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WHO released list of fungal infections shows threat to global health


LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has compiled its first list of fungal pathogens posing the greatest threat to human health, saying some strains are becoming increasingly drug-resistant and more prevalent. warned.

The United Nations agency, which has similar lists of viruses and bacteria, said the increase in fungal infections and resistance to treatments is an increased risk. There were large gaps in health care and lack of monitoring, treatment and diagnosis.

The WHO says even estimating the scale of the threat is difficult due to the lack of data, calling for greater efforts by governments and researchers to step up responses to the 19 fungi on the list. .

Dr Hanan Balkhy, Acting Director-General for Antimicrobial Resistance, WHO, said:

Fungal infections often strike people with already critical conditions, such as cancer and tuberculosis patients, and rates have skyrocketed among hospitalized COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.

With only four types of processing, there are few new options in the development pipeline. Climate change also means the pathogen’s incidence and geographic range are expanding, said WHO, but resistance is being driven in part by the overuse of antifungals in agriculture.

This list classifies pathogens into three categories (important, high and moderate) based on data on potential impact and resistance risk.

Important groups include Candida auris, which is highly drug-resistant and has caused numerous outbreaks in hospitals worldwide, as well as Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Candida albicans.

The high group includes many other fungi of the Candida family, as well as the group containing the causative fungi, such as Mucorales. Mucormycosis or “black fungus”, an infectious disease that has rapidly increased in critically ill people during COVID-19, especially in India.

The medium group lists many other fungi, such as Coccidioides spp and Cryptococcus gattii.

Reporting by Jennifer Rigby, Editing by William McLean

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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