Friday, 28 October 2011

Fungal infections on the rise in organ transplant patients

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  Researchers are worried over the increasing
incidence of mold (fungal) infections in people, who have undergone
organ transplant. These mold infections are largely non-Aspergillus,
which have developed resistance to drugs.

The commonly encountered mold infections in organ transplant patients
in the State are caused by the species of Fusarium and Scedosporium.
The infections are also noticed in people who have undergone bone
marrow transplant.

"Some of these cases prove to be fatal if not treated immediately. The
mortality rate can go up to 50 per cent," said senior biologist Dr N
Khwaja.
What is troubling researchers and doctors is that such infections are
also being reported from developed nations like the USA. Infections
caused by non-Aspergillus mold have relatively higher death rate than
other fungal or bacterial infections.

The major challenge posed by non-Aspergillus infections is that it is
difficult to diagnose them even in laboratories in developed
countries. Most of the laboratories attached to hospitals in the State
are not equipped to conduct such tests to pinpoint the source of
infection, he said.

The mold infections are not only invasive but also spread to other
parts of the body. They are often aggressive in nature and resist
several anti-microbial medicines. Even highly powerful drugs like
voriconazole do not work against such infections.

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