Her group focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and therapy of fungal infections, host-pathogen interactions, and antifungal drug resistance in Aspergillus species. Invasive aspergillosis has emerged worldwide as an important cause of infections among patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy, hematopoetic stem-cell or solid organ transplantation. The group is also interested to identify the role of platelets in antifungal host defense, data showed platelets to inhibit fungal growth.
Current work aims on the understanding of fungal resistance to environmental and host induced stress and the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. The Lass-Flörl group studies fungal virulence and host factors being involved in the pathomechanisms of in vivo and in vitro resistance, with a special focus on Aspergillus terreus. Some fungi are able to survive host attack and polyene induced oxidative stress response; fungal catalase activity may play a role in this setting. Transcriptomic analysis suggests heat shock proteins (Hsp 70 and Hsp 90) to be involved in amphotericin B resistance. Preliminary data on molecular-based studies on fungal diagnostics reveal a significant increase of co-infections with multiple fungi or with bacterial pathogens. This issue will be raised in more detail within HOROS. Within the ERA-Net consortium Oxystress, we investigated the role of hypoxia/normoxia in antifungal drug susceptibility. Within the ERA-Net consortium ASPBiomics we investigated host-pathogen interactions. Within the OPATHY consortium we develop new diagnostic tools to monitor yeast infections and within the new CD-laboratory “CD-Fungus” we tackle infections due to Mucorales and the improvement of hospital acquired infections.