September 2019
  Event highlight
9th Advances Against Aspergillosis and Murcormycosis.
In a break from the usual research highlight, this month we are highlighting the 9th Advances Against Aspergillosis and Mucormycosis conference, which will take place in Lugano, Switzerland from 27th to 29th February 2020.
Already well known as the world’s leading event for detailed and dedicated discussion of all aspects of Aspergillus infection and research, 2020’s programme will include scientific sessions on pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of mucormycosis too.
The abstract submission deadline is midnight (GMT) on Friday 15th November 2019, the scholarship application deadline is midnight (GMT) on Thursday 31st October 2019, and registration is now open.
Lots more information is available on the conference website so don’t delay in registering and submitting your abstracts!
  News and notices
As well as the numberous conferences taking place in October, now is the time to consider submitting abstracts or registering to attend the conferences below:
12th Asia-Pacific Microscopy Conference. Submit your abstract by October 31 2019.
Public Health England Annual Conference 2019. Registration is open. Bookings are subject to availability. In previous years the conference has been fully subscribed so book now to avoid disappointment.
GAIN2019, UK. Case study submission and registration now open.
11th Euro-Global Conference on Infectious Diseases, UK. It is still possible to submit an abstract. Registration is open until 23rd September.
30th Brazilian Congress of Microbiology, Maceió, Brazil. Abstract submission closed. Registration open.
6th International Conference on Mycology and Fungal Infections, Spain. Abstract submission now open. Registration open until 7th October.
2nd World Congress on COPD, Asthma and Lung Health, Spain. Abstract submission and registration are open.
9th Trends in Medical Mycology, Nice, France. Abstract submission is now closed. Registration is open, it is possible to register on-site.
4th International Conference on Innate Immune Memory, Nijmegen, Netherlands.  The deadline for abstract submission is 15th September, and for registration is 15th October.
31st ICC – 4th GCCMID 2019, Dubai. Last date for online early bird registration is 12th September. Last date for online registration at standard rates is 30th October.
17th INFOCUS - 1st ISHAM Latin America Congress, Brazil. Abstract submission deadline is the 16th September.
  Research articles
Spectrum of Pulmonary Aspergillosis in Hyper-IgE Syndrome with Autosomal-Dominant STAT3 Deficiency. (Duréault et al., 2019).
This nationwide, French study reports on aspergillosis in STAT3-deficient patients (who are predisposed to bacterial pneumonia complicated by bronchiectasis and pneumatoceles, and aspergillosis) with a prevalence of 17.5%. The paper provides a precise overview of the pulmonary aspergillosis spectrum in STAT3-deficient patients, highlighting poorly reported allergic forms with clues for the clinician concerning radiological presentation, diagnostic tools, medical and surgical treatment, and outcome.
Invasive aspergillosis (IA) in critically ill patients: An autopsy study. (Tejerina et al., 2019)
This paper reports on the findings of 893 post mortems during a period of 25 years. The study found that despite 25 patients being diagnosed with IA during post mortem, only 10 had been diagnosed prior to death. A subsequent analysis of risk factors associated with IA in ICU include corticosteroid treatment, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, immuno‐suppression and haematological malignancy. The authors report that critically ill patients with pulmonary infiltrates, treated with high doses intravenous corticosteroids (even for a short period of time), particularly COPD patients who developed worsening respiratory insufficiency despite appropriate treatment were at the highest risk of IA.
High incidence of invasive fungal infection during acute myeloid leukemia treatment in a resource-limited country: clinical risk factors and treatment outcomes. (Nganthavee et al., 2019)
Clinical data from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who have been treated with chemotherapy without antifungal prophylaxis were retrieved during a 5-year period at Thailand's hematology referral center. Incidence and risk factors of IFI and outcomes of patients were evaluated.
Incidence of recurrent fungal keratitis after primary keratoplasty and visual outcome and prognosis after intervention for the recurrence. (Gong & Xin., 2019)
There are no standardized protocols or guidelines for the treatment of recurrent fungal keratitis after therapeutic keratoplasty. This study aimed to investigate the incidence of recurrent fungal keratitis after the primary keratoplasty and the visual outcome and prognosis after intervention for the recurrence. Individualized treatment according to recurrent sites of fungal keratitis can achieve a good prognosis in most patients.
