“Resistance to antifungal drugs could lead to disease and global food shortages”
“Growing levels of resistance to antifungal treatments could lead to increased disease outbreaks and affect food security around the world, according to new research funded by the MRC.
An international team warns that improvements are needed in how existing drugs are used. There should also be an increased focus on the discovery of new treatments, in order to avoid a “global collapse” in our ability to control and fight fungal infections.
The rise in resistance to antifungal treatments mirrors the well-established threat of bacteria which have become resistant to antibiotics, according to the researchers led by Imperial College London and the University of Exeter.
Professor Matthew Fisher, of the School of Public Health at Imperial and first author of the study, said: “The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is well established in bacteria, but has largely been neglected in fungi. The scale of the problem has been, until now, under-recognised and under-appreciated, but the threat to human health and the food chain are serious and immediate.”
He added: “Fungi are a growing threat to human and crop health as new species and variants spread around the world, so it is essential that we have means to combat them. However, the very limited number of antifungal drugs means that the emergence of resistance is leading to many common fungal infections becoming incurable.”
Source: Medical Council Research