Pathogenic drug resistant fungi: a review of mitigation strategies
Rowan, Neil J.
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Fungal pathogens cause significant human morbidity and mortality globally, where there is a propensity to infect vulnerable people such as the immunocompromised ones. There is increasing evidence of resistance to antifungal drugs, which has significant implications for cutaneous, invasive and bloodstream infections. The World Health Organization (WHO) published a priority list of fungal pathogens in October 2022, thus, highlighting that a crisis point has been reached where there is a pressing need to address the solutions. This review provides a timely insight into the challenges and implications on the topic of antifungal drug resistance along with discussing the effectiveness of established disease mitigation modalities and approaches. There is also a need to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of fungal resistance to inform effective solutions. The established fungal decontamination approaches are effective for medical device processing and sterilization, but the presence of pathogenic fungi in recalcitrant biofilms can lead to challenges, particularly during cleaning. Future design ideas for implantable and reusable medical devices should consider antifungal materials and appropriates for disinfection, and where it is relevant, sterilization. Preventing the growth of mycotoxin-producing fungi on foods through the use of appropriate end-to-end processes is advisable, as mycotoxins are recalcitrant and challenging to eliminate once they have formed.
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