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Aspergillus spp. is a fungal opportunist pathogen found ubiquitously in nature. It causes a wide array of diseases in plants, animals, and humans. It poses threat to humans for causing mild to severe infections. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), worldwide 4.8 million suffer from Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) and another 1.2 million suffer from chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA). Systemic invasive aspergillosis is a life-threatening disease mostly affecting immunocompromised patients with a mortality rate of 25-59%. Most of these immunocompromised patients are having comorbidities like asthma, haematological malignancies, or stem cell therapy. Aspergillus spp. is having the right genetic arsenal, necessary structural component, and secrete secondary metabolite to thrive and reproduce in the most hostile environments. Various virulence factors like adhesion proteins, phospholipase, protease, reactive oxygen neutralizing enzymes, mycotoxins contribute to its success. In this review, we summarized the recently discovered genetic, epigenetic, and stress adaptation factors as pathogenic contributors of Aspergillus. We have described the nutrient-sensing transcription factors, histone acetyltransferase, and kinases are associated with cell wall damage, oxidative stress, and drug resistance. These signalling molecules are associated with the dispersion of conidia, sclerotia, and aflatoxin production which are important determinants of its virulence.

Aspergillosis, pulmonary diseases, virulent genes, epigenetics, environmental stress pathways.

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