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expert reaction to study of cases of drug-resistant fungus in humans that have come from the environment

A study published in Nature Microbiology looks at the acquisition of drug-resistant fungal infections from the environment.


Prof Neil Gow, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Exeter, said:

“This work makes it increasingly clear of the dangers of using the same antifungal compounds to protect crops from fungal disease and to treat patients with a fungal infection.  Aspergillus is a fungus that generates thousands of air borne spores. We all inhale Aspergillus spores every day of our lives.  Mostly these are quickly killed by patrolling immune cells in our lungs, but sometimes a vulnerable patient with weak immunity needs an azole drug to kill off the Aspergillus.  The worry is that the spores that are inhaled by a vulnerable patient are already azole resistant because they came from a fungus that had been sprayed with a similar azole by a farmer. It is now clear that that there is a risk to patient care.  This precipitates discussions about how we best manage our resources to control fungal infections in both crops and people.”



Population genomics confirms acquisition of drug-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus infection by humans from the environment’ by Johanna Rhodes et al. was published in Nature Microbiology at 16:00 UK time on Monday 25th April.




Declared interests

Prof Neil Gow: “No declarations of interest.”

No others received.






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