Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Professor of Infectious Diseases and Medical Mycology







Flowers buildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

97 results found

Eades CP, Armstrong-James DPH, 2019, Invasive fungal infections in the immunocompromised host: Mechanistic insights in an era of changing immunotherapeutics, Medical Mycology, Vol: 57, Pages: S307-S317, ISSN: 1369-3786

The use of cytotoxic chemotherapy in the treatment of malignant and inflammatory disorders is beset by considerable adverse effects related to nonspecific cytotoxicity. Accordingly, a mechanistic approach to therapeutics has evolved in recent times with small molecular inhibitors of intracellular signaling pathways involved in disease pathogenesis being developed for clinical use, some with unparalleled efficacy and tolerability. Nevertheless, there are emerging concerns regarding an association with certain small molecular inhibitors and opportunistic infections, including invasive fungal diseases. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that the molecular targets of such agents play fundamental and multifaceted roles in orchestrating innate and adaptive immune responses. Nevertheless, some small molecular inhibitors appear to possess intrinsic antifungal activity and may therefore represent novel therapeutic options in future. This is particularly important given that antifungal resistance is a significant, emerging concern. This paper is a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art in the molecular immunology to fungal pathogens as applied to existing and emerging small molecular inhibitors.

Journal article

Warris A, Bercusson A, Armstrong-James D, 2019, Aspergillus colonization and antifungal immunity in cystic fibrosis patients, MEDICAL MYCOLOGY, Vol: 57, Pages: S118-S126, ISSN: 1369-3786

Journal article

Yu L-S, Rodriguez-Manzano J, Malpartida-Cardenas K, Sewell T, Bader O, Armstrong-James D, Fisher MC, Georgiou Pet al., 2019, Rapid and sensitive detection of azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus by tandem-repeat loop-mediated isothermal amplification, Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, Vol: 21, Pages: 286-295, ISSN: 1525-1578

Invasive human fungal infections caused by multi-azole resistant Aspergillus fumigatus are associated with increasing rates of mortality in susceptible patients. Current methods of diagnosing infections caused by multi-azole resistant A. fumigatus are, however, not well suited for use in clinical point-of-care testing or in the field. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a widely used method of nucleic acid amplification with rapid and easy-to-use features, making it suitable for use in different resource settings. Here, we developed a LAMP assay to detect a 34 bp tandem repeat, named TR34-LAMP. TR34 is a high-prevalence allele that, in conjunction with the L98H single nucleotide polymorphism, is associated with the occurrence of multi-azole resistance in A. fumigatus in the environment and in patients. This process was validated with both synthetic double stranded DNA and genomic DNA prepared from azole-resistant isolates of A. fumigatus. Use of our assay resulted in rapid and specific identification of the TR34 allele with high sensitivity, detecting down to 10 genomic copies per reaction within 25 minutes. Fluorescent and colorimetric detections were used for the analysis of 11 clinical isolates as cross validation. These results show that the TR34-LAMP assay has the potential to accelerate the screening of clinical and environmental A. fumigatus to provide a rapid and accurate diagnosis of azole resistance, which current methods struggle to achieve.

Journal article

Abdolrasouli A, Scourfield A, Rhodes J, Shah A, Elborn JS, Fisher MC, Schelenz S, Armstrong-James Det al., 2018, High prevalence of triazole resistance in clinical Aspergillus fumigatus isolates in a specialist cardiothoracic centre, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, Vol: 52, Pages: 637-642, ISSN: 0924-8579

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the prevalence of triazole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus and common molecular cyp51A polymorphisms amongst clinical isolates in a specialised cardiothoracic centre in London, UK. METHODS: All A. fumigatus isolates were prospectively analysed from April 2014 to March 2016. Isolates were screened with a four-well VIPcheck™ plate to assess triazole susceptibility. Resistance was confirmed with a standard microbroth dilution method according to European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) guidelines. Triazole-resistant A. fumigatus isolates were subjected to a mixed-format real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay (AsperGenius®) to detect common cyp51A alterations. RESULTS: We identified 167 clinical A. fumigatus isolates from 135 patients. Resistance to at least one azole antifungal drug was confirmed in 22/167 (13.2%) of isolates from 18/135 (13.3%) patients, including 12/74 (16.2%) patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The highest detection rate of azole-resistant A. fumigatus was among the 11- to 20-y age group. All triazole-resistant isolates (n = 22) were resistant to itraconazole, 18 showed cross-resistance to posaconazole and 10 displayed reduced susceptibility to voriconazole. No pan-azole-resistant A. fumigatus was identified. TR34/L98H was identified in 6/22 (27.3%) of azole-resistant isolates and detectable in 5/12 (42%) patients with CF. CONCLUSIONS: In our specialist cardiothoracic centre, the prevalence of triazole-resistant A. fumigatus is alarmingly high (13.2%). The majority of azole-resistant isolates were from patients with CF. We found a higher prevalence of the environmentally driven mutation TR34/L98H in our A. fumigatus isolates than in published UK data from other specialist respiratory centres, which may reflect differing patient populations managed at these institutions.

Journal article

Santiago V, Rezvani K, Sekine T, Stebbing J, Kelleher P, Armstrong-James Det al., 2018, Human NK cells develop an exhaustion phenotype during polar degranulation at the aspergillus fumigatus hyphal synapse, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1664-3224

Pulmonary aspergillosis is an opportunistic fungal infection affecting immunocompromised individuals. Increasing understanding of natural killer (NK) cell immunobiology has aroused considerable interest around the role of NK cells in pulmonary aspergillosis in the immunocompromised host. Murine studies indicate that NK cells play a critical role in pulmonary clearance of A. fumigatus. We show that the in vitro interaction between NK cells and A. fumigatus induces partial activation of NK cell immune response, characterised by low-level production of IFN-γ, TNF-α, MIP-1α, MIP-1β, and RANTES, polarisation of lytic granules and release of fungal DNA. We observed a contact-dependent down-regulation of activatory receptors NKG2D and NKp46 on the NK cell surface, and a failure of full granule release. Furthermore, the NK cell cytokine-mediated response to leukaemic cells was impaired in the presence of A. fumigatus. These observations suggest that A. fumigatus-mediated NK cell immunoparesis may represent an important mechanism of immune evasion during pulmonary aspergillosis.

Journal article

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