Fungal findings

Health

A ‘first of its kind’ series that offers new insights into the breadth of fungal diseases was recently published by researchers at the University of Manchester in the UK

The University said that the series, which was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, is also a call to action for world health bodies to prevent millions of infections each year. According to the University, fungal diseases have been the most neglected topic by public health authorities, yet kill more than 1.5 million people and affect more than a billion people. It highlights that most deaths from fungal diseases are avoidable.

The University is seeking to shed a light on these diseases by commissioning an authoritative set of articles that it says covers almost all aspects of fungal disease, with a focus on global inequalities in treatment. The series was commissioned by Professors David Denning and Juan Luis Rodriguez Tudela from The University of Manchester and the Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections.

“The massive advances in fungal disease and understanding over the last two decades should have resulted in much better outcomes – but sadly not in many countries,” commented Professor Denning.

“Improvements in patient outcomes require changes in all parts of the healthcare ‘ecosystem’, notably clinical training, access to and resources for fungal diagnostics, access to affordable antifungal therapy. A major public health response is called for,” Professor Rodriguez Tudela highlighted.

The University said that the series has brought together authors from six continents to tackle fungal infections in patients suffering from AIDS, cancer, TB, and asthma, as well as those who contract and infection after transplantation and major abdominal surgery, as well as those in critical care and the rare patients with immunodeficiencies. Notably the WHO also highlighted ‘neglected tropical fungal diseases’ mycetoma and chromoblastomycosis. “The expertise is available, now it just needs government and international action to make it a reality,” stated Professor Denning.