January 2020
  Research highlight
The negative cofactor 2 complex is a key regulator of drug resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus (Furukawa et al., 2020)
This paper is the first publication of an A.fumigatus gene deletion library, it promises to be an incredibly useful molecular tool for the Aspergillus scientific community. It reports a genome-wide annotation of transcriptional regulators in A. fumigatus and construction of a library of 484 transcription factor null mutants. It identifies 12 regulators that have a demonstrable role in itraconazole susceptibility and show that loss of the negative cofactor 2 complex leads to resistance, not only to the azoles but also the salvage therapeutics amphotericin B and terbinafine without significantly affecting pathogenicity.
  News and notices
February 27th 2020 is World Aspergillosis Day. This coincides with 9th Advances Against Aspergillosis and Mucormycosis, 27-29 February 2020 (Registration is now open!). We have produced a number of assets for you to use to show your support including email signatures, social media graphics and 'host your own coffee morning resources'. In addition, the Aspergillosis Trust are asking people to show their support by downloading a selfie card, taking a selfie with it, and uploading it to their 'Selfie Hall of Fame'. Please get involved and show your support! Take a look at the WAD2020 Resources!
A new course is now available through Future Learn called 'The Role of Antifungal Stewardship'. Developed as a collaboration between BSAC and MRCM (the reference mycology lab based at the National Aspergillosis Centre), this course is aimed at GPs and other primary care clinicians.
Conference notices
Fungal Biodiversity 2020, 10-14 February 2020. This course provides a concise overview of the biodiversity of organisms representing the Kingdom Fungi and registration is now open! 
15th European Conference on Fungal Genetics, 17-20 February 2020. The deadline for abstract submission has passed. Registration is now open. Registration closes at midnight on February 5 2020.
Mycology 2020, 13-14 March 2020. The closing date for oral abstracts is midnight 8 February 2020. Poster abstracts close at midnight 24 February 2020. Registration is now open.
Applications for the annual Molecular Mycology: Current Approaches to Fungal Pathogenesis course are now open. The course runs from 17 July to 2 August 2020 at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA and applications close on 30 March 2020.
  Research articles
Computed Tomography Images of Fibrotic Pulmonary Sarcoidosis Leading to Chronic Respiratory Failure (Sawahata et al., 2020)
There is currently no consensus on the morphology of severe fibrotic pulmonary sarcoidosis, a granulomatous disease that causes lesions in the lungs, and this paper examines computed tomography (CT) findings and progression. It finds that during progression, consolidations comprising ‘central-peripheral band’ progressed together with traction bronchiectasis clusters and peripheral cysts, resulting in upper lobe shrinkage. This may lead to respiratory failure with possible complications such as pulmonary hypertension and chronic progressive pulmonary aspergillosis.
Algorithm-Aided Diagnosis of Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis in Low- and Middle-Income Countries By Use of a Lateral Flow Device (Kwizera et al., 2020)
There are major challenges in making a definitive diagnosis of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) in resource-constrained settings. This paper describes improved diagnosis of CPA in routine clinical practice in a resource-limited setting using a lateral flow device with a run time of less than 30 minutes.
Effect of Caspofungin vs Fluconazole Prophylaxis on Invasive Fungal Disease Among Children and Young Adults With Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Randomized Clinical Trial (Fisher et al., 2020)
This Canadian paper compares the efficacy of caspofungin versus fluconazole prophylaxis against proven or probable invasive fungal disease and invasive aspergillosis during neutropenia following acute myeloid leukemia chemotherapy. The results suggest that caspofungin may be considered for prophylaxis against invasive fungal disease. When compared with fluconazole, caspofungin resulted in significantly lower incidence of invasive fungal disease in children, adolescents, and young adults with acute myeloid leukemia.
Risk Factors For Relapse of Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis After Discontinuation of Antifungal Therapy (Bongomin et al., 2020)
This retrospective study of patients from the National Aspergillosis Centre in Manchester, identifies the frequency and risk factors for CPA relapse following cessation of antifungal therapy. Bilateral CPA, i.e. CPA involving both lungs, is a risk factor for relapse after treatment discontinuation. A longer duration of treatment may be associated with a lower rate of relapse in extensive CPA, whereas more limited disease may respond to shorter courses.
  Veterinary article
Aspergillosis in Albatrosses (Martins Melo et al., 2019)
A mass stranding event provided the opportunity for this study, the first of aspergillosis in captive albatrosses. It found the proportionate mortality rate (during rehabilitation) caused by aspergillosis was 21.4%. Aspergillosis can act as a limiting factor in the rehabilitation of albatrosses.
Detecting Azoleā€Antifungal Resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus by Pyrosequencing. (Van der Torre et al., 2020)
This review describes current diagnostic methods of Aspergillus disease and highlights the potential of pyrosequencing to aid in a diagnosis, complete with a resistance profile to improve clinical outcomes.
Biomarkers of Fungal Infection: Expert Opinion on the Current Situation (Bouza et al., 2019)
The value of the combined use of biomarkers and the impact on antifungal treatment decisions has been poorly studied. This reviews describes the current relevant use of fungal biomarkers.
Prevalence and Outcome of Systemic Fungal Infections in Renal Transplant Recipients - A Tertiary Care Experience (Shekar et al., 2019)
This retrospective analysis describes cases of invasive fungal infections that occurred among renal transplant recipients. Invasive candidiasis was the most common IFI overall, followed by mucormycosis, invasive aspergillosis, and cryptococcosis. The use of newer and more-effective immunosuppressive agents in recent years are associated with increased rates of fungal infections in renal transplant recipients.
  Patients and carers
Patient meeting
We'll be hosting our first patient meeting of the year on February 7th 2020 with a guest speaker from the University of Oxford. 
Professor Kyle Pattinson is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow and Associate Professor in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford. He will be talking about 'Breathing with your Brain', which was the topic of a public engagement event at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition. Professor Kyle's exhibit helped visitors to understand the how the brain controls our feelings of being out of breath and how we might better help patients control breathlessness. We're looking forward to welcoming him to NAC.
Join us for this fascinating talk in the Altounyan Suite, North West Lung Centre, Manchester at 12.30pm BST on February 7th, 2020. If you can't make it in person you are welcome to watch on Facebook. We broadcast live (this is limited to UK patients only) and post the recording so you can watch it in your own time. The Facebook recording can be watched from overseas, not just the UK. (Facebook Broadcast
Other meetings and support
We host a weekly video phone call with around 4-8 patients and a member of NAC staff each week. You can use a computer or mobile device to join the video but you need to register in advanceThis meeting runs from 10:00-11:00 BST every Thursday.
To receive a text reminder when each meeting is approaching send us your mobile phone number (NB this doesn't operate in the US) to admin@aspergillus.org.uk.
Join our Facebook Groups
  • Our Aspergillosis Support Facebook Group has over 2000 members and is a safe place to meet and talk to other people with aspergillosis.
  • We also have a Facebook group for carers, friends and family of someone who is affected by the disease - join here
  • To find our regional and international groups, search for 'aspergillosis' in Facebook.
Clinical networks
Open Rank Academic positions (Lecturer to Professor - including clinically qualified candidates) in Medical Mycology (Education and Research)
3-7 February, 2020
Hyderabad, India
10-14 February 2020
Utrecht, The Netherlands
17-20 February, 2020
Rome, Italy
27-29 February, 2020
Lugano, Switzerland
See more groups and societies
Visit our sites
(free online microscopy course)
(fungal education for clinicians)

Fungal Infection Trust, PO Box 482, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 9AR