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LIFE Newsletter - Leading International Fungal Education

June 2013

LIFE was launched in November 2012 at the Manchester Science Festival. LIFE's objective is to educate health professionals and students, acting as a resource for serious fungal diseases. These infections occur in all communities worldwide and education is needed in each and every country.
LIFE's overall objective is to increase the survival and reduce the suffering from fungal diseases worldwide.

Over 30 countries are already engaged in LIFE's work along with some major international agencies such as the WHO and UNAIDS. We aim to engage another 25 countries in the coming year. LIFE's current major activity is to estimate the burden of serious fungal infection in each country, which has never been previously documented.
LIFE believes that knowledge about fungal infections, available diagnostics and treatments are the key to improving patient outcomes.


NEWS

At the ECCMID conference in Berlin last month, LIFE presented new figures for the burdens of fungal disease in many countries covering over 40% of the world's population. The number of people suffering from Pneumocystis pneumonia in AIDS patients were 75,000 and 18,000 cases in Nigeria (48/100,000 population) and Brazil (39.6/100,000) respectively, there were over 160,000 cases of invasive aspergillosis in China (11.9/100,000), over 2,783 cases of cryptococcal meningitis in AIDS in Uganda (8/100,000, with 75% mortality).
Even more prevalent were the fungal complications of asthma in both ABPA and SAFS.
View full report.

Researchers in Toronto and Manchester have made the first global estimate of ABPA numbers. The estimate of 4.84 million adults with asthma also having ABPA is remarkable. Their work is based on referrals to chest physicians in 5 countries and revises the total number of adult asthmatics to 193 million worldwide. Treatment of these patients with oral antifungals significantly improves their symptoms and asthma control. View full report

Better treatment for cryptococcal meningitis
A three way randomised study of cryptococcal meningitis in Vietnam has convincingly shown the benefit of treating with flucytosine and amphotericin B in combination. Studies on 299 patients, all with AIDS and cryptococcal meningitis found that the 100 patients who received amphotericin B (1 mg/Kg/d) and flucytosine (100mg/Kg/d) had a 40% lower chance of dying than amphotericin B alone or combined with fluconazole (800mg/d). View full report

See more News here


Featured LIFE website section: Pneumocystis pneumonia

Originally thought to be a protozoan, Pneumocystis is one of many unculturable fungi in the world. As a genus, it has co-evolved with mammals and so each mammal species has its own Pneumocystis species. Person to person transmission occurs early in life as demonstrated by antibody formation in infancy and early childhood. Some individuals probably clear the fungus completely, while others become carriers of variable intensity. About 20% of adults are colonized but higher colonization rates occur in children and immunosuppressed adults. Pneumocystis pneumonia leads to death if untreated. View
In January 2013 an article By Vargas et al, linked pneumocystis to sudden infant death syndrome, which is a new finding. Link

For information on Aspergillus infections go to The Aspergillus Website.

Top Diagnostic Tip

 

Histology: A paper just published has indicated that the combined use of Giemsa and Grocott staining may be used to recognise Histoplasma capsulatum in blood smears and distinguish Histoplasma infections from Leishmania and other parasites. Bava & Troncosa 2013, Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2013; 3(5): 418-420.

Really Important Reviews

Histopathologic diagnosis of fungal infections in the 21st century. Guarner J et al, (Clin Microbiol Rev, Apr 247-80, 2011 ).

Hidden Killers: Human Fungal Infections Brown G et al, (Sci Trans Med 4, 165rv13, Dec 2012).


Participate in Young ISHAM

 

The brand new platform for young scientists working in medical mycology. Extend your professional network, exchange ideas and practical problems, ask experts in your field, socialize with other young scientists. Free for existing ISHAM members. Join Young ISHAM

Pass it on

Help us to educate everyone about fungal infections - please forward this to anyone who may interested.
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Courses

 

Molecular Mycology: Current Approaches to Fungal Pathogenesis, Massachusetts, USA (July 2013). More information

Mycology Masterclass VI at Mantra, Salt Beach, Kingscliff, NSW, Australia.(Oct 31st- Nov 2 2013) More information

Masters in Medical Mycology at Manchester University, UK (2013-)
An MSc programme specially designed for graduates who wish to develop skills as Mycologists. This is a new MSc which is unique, combining much time in the  laboratory, with work experience in the NHS Mycology Reference Laboratory and clinics and ward rounds. The course can be a full or part time taught programme. More informationManchester

Medical Mycology Course, Institut Pasteur, Paris (March 2014).   Register Sept 2013



Help us evaluate the global burden.

Global burden@LIFE copyright

We are looking for volunteers to assist with estimating the burden of fungal infection in the following countries: Tanzania, Botswana, Angola, Ghana, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Philippines, New Zealand, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, Honduras. Can you help?
Contact us