Polymycovirus Infection Sensitizes Aspergillus fumigatus for Antifungal Effects of Nikkomycin Z

Gabriele Sass, Ioly Kotta-Loizou, Marife Martinez, David J. Larwood, David A. Stevens, K. Andrew White (Editor)

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Infection with Aspergillus fumigatus polymycovirus 1 (AfuPmV-1) weakens resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus common reference strain Af293 biofilms in intermicrobial competition with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We compared the sensitivity of two infected and one virus-free Af293 strains to antifungal drugs. All three were comparably sensitive to drugs affecting fungal membranes (voriconazole, amphotericin) or cell wall glucan synthesis (micafungin, caspofungin). In contrast, forming biofilms of virus-free Af293 were much more resistant than AfuPmV-1-infected Af293 to nikkomycin Z (NikZ), a drug inhibiting chitin synthase. The IC50 for NikZ on biofilms was between 3.8 and 7.5 µg/mL for virus-free Af293 and 0.94–1.88 µg/mL for infected strains. The IC50 for the virus-free A. fumigatus strain 10AF was ~2 µg/mL in most experiments. NikZ also modestly affected the planktonic growth of infected Af293 more than the virus-free strain (MIC 50%, 2 and 4 µg/mL, respectively). Virus-free Af293 biofilm showed increased metabolism, and fungus growing as biofilm or planktonically showed increased growth compared to infected; these differences do not explain the resistance of the virus-free fungus to NikZ. In summary, AfuPmV-1 infection sensitized A. fumigatus to NikZ, but did not affect response to drugs commonly used against A. fumigatus infection. Virus infection had a greater effect on NikZ inhibition of biofilm than planktonic growth.
Original languageEnglish
Article number197
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Early online date10 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2023


  • Article
  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • polymycovirus
  • nikkomycin Z
  • therapy
  • biofilm
  • antifungal drugs


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