PARIS – An article published in Le Monde brings to public attention the deadly threat that fungal infections pose to human health, food security and wildlife. It presents burden of disease statistics compiled by GAFFI and includes a quote from Professor David Denning, highlighting their key role in this area. The article emphasises the crucial role of antifungal stewardship not only among clinicians, but also in agriculture where over-reliance on antifungals by farms and sawmills is known to generate highly resistant strains that infect humans.
A recent review published in Science by Fisher et al describes in more detail the rise of resistance that has followed extensive dual use of azole antifungals in the field and the clinic, and calls for more investment in developing new antifungals with novel modes of action. Importantly, new drugs must be subject to strict antifungal stewardship controls both in the clinic and in agriculture, where integrated disease management can be used to reduce the need for chemical treatments.
This coincides with the attendance of the GAFFI team at the European Respiratory Society congress in Paris, where Professor Denning today presented a talk on how to recognise fungal (Aspergillus or Candida) infections in intensive care patients, for whom an early diagnosis often means the difference between life and death. Sadly, many of the clinicians attending will be unable to follow his recommendations when they return home because many low- and middle-income countries lack money to buy drugs and build infrastructure.
Picture from Le Monde