Mycology Laboratory Diagnostic Capacity for Invasive Fungal Diseases in 2017: Results of a National Survey. (Schelenz et al., 2019)
A survey of laboratory testing capabilities for systemic fungal pathogens was undertaken in the UK, to identify where improved compliance with published standards and guidelines is required and to inform antifungal stewardship (AFS). The survey captured information from laboratories in the UK on diagnostic capacity for invasive fungal diseases (IFD), including identification, serology, molecular diagnostics and susceptibility testing. The survey highlights that the current level of fungal diagnostics in the UK is below accepted best practice with an urgent need to improve across many diagnostic areas including the timely accessibility of fungal biomarkers, susceptibility testing and provision of TDM testing. Improvements are important to facilitate the delivery of diagnostic driven AFS strategies as well as appropriate management of IFD.
  Veterinary articles
Diagnosis and Treatment of a Swainson's Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) With Rhinosinusitis. (Baden et al., 2019)
This is a case study describing a female Swainson's toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) presenting for examination with a 2-year history of mucoid nasal discharge and abnormal growth of the rhamphotheca. It describes the advanced diagnostic and medical and surgical treatment of chronic rhinitis in the bird.
Extracellular vesicles as vehicles for the delivery of biologically active fungal molecules. (Herkert et al., 2019)
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membranous structures surrounded by a lipid bilayer required for the export of fungal proteins, lipids, toxins, nucleic acids, pigments, and polysaccharides. In this review, the authors discuss the roles of fungal EVs and their cargo in cell-cell communication, host-pathogen interactions, and environmental perception. The functions of EVs as vehicles for transporting fungal proteins and virulence factors is also addressed, as well as their use as biomarkers for the diagnosis of diseases and possible participation in antifungal responses.
Polymerase chain reaction blood tests for the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised people (Cruciani et al., 2019).
This is an update of the original review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 10, 2015. It adds 11 primary studies to the original 18, and provides an overall summary of the diagnostic accuracy of PCR‐based tests on blood specimens for the diagnosis of IA in immunocompromised people.
  Patients and carers
Patient meeting
September’s patient meeting at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester was a little different to our usual patient meetings. We had a tour of the diagnostic laboratories with Professor Malcolm Richardson. It was very interesting to see where and how all the samples and drug susceptibility testing takes place, and demystified the whole process. Everyone who attended found the tour very enjoyable so why not come along to our monthly Friday meetings and enjoy what’s on offer.
Rare Summit 19
This month, the Aspergillosis Trust and the National Aspergillosis Centre attended RareSummit19, hosted by the Cambridge Rare Disease Network in Cambridge. Along with 250 other delegates from patients and charities to healthcare professionals, industry and government, we enjoyed a packed programme which explored successful patient partnerships in technology design, personalised care and clinical studies to improve accessibility, symptoms and lived experiences.
We had a stand at the event and shared patient stories and explained to delegates about aspergillosis, its causes, treatments and impact on daily life. It was a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the disease.
We heard from Baroness Nicola Blackwood MP, the Minister in charge of rare diseases, and were reassured of her commitment to driving forward the UK Rare Disease Strategy 2020. This includes the important issue of care coordination and support away from the clinic, as well as reducing the diagnostic odyssey. All of which are key issues for our patients.
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 call by downloading the Zoom software by following this link: This meeting runs from 11:00-12:00 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
Our meetings for the aspergillosis community occur on the first Friday of each month at the Altounyan Suite, North West Lung Centre, Manchester at 12.30pm BST. 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. (Facebook Broadcast
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 have a public group and a private group.
  • 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 the following terms within Facebook: 'aspergillosis'; 'aspergillus'; 'ABPA'
Clinical networks
(5-8 October, Maceio, Brazil)
(7-8 October, Madrid, Spain)
(8-9 October, Madrid, Spain)
(11-14 October, Nice, France)
(31 October-1 November, Nijmegen, Netherlands)
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