Ch. 17 - Fungi Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Ch. 17 - Fungi Deck (20):

Structural properties of fungi

Plasmalemma - cell membrane
-ergosterol = sterol unique to fungi, target for antifungal therapy
-no cholesterol

Cell wall - chitin (polymer of NAG)
-glucagon and mannan

Capsule - some fungi have one
-antigenic: evade immune response
-anti phagocytic: evade phagocytosis

Microtubules - make up cytoskeleton of cell; hold shape of cell intact

Microvesicles - synthesize chitin; fuse with apical plasmalemma


Growth properties of fungi

Humid conditions
Mildly acidic (ph 5-6)

Easy to grow in lab - not fastidious, can grow on almost anything

-at ambient temps (25C), grow as filamentous molds
-at body temp (37C), converted to unicellular, pathogenic yeast-like forms


Yeast form

Large variety of unicellular fungi


~ 4 micrometers

Divid by budding (blastopore daughter cells)
-asexual reproduction
-cell swollen at one edge --> new cell (blastopore) buds from parent cell--> spore breaks free to live independently


Mold form

Multicellular, branching

Form filaments = HYPHAE (intertwined tubular filaments, can be highly branched; morphological unit of filamentous fungus)

Hyphae form MYCELIUM = thick mass of hyphae, visible to naked eye
1. Aerial mycelium= mycelium growing above nutrient media; give rise to spores (Eg moldy fruit, bread)
2. Vegetative mycelium = penetrates substrate, gets nutrients; anchors and absorbs nutrients


Pathogenic fungi

Grow in yeast form in tissues of host, when causing infection (37C)

Grow in mold form when free-living, outside of host (25C)


Fungal Reproduction - Asexual

Asexual reproduction by production of spores

Fruiting bodies = part of fungus in which spores are formed, and from which they are released

Drier cells easily disseminated

Mitosis - thousands of spores produced, all genetically identical



Asexual spores

Named according to how they develop:

1. Chlamydospores - thick, swollen, round cells

2. Blastopore so - form via budding (eg yeast)

3. Arthrospores - thick, rectangular cells


Fungal Reproduction - Sexual

Produce spores by sexual reproduction --> mating types come together and fuse

Mating of cells:
Haploid nucleus from two gametes fuse --> diploid nucleus --> meiosis: chromosome halved, return to haploid


Fungi imperfecti

Only asexual reproduction has been observed

These fungi do not produce sexual spores


Amphotericin B


Class - polyenes

Mechanism - bind ergosterol




Class - Azores fluconazole

Mechanism: inhibit ergosterol synthesis


5FC (flucytosine)

Class - pyrimidines

Mechanism: inhibit DNA/RNA synthesis



Class - grisan

Mechanism - inhibit microtubule assembly



Toxic diseases

Produce mycotoxins

Eg. Mushrooms - product neurotoxin



Fungal infections

Affect many body regions (esp. Skin or body surfaces)

Classified according to tissue level they infect


Mycoses 1

Superficial - limited to outermost layers of skin and hair

Cutaneous - infection goes deeper into epidermis, also hair and nails
Ex: tine as, ringworm, athlete's foot


Mycoses 2

-systemic infections
-spores inhaled
-got to lung --> damage lung, disseminate into bloodstream, can be fatal

Opportunistic - common in HIV or immunocompromised
--> weakened immune system contribute to occurrence of infection
Ex: Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida albicans


Cryptococcus neoformans

Most dangerous fungal disease = Cryptococcus meningitis (mycotic meningitis)

Lung infection mild to severe; fatal
Healthy: pneumonia
Immunocompromised: meningitis

C. Neoformans thrives in CSF --> meningitis

Transmission: inhalation of yeast from soil or pigeon droppings (grown actively in pigeon droppings)

no mold stage of reproduction (unique!)

Diagnosis: encapsulated, budding yeast in CSF; resist phagocytosis

Treatment: amphotericin B (binds to ergosterol) and flucytosine ( inhibit RNA/DNA synthesis)


Candida albicans

Yeast infection = candidiasis

Normal flora in oral cavity, vagina, and GI tract --> change in normal microbiota population - candid can flourish --> candidiasis

VULVOVAGINITIS = yeast infection in vagina

THRUSH = oral candidiasis
-small, white flecks on mucus membranes of oral cavity; newborns most common

Usual morphological features - easy/rapid to diagnose
-germ tubes: add little blood/serum to grown medium --> form germ tubes

If recurrent - sign of underlying condition (can be early sign of AIDS--> related to suppressed immune system)

Treatment: nystatin (bind to ergosterol)

Antibiotics may increase yeast infection --> grow more rapidly w/o competition


Fungi - general

Eukaryotes - multicellular, diploid, one or more nuclei

Extracellular digestion --> acquire nutrients through absorption --> secrete enzymes into surrounding environment to hydrolyze complex organic compounds into simpler ones

Major groups:
1. Molds - grown as long, tangled filaments (hyphae) that give rise to visible colonies (mycelium)
2. Yeast - unicellular organisms, whose colonies on agar resemble bacteria