WARF: P140236US02

Assay to Determine Risk of Fungal Infection


Bruce Klein, Marcel Wuethrich

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method to monitor a patient’s immune status against dangerous fungi.
OVERVIEWFungal infections such as aspergillosis and Valley Fever can be life threatening, particularly in immune-compromised patients. These patients are vulnerable to fungal strains that flourish in hospitals and cost many thousands of dollars to treat.

Currently there is no vaccine against fungi despite the escalating risk of infection and death. However, there is hope. UW–Madison researchers have developed a potential vaccine that could prevent infection by many strains of pathogenic fungi (see WARF reference number P130116US02). The new vaccine contains calnexin – a protein found in fungi and other eukaryotes – and could help a patient’s immune system recognize and combat infection.

Building on their work, the researchers are now developing a way to determine the immune response of patients who may have a fungal infection. The ability to check immunity has important applications in human and veterinary medicine.
THE INVENTIONMore specifically, the researchers have developed a detection agent made up of calnexin peptides that recognize the telltale signs of infection. The peptides are able to track how a patient’s helper T cells respond to infection and/or vaccination.
  • Kits for monitoring fungal infections
  • Assessing the efficacy of a calnexin-based vaccine
  • Prescreening tissue donors
  • Veterinary medicine
  • A valuable new immunological tool
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTPromising animal studies are being conducted against a variety of fungal strains including Blastomyces dermatitidis, Histoplasma capsulatum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Fonsecaea pedrosoi and Geomyces destructans (i.e., “white nose fungus” decimating bat populations in North America).
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Mark Staudt at or 608-960-9845.
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