Each year, as many patients die of a fungal infection than of malaria or tuberculosis. While there were ~212 million malaria cases in 2015, less than half a million people died of malaria (WHO). Yet, fungal infections are associated with mortality rates of up to 90%. Together, the 10 most common fungal pathogens kill ~1.5 million patients each year around the world. The unacceptably high mortality rates associated with fungal infections are due to the lack of suitable antifungal drug targets (evolutionarily, fungi are the closest relatives of animals), emergence of antifungal drug resistance, and sophisticated fungal stress response pathways.
As part of Bath Ignite Dr Diezmann explains fungi and her research in five minutes. This talk inspired animation artist Tamara Webster to make a video about a scientist’s quest for a cure for fungal disease.