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World’s first clinical guidelines for chronic fungal lung infections

December 23 2015

The world’s first guidelines have been published today in the European Respiratory Journal by the ERS in conjunction with ESCMID. The guidelines cover the important features of this disease & comprehensive treatment and recommendations  for chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA)- this disease is fatal in about 80% of sufferers who succumb to this illness when their lungs have already been damaged by other infections such as TB.  In Europe an estimated 240,000 people have CPA with around 3 million worldwide.  The late stages of CPA include aspergillomas which are familiar to respiratory specialists - but the early features are more difficult to diagnose.

Major improvements in understanding CPA have  resulted from research undertaken in Europe, India and Japan over the last 10 years. However, no therapies are approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for treatment, and very few diagnostic tests and therapies have been compared. In many parts of the world, the basic tests required are not yet available.

Professor David Denning of the University of Manchester who led the CPA guidelines group, said: “The UK National Health Service recognised the challenges posed by these patients and set up the National Aspergillosis Centre in Manchester and its associated laboratory, The Mycology Reference Centre in 2009. The experience gained from seeing hundreds of patients has enhanced  the quality of care, although more research and new oral antifungal drugs are both required to reduce the marked disability caused by CPA.”

ESCMID's  President, Professor Murat Akova stated: “I am delighted that this groundbreaking clinical guideline has been published; the management of chronic fungal infection, notably CPA, is difficult, requiring a high level of laboratory and clinical expertise.”

Press release

CPA guidelines in European Respiratory Journal 2015