Emerging fungal pathogens

Microbiology Today As the number of immunocompromised individuals grows, fungal pathogens are becoming ever more important. In this article in Microbiology Today (pdf) Ken Haynes discusses how functional genomics technologies are helping to combat these less than well known eukaryotic adversaries:

The late 20th and early 21st centuries have seen the emergence (HIV), re-emergence (TB) and progression (malaria) of infectious disease around the world. The antibiotic age seemed to have rid us, the developed world at least, of the massive impact wrought by devastating infectious diseases. However, the war has not been won. Microbial pathogens have fought back, with extraordinary resourcefulness. Antibiotic resistance has given rise to populations of bacteria that are almost untreatable; vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a prime example. In addition, successful antibiotic therapies, combined paradoxically with advances in medical treatments, especially in the areas of transplantation and chemotherapy, have resulted in the emergence of a large group of immunocompromised patients that are now at serious risk of invasive, life-threatening disease from a group of fungi. These organisms are perhaps less well known than their bacterial and viral counterparts, but are nonetheless devastating for that.

 

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