Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

WHO releases the first ever list of fungi that are endangering humanity

Yeasts and moulds are among the 19 "priority pathogens" that the international health organisation has recognised.

Worldwide, fungal infections are responsible for more than 1.7 million mortality each year and over 150 million severe infections. These infections are changing and becoming more difficult to cure.

The infections, which multiplied in hospitals and can be lethal for people with weakened immune systems, spread more widely throughout the epidemic, though.

The pathogens prey on people whose immune systems are weak, such as those battling COVID-19. One of the Covid therapies that has the potential to weaken the body’s defences against fungus is steroids.

The WHO has a list 1 of the worst bacteria that is comparable, and due to a general lack of funding for their research, they have also developed a list of lethal fungi. Despite insufficient funds being given to their research, fungus-related illnesses continue to represent a severe threat to the public’s health, according to the WHO.

Dr Hanan Balkhy, the WHO’s assistant director-general, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) said: ‘Emerging from the shadows of the bacterial antimicrobial resistance pandemic, fungal infections are growing, and are ever more resistant to treatments, becoming a public health concern worldwide.’

According to Dr. Haileyesus Getahun, Director of the WHO’s AMR Global Coordination Department, “Countries are encouraged to follow a step-by-step approach, starting with strengthening their fungal disease laboratory and surveillance capacities, and ensuring equitable access to existing quality therapeutics and diagnostics, globally.”

Due to a scarcity of studies on fungal diseases, there have historically been gaps in our knowledge of diagnosis and effective treatments.

The health organisation urged governments to improve their systems for identifying the 19 different kinds of dangerous fungi and take appropriate action. Fungi have had to change in ways that make them better at infecting people due to the continuing warming of the globe.

As a result of global warming, the fungus’ features, habitat, and host change, increasing the likelihood that new fungi kinds will emerge.

Strategies for public health practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders are highlighted in the FPPL report. The measures outlined in the study are all geared on gathering data and enhancing responses to these priority fungal pathogens, including halting the emergence of antifungal drug resistance.

The WHO report was praised by the scientific community, who saw it as a step in the right direction for discovering novel treatments for fungal diseases that are drug-resistant.

By Editor

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