Fungal diseases are under-appreciated in terms of the scale of human and financial burdens they impose. There are nearly 2 million cases of systemic and invasive fungal infections per year worldwide due to Candida, Aspergillus and Cryptococcus species; over a half of patients who suffer from invasive mycoses die from their disease. As our ability to keep severely ill patients alive improves, so our exposure to systemic fungal infections increases. A key issue for clinicians is quick and accurate identification of the invading fungal species; this is compromised by the current lack of sufficiently specific diagnostics as required to determine the correct treatment; incorrect treatment costs lives and unnecessary suffering.
The Aberdeen Fungal Group contains substantial expertise on how the component parts of the fungal cell wall activate and suppress the immune system; we have now mapped the specific markers which can be used as a fingerprint to identify a number of fungal species. This expertise is being applied here to generate novel diagnostics or therapeutics.
Project Team: Professor Neil Gow, Professor Matteo Zanda, Dr Iain Greig
Funding: Knowledge Exchange and Transfer and KCT Pump Priming Funds