Application of fluorescent probes to study structural changes inAspergillus fumigatusexposed to amphotericin B, itraconazole, and voriconazole

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The broad objective of this study was to document patterns of structural changes following antifungal treatment, and to determine any relationship with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of an antifungal. Three clinical isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus, with high, intermediate, and low amphotericin B (AB), itraconazole (IZ), and voriconazole (VZ) MICs were studied in 24-well plates with cover slips. The fluorescent probes used were Calcofluor White (cell wall), propidium iodide (nucleus), and MitoTracker Green FM (mitochondria). Fluorescent microscopy as early as 3-h after exposure revealed that AB treated hyphae had intact cell wall with deformed mitochondria and nuclei while IZ and VZ treated hyphae revealed no intact cell wall, and deformation of mitochondria and nuclei. At 48 h, AB treated cells revealed rupture of hyphae and disintegration of mitochondria, and nuclei, IZ treated hyphae were swollen with disintegration of mitochondria, and nuclei while VZ treated hyphae showed rupture and disintegration of mitochondria and nuclei. The structural changes for the three strains studied were similar in fluorescent microscopy as long as the incubation time and their respective MICs were used. Thus, AB, IZ, and VZ induced gross organelle defects in A. fumigatus nuclei, mitochondria, and cell wall, which were consistent with respective MICs of antifungals used.

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