Deciphering the fungus-host-microbiota interplay to improve the management of fungal infections
Fungal infections have a major impact on human health, infecting about 2 billion people and killing more people each year than malaria or breast cancer. In particular, Candida species impose a high clinical and economic burden upon the European population. They frequently cause fatal hospital-acquired bloodstream infections. They also cause oral thrush and vaginitis. The initiation and severity of a Candida infection depends on an intricate interplay between the infecting fungal strain and the individual’s immune status and microbiota, all of which can display significant variability. Therefore, for the first time, FunHoMic integrates experts in fungal pathogenesis, immunology, microbial ecology and ‘omics technologies to train 13 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). They will define and exploit this Fungal-Host-Microbiota interplay to identify novel biomarkers for the stratification of a patient’s risk of serious fungal infection. This will pave the way for precision medicine in patient management through preventive or therapeutic interventions using antifungals, immune modulators or Live Biotherapeutic Products (LBPs). To achieve this vision FunHoMic unites academic partners from France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and UK, a French Technology Research Institute with cutting-edge ‘omics technology platforms and three SMEs from The Netherlands, Belgium and France.