The threat of fungal infections

It is predicted that 1 million people die from fungal infections each year but despite this, there are no vaccines or new treatments in development because fungal infections are not treated as a threat to human health.

For those of you who don’t know, there are three major groups of fungi that cause deaths in people. These are:

  • Aspergillus- Affects the lungs
  • Cryptococcus- Attacks the brain
  • Candida- Infects the mucosal membranes

It is also important to note that these infections are more deadly in those with a weakened immune system such as HIV patients. I think it is clear that we need to understand the infections and how to deal with them so that we can better protect the most susceptible members of society.

This news has been brought to light following the discovery of a new strain Candida auris  which has been observed in an English hospital. This is particularly worrying as it is easily transmitted and is resistant to the first-choice anti fungal. As a result of this news, I think we need to make medical staff more aware of these infections so that they can alter their approach to treating fungal infections. The next step in improving treatment of fungal infections would be to develop a method for identifying the pathogens.

Please feel free to ask any questions and I will try my best to answer them. Also, feel free to post your own opinions about this information.


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