For any researchers interested in healthcare and neglected problems, I recorded this podcast with an expert on antifungal resistance. Here are a few key stats (sources linked):
- Fungal diseases kill 1.7M people every year. Comparatively, cancer kills 10M per year - but also has a lot more funding & >10x more developed drugs.
- Fungal diseases are harder to treat than bacterial infections since fungal cells are like our cells. So drugs against them also have side effects on us.
- Large-scale research on them started 80 years after research on bacterial/viral diseases.
- More fungal species are infecting humans due to climate change. Since most fungi couldn't survive at high temperatures like in our body before.
- We have about 4x fewer antifungals than antibiotics being developed in any given year. But both fungi and bacteria are becoming resistant.
If you have skills in biomedical or public health research and want to get involved in a more neglected field, feel free to reach out to the expert I interviewed. Or find more resources at the Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections
Fungal infections are also large contributors to the recent declines in bat and amphibian populations.