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University Hospital of South Manchester awarded Centre of Excellence status

January 11 2017

The University Hospital of South Manchester is to become the first hospital in the UK and Europe to be recognised as a centre of excellence for the diagnosis and treatment of aspergillosis and other fungal infections. The European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM) Centre of Excellence scheme (see here for more details) will provide a network of centres able to direct physicians, patients and relatives to an appropriate and capable centre. The Mycology Reference Centre Manchester (MRCM) based at the University of Manchester, in partnership with the National Aspergillosis Centre (NAC) at UHSM’s Wythenshawe Hospital is therefore the first of many across Europe to receive this award. It recognises their collaboration in better understanding medical issues related to mycology.
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PAEDIATRIC COCCIDIOIDOMYCOSIS INCREASED NEARLY SIX-FOLD IN CALIFORNIA FROM 2000 TO 2012

December 19 2016

In the first study of its kind, Gail Sondermeyer et al from Stanford Medical Centre. provide an overview of coccidioidomycosis burden of disease and epidemiology specifically in Californian children (age ≤ 17 years) from 2000 to 2012, Coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever) is an infection caused by the inhalation of Coccidioides fungi endemic in dirt and soil in the southwestern United States and Central and South America. Primary inoculation is rare. Human disease can be asymptomatic or can range from a mild febrile illness to severe pulmonary manifestations to disseminated disease in approximately 40% of those who develop symptoms.
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Molecular ID of cinically important fungal pathogens from formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue

December 06 2016

The frequency and diversity of lethal invasive fungal pathogens has moved beyond Aspergillus fumigatus to include a plethora of pathogens including the non-fumigatus species of Aspergillus, the Mucormycetes, Fusarium and Scedosporium species and a variety of melanised fungi. These fungi have different antifungal susceptibilities, demanding genus and species identification in complex immunocompromised patients where early, reliable detection and appropriate management is crucial to improving survival. While current histopathology can prove invasive fungal infections by the demonstration of fungal elements and host reactions in formain fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue specimens, identification to genus or species level based on morphological characteristics is limited. In addition fungal cultures from tissue biopsy specimens, when performed, remain negative in a substantial number of cases. Molecular species-level identification is possible but has been technically challenging. Salehi et al evaluated a real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay which targets the internal spacer (ITS) region of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) to detect and identify genus and species of clinically relevant Aspergillus, the Mucormycetes, Fusarium and Scedosporium from FFPE tissue specimens obtained from patients with histologically proven IFDs. This retrospective multicentre study correlated the molecular and histopathological mould identification results of 102 formalin-fixed parafin-embedded (FFPE) tissue specimens obtained between 2008 and 2014, from Iran.
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550 AIDS patients can be saved every day by detecting and treating fungal infections

December 01 2016

Today is WORLD AIDS DAY. In 2013, 1,500,000 people died of AIDs according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) report, and 3,000,000 HIV-infected people globally are at increased risk of acquiring a life-threatening fungal infection. Each year an estimated, 700 000 deaths (47%) due to fungal disease in AIDS were estimated - twice as many deaths as estimated for patients with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) co-infection at 360 000 deaths (24%). If the world could make diagnostic tests and antifungal drugs available, annual deaths could fall for cryptococcal disease by 70,000, Pneumocystis pneumonia by 162,500, disseminated histoplasmosis by 48,000 and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis by 33,500; a total of more than 1,000,000 lives saved over 5 years.
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Burden of fungal disease in the UK Burden of fungal disease in the UK

November 16 2016

A new report published today is the first comprehensive attempt to estimate the burden of serious fungal disease in the United Kingdom. Experts are warning of a significant increase in the number of people in the UK who are living with invasive and serious fungal diseases, partly because of increased survival of otherwise fatal illnesses and an increase in immunosuppression resulting from disease treatment. In the UK there is no formal surveillance programme specific to fungal infections, although an active surveillance network exists for candidaemias and candidaemias in neonates (voluntary reporting). There is a high degree of uncertainty around the total estimate of burden due to: diagnostic limitations, the lack of a systematic national surveillance system, the limited number of studies published on the topic and the methodological limitations of calculating the burden. However crude estimates for PCP, cryptococcal meningitis, invasive aspergillosis, chronic pulmonary aspergillosis , allergic pulmonary aspergillosis, severe asthma with fungal sensitization, invasive candidiasis, candida peritonitis, oesophageal candidiasis, and mucormycosis are published in this report. Invasive aspergillosis is the commonest missed infectious diagnosis in intensive care in the UK. It is always fatal without therapy and affects from 3,288 to 4,257 patients each year, most undiagnosed. Treated invasive aspergillosis has a 30-85 per cent mortality depending on the patient group
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