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Paracoccidioidomycosis in South America should be a Neglected Fungal Tropical Disease

May 22 2019

Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) should be listed as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) according to GAFFI . The case for PCM to be accepted as an NTD was published in Public Library of Science (PLoS) Neglected Tropical Diseases.

PCM is endemic to the tropical regions of Latin America. It is an airborne infection caused by 2 related species of Paracoccidioides, P. brasiliensis and P. lutzi.

PCM is an important cause of mortality in Brazil. PCM causes significant morbidity and predominately affects poor rural workers or people living in urban slums at their most economically productive stage of life and requires months of antifungal therapy. Lung, skin and adrenal sequelae are frequent, reducing work productivity and quality of life of a large number of patients. Complications are too often very disabling.

PCM fulfils World Health Organisation (WHO) NTD criteria and would benefit from such a classification. Diagnosis with antibody detection of PCM needs to be standardised and better serum markers are required, as well as simple, rapid tests. Research is required to optimise treatment and to minimize complications—particularly through randomised controlled trials— and to address latency. Though itraconazole is the first-line recommended drug, it is not provided free of charge in most medical centres in Brazil and Latin America.

Link to article published by Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo (UNIFESP):