Feb 1st is #WorldAspergillosisDay and medical mycologists around the world were busy online promoting awareness and understanding of this rare disease.
Activities centred around a Zoom meeting organised by the CARES team at the National Aspergillosis Centre (part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust). Recordings will be posted on the National Aspergillosis Centre’s YouTube channel within the next few days
Did you know?
During an invasive lung infection, Aspergillus mould sheds beta-D-glucan and galactomannan (cell wall antigens) into the bloodstream. However, they are cleared so rapidly that this will not be detected in most patients (unless they are neutropaenic)
Aspergillus has traditionally been identified by culturing it on specialist agar, but this method is fairly insensitive (i.e. many false negatives). MRCM offers a high-volume culture (HVC) test that picks up more cases, or we can carry out molecular testing (PCR) that bypasses this step completely
DNA sequencing has revealed that some species of Aspergillus are actually made up of multiple ‘cryptic’ species, which appear identical but are genetically distinct