Diagnosing and treating invasive fungal infections


Thousands of patients suffering from invasive fungal infections in intensive-care units or after organ transplantation will benefit from the latest insights into diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Fungal infections invading the bloodstream, lungs or other organs can cause prolonged illness and in extreme cases can lead to permanent disability or even death. A new review paper has outlined the gold standard for identifying at-risk patients who are critically ill, or in receipt of organ transplants, for preventing, diagnosing and treating invasive fungal infections, potentially saving countless lives across both the developed and developing world. These new insights into diagnosing and treating invasive fungal infections are significant because early and correct treatment clearly leads to better outcomes for the patient.

These infections are uncommon but potentially life-threatening. Blood infections such as candidaemia and lung infections such as aspergillosis have high mortality rates of up to 85% in critically ill and immune-compromised patients. Professor Sorrell added that invasive fungal infections, overall, are a major problem in both developed and developing nations, killing more than 1.5 million people annually. The cost to the global healthcare system runs into billions of dollars each year. This is an important problem in Australia, but an even more serious issue in developing countries where mortality is unacceptably high despite the best available therapies and care. It will allow clinicians to tailor their approach to managing these infections in different countries or when working with specific at-risk populations. The Westmead team is now expanding their research in prevention, new diagnostic strategies, and therapeutic approaches towards infectious diseases of significant public health importance.

Editorial Assistant
Journal of infectious disease and dignosis