The forgotten superbug: Is it time to bring fungal infections out of the dark?

They kill more than a million and cause misery to billions. Yet despite this, fungal infections are all often treated as the poor relation of other, more ‘glamourous’ microorganisms…

Cryptococcal meningitis, caused by fungal species Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii, causes 20 times more deaths than meningitis caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis but receives less than a quarter of the research funding. This disparity is just one of many disparities between funding for fungal diseases and other diseases highlighted by Rodrigues and Albuquerque in their 2018 paper in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases [1]. In fact, fungal diseases combined affect billions of people globally and result in an estimated 1.5 million deaths each year, yet from 1997-2010 only 2% of the UK’s £2.6 billion research budget for infectious diseases was spent on medical mycology [2]. By comparison, during the same time period 13.3% of this budget was spent on researching malaria (405,000 deaths in 2018 [3]), 5.7% on tuberculosis (1.5 million deaths in 2018 [4]), 3.1% on influenza (estimated 389,000 annual deaths [5]) and 2.3% on hepatitis C (estimated 700,000 annual deaths [6]) [7]. In 2014, a Medical Research Council (MRC) strategic review found that only 1% of grant applications between 2007 and 2012 involved fungal research [8].

Click Link: Fungal Infections

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *