A Novel Strategy to Identify Haematology Patients at High Risk of Developing Aspergillosis

James S Griffiths, P Lewis White, Aiysha Thompson, Diogo M da Fonseca, Robert J Pickering, Wendy Ingram, Keith Wilson, Rosemary Barnes, Philip R Taylor, Selinda J Orr

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Invasive Aspergillosis (IA), typically caused by the fungus , is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. IA remains a significant burden in haematology patients, despite improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of infection. Diagnosing IA is challenging, requiring multiple factors to classify patients into possible, probable and proven IA cohorts. Given the low incidence of IA, using negative results as exclusion criteria is optimal. However, frequent false positives and severe IA mortality rates in haematology patients have led to the empirical use of toxic, drug-interactive and often ineffective anti-fungal therapeutics. Improvements in IA diagnosis are needed to reduce unnecessary anti-fungal therapy. Early IA diagnosis is vital for positive patient outcomes; therefore, a pre-emptive approach is required. In this study, we examined the sequence and expression of four C-type Lectin-like receptors (Dectin-1, Dectin-2, Mincle, Mcl) from 42 haematology patients and investigated each patient's anti- immune response (IL-6, TNF). Correlation analysis revealed novel IA disease risk factors which we used to develop a pre-emptive patient stratification protocol to identify haematopoietic stem cell transplant patients at high and low risk of developing IA. This stratification protocol has the potential to enhance the identification of high-risk patients whilst reducing unnecessary treatment, minimizing the development of anti-fungal resistance, and prioritising primary disease treatment for low-risk patients. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 Griffiths, White, Thompson, da Fonseca, Pickering, Ingram, Wilson, Barnes, Taylor and Orr.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780160
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Early online date16 Dec 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 16 Dec 2021


  • fungal immunology
  • aspergillosis
  • Aspergillus
  • CLR
  • host-pathogen interactions


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