Cornelia Lass-Flörl by Webmaster Public Symposium Fungal Catastrophes 2020-03-04 09:11:04

Unsolved: Public health challenges in fungal infections

Prof. dr. Cornelia Lass-Flörl, Medical University of Innsbrück, Innsbrück, Austria

Professor Lass-Flörl is going to talk about the growing health hazard of fungi. It really is growing, but for what reasons?
Fungi are all around us, and in us. So far nothing new, this has always been the case. The problem is us. We are getting older and the older we get, the less well the immune system functions, hence, the risk of getting infected by microbes like fungi, increases.
For some people many medical interventions are involved in getting old. New cancer treatments have a drawback on the immune system and make people more vulnerable to fungal infections. Organ transplants demand immune suppressors, a chance for bacteria and fungi to take over. And if bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics that means an even bigger opportunity for pathogenic fungi.
Other issues are new medicines for autoimmune diseases. Some genetically engineered drugs interfere with our immune system.
Another growing threat comes from new and more aggressive viruses. Why that is the case remains unresolved but it is a fact that there are more cases of fungal infections associated with influenza.
Lass-Flörl will speak about issues like climate change and travel, and their role in the heightened risk for fungal infections. Finally she will discuss the difficulty of diagnostics and treatment and possible ways of dealing with these challenges.