Identification of fungal infectionsOur research group is primarily focused on fungal infections. We aim to develop methods for rapid and reliable identification of fungal infections in order to start early treatment and therefore improve the outcome for patients.
The fungus AspergillusEven though fungi are important for degradation of organic waste and are used to produce certain medicines, such as penicillin, and may be very tasty to eat, they can also cause very severe, often life-threatening diseases in humans. Mainly immunocompromised patients (leukaemia patients who receive chemotherapy, stem cell transplant recipients or solid organ transplant patients) seem to be very receptive to fungal infections which are often caused by the fungus Aspergillus. These infections may prove difficult to diagnose and to treat.
Our research aims to improve the survival chances of these immunocompromised patients. We are developing methods for rapid and reliable identification of fungal infections in order to start early treatment and therefore improve the outcome for patients.
Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatusAnother field of interest is the development of azole drug resistance in Aspergillus species. Azole resistance is a growing public health concern, with reported azole resistance now found worldwide. In the Netherlands high resistance frequencies are reported, as high as 30% in critically ill patients. The mortality of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis is high and treatment options are very limited.
Our research focuses on the development of resistance in the environment. Azole fungicides are widely used from material preservation and crop protection, which is thought to be an important route of resistance selection in A. fumigatus. Together with Wageningen University, environmental studies are performed to understand and manage resistance selection.
Epidemiology, early detection and management are other important research aims.
Center of Expertise in Mycology Radboudumc/CWZ
This centre offers expert consultation for patients with complex fungal diseases. A multidisciplinary team works together to (help) diagnose the fungal disease and to develop individual treatment plans based on fungus identification and host factors.read more