WHO Releases Full List Of 19 Health-Threatening Fungi

New Delhi: People with a weakened immune system or suffering from chronic lung disease, TB, HIV and cancer are susceptible to fungal infections. Critically-ill patients receiving treatments in ICUs are also at risk of developing severe complications from them. During COVID pandemic, the incidence of comorbid invasive fungal infections saw a rise. There is an emerging global health threat of invasive fungal diseases.

“Emerging from the shadows of the bacterial antimicrobial resistance pandemic, fungal infections are growing, and are ever more resistant to treatments, becoming a public health concern worldwide,” said Dr Hanan Balkhy, WHO Assistant Director-General, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

The World Health Organization (WHO) has now published a report highlighting the first-ever list of fungal “priority pathogens” – a catalogue of the 19 fungi that represent the greatest threat to public health. The WHO fungal priority pathogens list (FPPL) aims to focus and drive further research and policy interventions to strengthen the global response to fungal infections and antifungal resistance.

“The WHO FPPL list is divided into three categories: critical, high and medium priority and the fungal pathogens in each priority category are so ranked primarily due to their public health impact and/or emerging antifungal resistance risk. While recognizing these critical pathogens as of public health concern globally, WHO emphasises that the FPPL must be interpreted and contextualized carefully, as some endemic pathogens could be of more concern in their respective regional or local contexts,” says WHO.

List of health-threatening fungi released by WHO:

Critical priority group

– Cryptococcus neoformans

– Candida auris

– Aspergillus fumigatus

– Candida albicans


High priority group

– Nakaseomyces glabrata

– Histoplasma spp.

– Eumycetoma causative agents

– Fusarium spp

– Candida parapsilosis

– Mucorales

– Candida tropicalis


Medium Priority Group

– Scedosporium spp

– Cryptococcus gattii

– Lomentospora prolificans

– – Talaromyces marneffei

– Coccidioides spp

– Pneumocystis jirovecii

– Pichia kudriavzeveii (Candida krusei)

– Paracoccidioides spp

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