Fungal infections - an underestimated risk

Superficial fungal infections are widespread. But life-threatening invasive fungal infections are also on the rise worldwide and pose an underestimated risk to human health. Worldwide, they are responsible for over 1.5 million deaths annually. In Europe, mainly filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus and yeasts of the Candida genus cause invasive fungal infections. We are the only research institute that focuses on fungi as infectious agents in humans comprehensively in different disciplines and at all levels of complexity - from molecular interactions to infection models in animals.

Despite the alarming situation, diagnosis of fungal infections is difficult and treatment options are limited. They are based on few antifungal substance classes against which we are increasingly observing resistance. The development of new anti-infective strategies requires that we understand the molecular mechanisms of the infections in detail. The Leibniz-HKI has extensive expertise in the relevant research areas and works closely with clinical partners.