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Demystifying Medicine 2019 - Fungus Infections: Neglected, Dangerous and Increasing

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Air date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 4:00:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 286, (106 Live, 180 On-demand)
Category: Demystifying Medicine
Runtime: 01:08:33
Description: The Demystifying Medicine Lecture Series

With viral and bacterial disease outbreaks such as Ebola, Zika, and listeriosis dominating the headlines, deadly and common fungal diseases such as candidiasis and aspergillosis have nearly fallen out of public health discussions. Yet fungal infections cause more than a million deaths per year, almost as much as tuberculosis, and contribute to blindness, asthma, and other serious health concerns. Among the deadliest is cryptococcal meningitis, a brain infection caused by the soil-dwelling fungus Cryptococcus. More than 220,000 new cases of cryptococcal meningitis occur each year, resulting in 181,000 deaths, according to the CDC.

As worrisome is the rise of multidrug-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus, with a mortality rate exceeding 50 percent, and Candida auris, an emerging yeast strain causing healthcare-associated infections. Fungal infections are now a major cause of morbidity and mortality in immunosuppressed and critically ill patients. And such infections are expected to become more prevalent as the earth's climate warms.

For this next lecture in the Demystifying Medicine series, we bring you two leading experts on fungal infections. Arturo Casadevall, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Molecular Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has defined much of what we understand about fungal pathogenesis and how fungi evade the host immune response. Casadevall also has posited a fascinating theory that fungi contributed to the fall of the dinosaurs.

Michail Lionakis, chief of NIAID's Fungal Pathogenesis Section, has focused on the yeast Candida. His lab uses in-vitro cell culture systems and clinically relevant mouse models of mucosal and systemic Candida infections to study host-fungal interactions using a variety of immunological, biological, and imaging approaches. A major focus of his laboratory is the immunological mechanisms that account for central nervous system-targeted susceptibility to systemic candidiasis and other systemic fungal infections in patients with CARD9 mutations.

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Author: Michail Lionakis, MD, ScD, NIAID, NIH
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CIT Live ID: 30259
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