Monday, 16 July 2012

Undiagnosed Aspergillosis: New Diagnostic Tests Needed

One of the main difficulties we have to overcome for the successful treatment of aspergillosis is to be able to start the treatment as early as possible as once the fungus becomes established it is very difficult to control even with our newest antifungal drugs.

The priority for future research proposed by the Fungal Research Trust is for new improved diagnostic tests that can identify an aspergillosis infection quickly and while the infection is in its early stages. If that can be achieved then our arsenal of antifungal drugs can be much more effectively used.

Diagnostic tests are however not the only problem. Aspergillosis is very rare and few doctors see more than one or two cases in their careers - certainly very few will see this kind of invasive aspergillosis in someone who has a fully functional immune system. This lack of experience leads to many diagnoses being missed until    it is too late to effectively treat the infection. One such case has been recorded in Great Yarmouth in the UK and here the doctors handling the case admit to never having seen such a case before, but encouragingly mention that they did a lot of learning while treating the patient.

Aspergillosis is rare, difficult to diagnose as it resembles other far more common types of infection and always likely to catch an unaware doctor out with terrible consequences. The Fungal Research Trust provide full details on all types of aspergillosis on the Aspergillus & Aspergillosis Website and is actively engaged on increasing awareness amongst doctors and patients. Patients are one route through which many doctors have  'discovered' and learned about aspergillosis too!

Aspergillus Webite
Aspergillosis Patients Support

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