Universal guideline for treating mucormycosis developed

November 12, 2019

Professor Oliver Cornely, head of the European Centre of Excellence for Invasive Fungal Infections at Cologne University Hospital, has developed a globally applicable diagnosis and treatment guideline for the rare disease mucormycosis. Without treatment, mucormycosis leads to death within a very short time. The new guideline is one of the first treatment guidelines to ever be agreed on worldwide. In its development, Cornely's team cooperated with 74 scientists from 33 countries, and the treatment guideline has so far been adopted by professional associations in 53 countries. It was published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Mucormycosis is a rare fungal disease that is difficult to diagnose. One in a million people suffer from mucormycosis every year, with a very high mortality rate of 50 to 70 percent: There is evidence that more than 3,500 people lose their lives each year, and the number of undiagnosed cases is likely high. Mucormycosis is caused by the inhalation of spores from certain fungi, or their entry into the body through a skin injury. People with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus and immunocompromised patients are particularly affected.

The fungal infection can cause severe tissue decay within a few hours: 'Mucormycosis can progressively destroy the paranasal sinuses and get into the bones, the eye and the meninges. Once it progresses to the central nervous system, the infection usually leads to death', Professor Cornely explained.

Due to the relative rarity of 1 in 1,000,000 cases, to date there has been no coordinated diagnosis and treatment procedure. According to Cornely, who is both a scientist and a physician, rapid diagnosis and medical treatment are essential for survival. Without treatment, the mortality risk for mucormycosis doubles within a week. 'An operation must be carried out immediately and an intravenous anti-fungal therapy initiated in order to prevent the spread as quickly as possible', he said.

At the European Centre of Excellence for Invasive Fungal Infections, which opened in 2017 at Cologne University Hospital, scientists and physicians from Cornely's team offer interdisciplinary diagnosis and treatment of complex diseases caused by fungi. The team is also working on the introduction of globally applicable diagnosis and treatment guidelines for other fungal diseases.

Introducing the guideline for mucormycosis was a great success for Cornely and his team: 'At a top research location like Cologne, researchers and physicians work together at Cologne University Hospital and the University's Faculty of Medicine. Our research concentrates on invasive fungal infections and brings together a wide variety of disciplines: In addition to microbiology, pathology and radiology, infectious diseases and surgery, haematology and intensive care medicine are often involved, as well as dermatology and pharmacology on a case-by-case basis. This complex treatment management must be broken down into regional treatment options in a worldwide recommendation.'

Cornely brought colleagues from very different healthcare systems on board and coordinated with them. The recommendations were finalized in the course of a year. The now published, easily accessible instructions can help save lives. 'We are confident that the guidelines will significantly help reduce mortality from Mucorales infection,' says Cornely.

Further guidelines are in the making. Moreover, Cornely's group is working on the development and worldwide introduction of new molecular techniques for the diagnosis of mucormycosis and on the development of innovative drugs against invasive fungal diseases.

University of Cologne

Related Mortality Risk Articles from Brightsurf:

Certain pre-existing conditions may double, triple mortality risk for COVID-19
A large, international study of COVID-19 patients confirmed that cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, stroke and cancer can increase a patient's risk of dying from the virus.

Three common medications lower risk and mortality for lung cancer
Combined use of aspirin, statins, and metformin is associated with decreased lung cancer incidence and mortality, according to a study published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO).

Factors that raise the risk of mortality among children with several acute malnutrition
#AJCN review identifies independent predictors of inpatient mortality among children with severe acute malnutrition: HIV infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, shock, lack of appetite, and low weight-to-height ratio.

Risk factors for mortality in diabetic patients discharged from hospital identified
When patients are discharged from Hospital those with diabetes are at an increased risk of readmission and mortality, there are guidelines for discharging patients with diabetes to reduce these risks, however researchers from the Institute of Digital Healthcare at WMG, University of Warwick and Warwick Medical School have identified known risk factors for mortality in adult patients discharged from hospital with diabetes.

New analysis shows hydroxychloroquine does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and is associated with increased mortality when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin
A new meta-analysis of published studies into the drug hydroxychloroquine shows that it does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and using it combined with the antibiotic azithromycin is associated with a 27% increased mortality.

Antiepileptic drugs are associated with a higher risk of mortality in persons with Alzheimer's
The use of antiepileptic drugs is associated with a higher risk of death among persons with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

IVF-conceived children have somewhat higher mortality risk in their first weeks of life
Children conceived with assisted reproductive techniques including IVF have a somewhat higher mortality risk during their first weeks of life than children conceived naturally, according to a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Statins may lower mortality in high-risk prostate cancer patients
Statin use alone or with metformin is associated with lower prostate cancer mortality from all causes, among high-risk patients.

Hospital readmission policy did not increase patients' mortality risk
The Obamacare program intended to reduce the risk of patients being readmitted after hospitalizations for heart attacks, heart failure, and pneumonia has not caused an increase in mortality risk for patients in emergency departments or observational units, according to a new report.

Air pollution may increase mortality risk after heart transplant
Heart transplant recipients who live in areas where particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution levels reached above national limits for clean air had a 26% higher risk of mortality due to infection, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Read More: Mortality Risk News and Mortality Risk Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.