Reflections on the question: what does molecular mycology have to do with the clinician treating the patient?

Frank Christopher Odds

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    After a talk on regulation of gene transcription in Candida albicans, a clinical mycologist was heard to ask: "What difference does all that make to the lady dying of disseminated Candida infection in her hospital bed?" The rapid expansion of research in fungal diseases is widening the communication gap between individuals with responsibility for patient care and those who study pathogenic fungi at the level of molecular biology. DNA-based technologies have produced real advances for patient care by delivering superior methods. for fungus identification and strain typing that will soon find a routine place in patient management. Molecular research into the fine detail of the host-pathogen interplay in fungal disease has also made great advances, though the spin-offs to benefit the clinician are not yet obvious. Detection of fungal DNA as a non-culture diagnostic method still requires considerable refinement before it can be regarded as a routinely useful approach, and genomic-based strategies for discovery of novel antifungal drugs from molecular targets have so far produced no agents that have entered development. It is inevitable that, in time, several aspects of molecular mycology research will become important basic knowledge for the clinician who is treating the patient. Therefore, clinicians and bench scientists with specialist interest in mycoses need to retain a reasonable level of mutual comprehension and respect of each other'S work rather than assuming their professional paths are divergent.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages5
    JournalMedical Mycology
    Volume41
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • clinical mycology
    • molecular biology
    • diagnosis
    • genomics
    • antifungal discovery
    • CRYPTOCOCCUS-NEOFORMANS
    • ASPERGILLUS-FUMIGATUS
    • CANDIDA-ALBICANS
    • BLOOD-SAMPLES
    • VIRULENCE
    • IDENTIFICATION
    • PATHOGENICITY
    • MUTAGENESIS
    • EXPRESSION
    • YEAST

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