histoplasmosis'. This disease is primarily acquired via inhalation of aerosolized microconidia or hyphal fragments of H. capsulatum. Evolution of this respiratory disease depends on the ability of H. capsulatum yeasts to survive and replicate within alveolar macrophages. It is known that adhesion to host cells is the first step in colonization and biofilm formation. Some microorganisms become attached to biological and non-biological surfaces due to the formation of biofilms. Based on the importance of biofilms and their persistence on host tissues and cell surfaces, the present study was designed to investigate biofilm formation by H. capsulatum yeasts, as well as their ability to adhere to pneumocyte cells. H. capsulatum biofilm assays were performed in vitro using two different clinical strains of the fungus and biofilms were characterized using scanning electron microscopy. The biofilms were measured using a 2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-5-[(phenylamino)carbonyl]-2H-tetrazolium-hydroxide (XTT) reduction assay. The results showed that both the H. capsulatum strains tested were very efficient at adhering to host cells and forming biofilm. Therefore, this is a possible survival strategy adopted by this fungus.


N S Pitangui, J C O Sardi, J F Silva, T Benaducci, R A Moraes da Silva, G Rodríguez-Arellanes, M L Taylor, M J S Mendes-Giannini, A M Fusco-Almeida. Adhesion of Histoplasma capsulatum to pneumocytes and biofilm formation on an abiotic surface. Biofouling. 2012;28(7):711-8

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PMID: 22784100

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