Sequencing the Aspergillus fumigatus genome

David W. Denning, Michael J. Anderson, Geoffrey Turner, Jean Paul Latgé, Joan W. Bennett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Aspergillus furnigatus is the most common mould pathogen of human beings and unusually causes both invasive disease in immunocompromised patients and allergic disease in patients with atopic immune systems. 4% of patients dying in modern European teaching hospitals have invasive aspergillosis and it is the leading infectious cause of death in leukaemia and bone marrow transplant patients. Until 2001, only two licensed antifungal drugs were available to treat aspergillosis-amphotericin B and itraconazole. Its 28-30 Mb genome is being sequenced in an international collaboration, with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (UK) and The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR, USA) as the two main centres. A whole-genome shotgun approach was adopted and initiated in 2001 with an expected completion date in 2003. The complete sequence will permit identification of pathways specific to pathogenic Aspergillus species, help identify new targets for antifungal drugs, and enable investigations into the basic biology of fungi. Numerous secondary metabolic pathways with biotechnological applications and pharmacological properties are found in the Aspergilli and the genome sequence will facilitate research in this area.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-253
    Number of pages2
    JournalThe Lancet Infectious Diseases
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • therapeutic use: Amphotericin B
    • therapeutic use: Antifungal Agents
    • drug therapy: Aspergillosis
    • genetics: Aspergillus fumigatus
    • adverse effects: Bone Marrow Transplantation
    • Drug Design
    • Genome, Fungal
    • Immunocompromised Host
    • therapeutic use: Itraconazole
    • complications: Leukemia


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