Mycology Research in India in the Last Ten Years (2008-2018)

  • Arunaloke Chakrabarti
Keywords: Mycology; Epidemiology; Candidiasis; Mycosis


With the rise in the incidence of fungal infections in India due to the unique environmental and socioeconomic reasons, the
research activities on fungal infections and fungi causing human infections have increased manifold. The major areas of
clinical research on fungal infections include (i) epidemiology fungal infections, (ii) antifungal resistance detection, surveillance
and its mechanism, (iii) molecular diagnosis and pathogenesis, (iv) outbreak investigations, (v) development of management
guidelines, and (vi) clinical trials. The basic scientists’ research areas include (i) understanding different molecular mechanisms
on the evolution of fungi, (ii) computational models that is operating at different cellular levels of pathogenic fungi, (iii)
understanding molecular details on the biosynthesis, signalling pathways involved in fungal virulence, (iv) identifying
potential new antifungal drug targets, (v) basis of antifungal resistance mechanisms. The major centres in India carrying out
advanced research in this field are Department of Medical Microbiology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, which also houses the
National Reference Centre and WHO Collaborating Centre; Department of Pulmonary Medicine (PGIMER, Chandigarh),
which focusses clinical research on respiratory mycoses; VP Chest Institute (New Delhi), JNCASR (Bengaluru), School of
Life Science (JNU, New Delhi), CCMB (Hyderabad), and AIIMS (New Delhi). The two national organizations, Fungal
Infection Study Forum (FISF) and Society for Indian Human and Animal Mycology (SIHAM) have conducted multicentric
epidemiological studies. The fungal diseases that have been studied in India in the last decade include invasive candidiasis
(due to Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, Candida albicans, Candida auris), mucormycosis (caused by Rhizopus
arrhizus, Apophysomyces variabilis), invasive asperillosis (A. flavus and A. fumigatus), allergic bronchopulmonary
aspergillosis (A. flavus and A. fumigatus), fungal rhinosinusitis (A. flavus), cryptococcosis (C. neoformans and C. gattii),
histoplasmosis, sprorotrichosis, sebrohhoeic dermatitis/dandruff (Malassezia sp.), dermatophytosis (T. mentagrophytes,
T. rubrum), mycetoma, fungal keratitis/endophthalmitis, phaeohyphomycosis (Cladophialophora bantiana).


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