Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogen, the leading cause of invasive and disseminated aspergillosis in systemic immunocompromised patients, and an important cause of mortality. The aim of the present study was to adapt a pulmonary aspergillosis murine model, to determine pathodynamical parameters quantitatively, and to follow the progression of fungal infection in vivo. The nasal inoculation of Aspergillus conidia in mice previously subjected to immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide (CP) turned out to be a more suitable model than that of immunosuppressed with hydrocortisone (HC). The following parameters were found to correlate quantitatively with the progress of the infection: (i) survival rate, (ii) weight loss of mice, (iii) infected focal plaque size, (iv) hyphal density, (v) hyphal length distribution of A. fumigatus, and the (vi) the histopathological status and scores. These parameters will be essential elements for the development of antifungal drugs and therapies, and important for the investigation of the pathogenicity in different strains of A. fumigatus.
Keywords: Aspergillus fumigatus; Conidia; Histological examination; Hyphal outgrowth; Pulmonary aspergillosis.