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Here’s how fungus can impair the immune system

London: While, healthy people usually have no problem if microorganisms find their way into their bodies as their immune defence system will put the spores out of action, a specific type of fungus can threaten lives with a compromised immune system, such as AIDS patients or who are immunosuppressed following an organ transplantation, says a new study. Researchers have now discovered how the fungus — Aspergillus fumigatus — knocks out the immune defences, enabling a potentially fatal fungal infection to develop. Among other factors, it is gliotoxin — a potent mycotoxin — that is responsible for the pathogenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus.

Pathogenicity refers to the ability of an organism to cause disease. “It was known that this substance has an immunosuppressive effect, which means that it weakens the activity of cells of the immune defence system. (IANS)

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