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dc.contributor.advisor Wright, Jo Rae en_US
dc.contributor.author Geunes-Boyer, Scarlett Gabriel Thoreau en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-12-18T16:26:33Z
dc.date.available 2011-12-31T05:30:07Z
dc.date.issued 2009 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10161/1638
dc.description Dissertation en_US
dc.description.abstract <p>Concurrent with the global escalation of the AIDS pandemic, cryptococcal infections are increasing and are of significant medical importance. Although improvements in antifungal therapy have advanced the treatment of cryptococcosis, the mortality rate is approximately 12% in medically advanced countries, and approaches 50% in less developed regions. Additionally, <italic>C. neoformans</italic> can cause infection in seemingly healthy individuals, elevating its status as a primary human pathogen. Although numerous studies have examined virulence properties, less is understood regarding host immune factors in the lungs during early stages of fungal infection. In the present thesis studies, I examined the roles played by pulmonary surfactant proteins in response to <italic>C. neoformans in vitro</italic> and <italic>in vivo</italic>. We demonstrate that SP-D, but not SP-A, binds to the yeast and increases phagocytosis of poorly encapsulated yeast cells by macrophages, yet concomitantly protects the pathogenic microbes from macrophage-mediated defense mechanisms. Furthermore, we show that SP-D functions as risk factor in vivo</italic> by protecting the yeast cells against oxidant species and thus facilitating disease progression. The results of these studies provide a new paradigm on the role played by surfactant protein D during host responses to <italic>C. neoformans</italic> and, consequently, impart insight into potential future treatment strategies for cryptococcosis.</p> en_US
dc.format.extent 13417069 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject Biology, Cell en_US
dc.subject Biology, Microbiology en_US
dc.subject Health Sciences, Immunology en_US
dc.subject Aspergillus fumigatus en_US
dc.subject Cryptococcus neoformans en_US
dc.subject Innate Immunity en_US
dc.subject Macrophage en_US
dc.subject Surfactant protein en_US
dc.subject Virulence en_US
dc.title Cryptococcus Neoformans Interactions with Surfactant Proteins: Implications for Innate Pulmonary Immunity en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.department Cell Biology en_US
duke.embargo.months 24 en_US

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