Rise in Severe Fungal Infections is Cause for Concern, Says Researchers

March 20, 2024
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University are calling healthcare professionals to action

According to a March 18 news article from Case Western Reserve University, epidemiological data published in Microbial Cell indicates that a rise in severe fungal infections has resulted in over 150 million cases annually and almost 1.7 million fatalities globally.

The article says that “In a recent study published in Pathogens and Immunity, Thomas McCormick and Mahmoud Ghannoum, professors of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and affiliated with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, explain how rising antifungal resistance is worsening the problem of invasive fungal infections.”

Further, “Based on their findings, the researchers issued precautions and a ‘call to action’ for the medical community to help protect people from multidrug-resistant fungi—starting with awareness and education.”

McCormick was quoted in the article saying that “This is not just an issue that affects individual patients. The World Health Organization has recognized it as a widespread threat that has the potential to impact entire healthcare systems if left unchecked.”

“Healthcare providers must prioritize the use of diagnostic tests when faced with an unknown fungal infection,” Ghannoum added. “Early detection can make all the difference in improving patient outcomes.”

The article comments that patients that are treated with medications to protect their immune systems after cancer and transplant procedures are more vulnerable to fungal infections. And the emergence of multidrug-resistant fungal species, such as Candida auris and Trichophyton indotineae, is an added concern and needs urgent attention.

The researchers suggested several suggestions for healthcare professionals including increased awareness and education, diagnostic testing, antifungal susceptibility testing, and a call to action to address the challenge of antifungal resistance.

Case Western Reserve University has the article.