The goal of designating these fungal “priority pathogens” is to encourage research and increase our response to fungal infections and antifungal resistance.
Those with underlying health issues or a compromised immune system are the most vulnerable.
The importance of the issue was illustrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, when invasive fungal infections surged considerably among hospitalized patients, “sometimes with disastrous results.”
New groups at risk of invasive fungal illness are continually being identified. As the fungi that cause common diseases, such as candida oral and vaginal thrush, become more resistant to treatment, the chances of more invasive infections in the general population increase.
We must act immediately to combat fungal infections, protect the most vulnerable, and save lives:
- Enhance surveillance
- Targeted assistance for research, development, and innovation.
- Increase public health awareness and initiatives.
Public health is becoming an increasingly concerned.
There are now just four forms of antifungal medication accessible, which is an issue because fungal infections are growing increasingly widespread and resistant to treatment.
What’s more, “most fungal diseases lack quick and sensitive diagnostics, and those (medicines) that do exist are neither generally available nor inexpensive internationally.”
Cancer, HIV/AIDS, organ transplants, chronic respiratory illness, and TB patients are among those most vulnerable to invasive fungal infections.
Fungal illnesses are becoming more prevalent and widespread over the world. Global warming, as well as increased worldwide travel and trade, are thought to be to blame.
To provide an indication of the magnitude of the potential threat posed by fungal infections, drug-resistant bacterial infections currently “directly cause 1.27 million fatalities and contribute to nearly 4.95 million deaths per year.
Among its top suggestions to nations attempting to combat fungal illness is the enhancement of laboratory and monitoring capacity in order to better understand the burden of infection and antifungal resistance.
Inappropriate antifungal usage has been associated with increased infections of a common mold with the ability to spread, Aspergillus fumigatus.
Fungal pathogens can cause “invasive acute and subacute systemic fungal infections” and are drug resistant.
Pathogens are classified into three priority groups: critical, high, and medium. Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida auris, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Candida albicans are all members of the crucial group.
Nakaseomyces glabrata (Candida glabrata), Histoplasma spp., eumycetoma causative agents, Mucorales, Fusarium spp., Candida tropicalis, and Candida parapsilosis are all in the high category.
Lomentospora prolificans, Pichia kudriavzeveii (Candida krusei), Cryptococcus gattii, Pneumocystis jirovecii, and Paracoccidioides spp. are pathogens in the medium category.