New family of enzymes reveals the Achilles’ heel of fungal pathogens

Aspergillus fumigatus is a fungal species that can cause serious illnesses in immunocompromised individuals. Infections caused by A. fumigatus are difficult to eliminate because the fungus often aggregates into small communities called “biofilms,” which protect the pathogens from antifungal agents and help the fungus evade the immune system. GlycoNet scientists Drs. Lynne Howell and Don Sheppard recently identified a key enzyme in A. fumigatus that could lead to therapeutics to treat these fungal infections.