Manchester researchers publish first guidelines for treating chronic fungal lung infections

Researchers from the University of Manchester in the U.K. have published the world’s first set of clinical guidelines for chronic fungal lung infections.

The guidelines provide the most up-to-date description of chronic fungal lung infections and also provide a comprehensive outline of treatment recommendations. Those recommendations are geared toward doctors and lab technicians who deal with chronic fungal lung infections.

University of Manchester Professor David Denning led the team that produced the guidelines, which were published in the European Respiratory Journal by the European Respiratory Society and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

The guidelines are particularly focused on chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA), a fungal infection that can occur in people whose lungs are already damaged from other conditions such as tuberculosis. CPA often goes undetected until the late stages, and causes death in 80 percent of people who develop the fungal infection over the course of around five years.

Despite that danger, CPA is an underreported and undertreated condition around the world – a trend Denning and his team are trying to reverse.

“The U.K. National Health Service recognized the challenges posed by these patients by setting up the National Aspergillosis Centre and its associated laboratory, the Mycology Reference Centre in 2009,” Denning said. “The experience gained from seeing hundreds of patients has contributed to the quality of care, although much more research and new oral antifungal drugs are both required to reduce the marked disability caused by CPA.”

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