Everyday everybody breathes in fungal spores, for many with no obvious detrimental effect. Yet for some individuals this exposure can result in a wide spectrum of responses from the allergic or toxic to colonization and invasive disease. Yet controversy abounds in many areas of fungal research, including the potential role of exposure to fungi in hypersensitivity diseases. The picture is further complicated by a lack of standardization in processing of clinical and environmental samples for fungi, by a lack of understanding in how to interpret the results from an environmental survey for fungi, and by a lack of knowledge regarding appropriate tests and treatments for fungal complicated health problems. Many physicians and other medical practitioners lack vital information to address fungal-related issues they face in daily practice, and many researchers are unaware of some of the caveats that must be considered when working with fungi. This course is aimed at educating both clinicians and basic scientists on some of the fundamental issues surrounding fungi. Participants will learn about techniques ranging from the traditional to the cutting edge. The approaches used for identifying fungi in the environment and in the clinic will be discussed, and whether or not such data can be used to inform clinical decisions will be addressed. 

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss the fungal biology, ecology and taxonomy from a medical perspective, including the differences in indoor and outdoor environmental fungi and the interpretation of data reports on outdoor fungi
  • Evaluate current standards for processing environmental and clinical respiratory samples, including when investigations should be performed and how results are interpreted
  • Assess the opportunities and considerations presented by sequencing approaches in identifying fungi in the clinic and the environment


Moderator Introduction
Jay  M. Portnoy, MD
Children's Mercy Hospital

Fungal Asthma: Antifungals, Biologics or Both?
David Denning, MD

Fungi and the Environment: What We Need to Know from a Medical Perspective
Estelle Levetin, PhD FAAAAI
University of Tulsa

Fungal Allergenic Extracts Available on the Market: How They Are Made, What Should Be Recommended for Use in the Clinical Practice, and and the Potential Role of Component Resolved Diagnostics
Greg  A. Plunkett, PhD
ALK-Abello, Inc.

Indoor/Outdoor Fungal Spores: How to Recommend to Patients the Usefulness and Interpretation of Airborne Fungal Spore Counts Such As Those Provided Through the National Allergy Bureau
Karin  A. Pacheco, MD MSPH FAAAAI
National Jewish Health

High-Throughput Sequencing for the Identification of Fungi in the Environment and the Lung
Catherine  H. Pashley, PhD
The University of Leicester


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