Laboratory facilities and expertise
Providing comprehensive mycology diagnostic laboratory testing requires mastering a wide range of laboratory techniques and mastering microscopy for identification of unusual cultures. For example, while culture and identification are key, core attributes of mycology labs, many diagnoses are now made on serology or molecular testing. Rapid diagnosis can also often be achieved with microscopy. Mastering all these techniques and having the range of skills available is rare, even in the western world.
LIFE’s approach to improving laboratory expertise
>> Build national diagnostic centres of excellence for all aspects of medical mycology, especially rapid antigen testing, susceptibility testing, therapeutic drug monitoring and molecular mycology.
>> Work with ISHAM and centres of expertise to set training standards and targets. Draft training objectives and timelines for low resource countries here.
>> Facilitate career building fellowships, sabbaticals, research projects etc to ‘grow; local clinical expertise, especially in pulmonary and systemic fungal disease.
>> Initiate local and national epidemiology surveys, which require accurate diagnosis for adequate data collection, as a tool for local awareness, supporting laboratory infrastructure and engagement with the international mycology community.