Highlights of this month...
This year for the first time the organisers have recorded all oral presentations and have made them available for general access, so if you missed the conference or would like to listen again you can! There were many talks that are relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of aspergillosis including sessions on fungal infection, diagnosis of fungal infection, infections in transplant and cancer patients, pathogenesis and virulence, epidemiology & antifungal drugs. There are also two collections of 'top ten' papers to watch courtesy of Michaela Lackner (Diagnostics) & Bart Jan Kullberg (Infectious disease).
Carolina Vidal and Paul Verweij present complementary talks entitled 'Aspergillosis - the role of the host' and 'Aspergillosis - the role of the fungus' respectively.
Two new antifungal drugs in development to treat aspergillosis (F901318 & SCY-078
) are mentioned and shown to be effective against multiple Aspergillus
strains & species and azole drug resistance strains respectively (the latter in a conference abstract #2899 by Mahmoud A. Ghannoum).
A first of kind study is reported by Felix Bongomin that suggests several immune system defects in patients with chronic pulmonary aspergillosis: low CD3 count.
NOTE there are 110 abstracts & posters from this meeting that will be added over the next few days
|New Antifungal Toolkit 2017: The Pharmacopeia and Beyond
is an Internet CME curriculum that provides current information about
newer FDA-approved agents/formulations for the management of invasive
fungal infections (IFIs) and evaluates their role in strategies to
optimize antifungal therapy. In the 2017 updates, discussion of newer agents/formulations, emerging agents/diagnostics,
and pharmacologic principles/data have been updated.
This educational activity is provided free of charge by University of Nebraska Medical Center, Center for Continuing Education;
Mycoses Study Group Education & Research Consortium; and
looming for TIMM-8
(1st June) and ICC 2017
The Aspergillus Website has a section devoted to new antifungal drugs
- those in development before they are routinely used in clinics. As a general rule this section contains drugs once they are in phase 1 trials and contains information about trials, original reference papers, conference abstracts and some of the news articles published occasionally. The aim is to follow the progress of these drugs as they are successfully or otherwise developed as treatments for aspergillosis (primarily).
The authors describe the purpose of this review "To describe concisely the current standards of care, major recent
advances, common beliefs that have been contradicted by recent trials,
areas of uncertainty, and clinical studies that need to be performed
over the next decade and their expected outcomes with regard to Candida
and Aspergillus infections in non-neutropenic patients in the ICU
Damp buildings have been recognised as impacting on health (mostly respiratory health) but attempts to define any microbial cause of that impact have thus far been inconclusive. Consequently there is still a need for an accurate and robust metric to 'score' the degree of risk of health problems caused by a damp building.
The authors of this review find that several simple (though not particularly objective) signs of damp correlate well with respiratory health problems in a damp home, better than counting the numbers of microbes that might be present in the air for example.
Mould odour, obvious signs of mould growth on walls and obvious signs of moisture in a home are good guidelines to assess potential harm to health. They are however not yet useful as clear indicators of the maximal permissable amount of damp in a home to prevent health impacts. More research is called for.
Although nasal masses are uncommon in sheep and may have several causes,
including neoplasia and bacterial, fungal and viral infections, these
lesions may lead to economic losses resulting from weight loss and even
death. It is therefore important to differentiate between various
categories of upper respiratory tract obstructions and lower respiratory
tract infections. The correct aetiological diagnosis of obstructive
masses is essential for appropriate treatment and management to be given
or action to be taken. The presentation, clinical signs, treatment and
pathology of a case of suspected mycotic rhinitis in a 6-year-old Mutton
Merino ewe, are described.
National Aspergillosis Centre new consultant Paschalis Vergidis
introduced himself and his research plans for his time at NAC to our Aspergillosis Community meeting this month. Paschalis originates from Athens, Greece prior to extensive training at several US medical institutions including the well known Mayo Clinic
. Paschalis has extensive experience working in transplant and haematology where fungal infections are prominent problems.
The group that are promoting singing to improve respiratory health came back after their taster session last month and decided that the interest in the meeting was not yet sufficient to start building a choir however we will offer the opportunity also to larger groups such as asthma in an attempt to boost numbers. We are also going to seek help in how we might run singing via Skype so that the many people who keep in touch via computer from all over the UK might be able to join in.
Finally University of Manchester student Katie Holmes visited with her student project which is a video of the dangers of mould in the home. Katie assessed people s reactions to damp homes before and after they have seen the video.
We are also running a successful Skype meeting every week
! We are a chatty group of 8 - 12 most weeks but we can accomodate up to 24. If you have a computer or phone that has APP's you will be able to install Skype and join in - instructions at the link below. Skype at 11am BST every Thursday
. Instructions will change over the next few weeks so go to http://www.nacpatients.org.uk/content/skype-group
for the latest information.
Aspergillosis Community (National Aspergillosis Centre) normally meets on the first friday of each month at the Altounyan Suite, North West Lung Centre, Manchester at 1.30pm BST/GMT. If you can't make it in person, you are welcome to listen in to our live broadcast.
If you want a text reminder when each meeting is approaching (UK only) then send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mobile phone number.