Pathogen fungi and “collaborative health”

In the new century, a crisis in the amphibian world has raised concerns about fungi. Frogpot, a newly discovered fungal species in 1998, is believed to have been one of the main killers of the dramatic decline in amphibian populations over the past half century. Many amphibians infected with frogpot bacteria undergo an extremely painful process of death – epidermis hyperplasia, massive molting until the final heartbeat stops to die. The disaster affected nearly 500 species in the amphibian kingdom and led to the extinction of more than 90 species.

However, frogpot bacteria are only a part of the fungus “killer”, pathogen fungi and plants, animals and humans have many “stories” to tell.

               Amphibians killed by frogpot infection

Pathogen Fungi and Synergy Health

For a long time, the public has been little known about the harm of pathogen fungi, humans against the pathogen fungus “war” has been in secret and fierce. The “aggression” of pathogen fungi seriously threatens the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom and human society. Correspondingly, our fight against pathogen fungi has been around three “fronts”: plant health, animal health, and human health. All along, these three “fronts” have been relatively independent in “real combat”, but in fact, plant health, animal health and human health “trinity” is interrelated.

Pathogen fungi and plant health: Plants make up a major part of the producers, not only the cuisine of humans and the vast majority of animals, but also the “food” of many pathogenic fungi. Plant health involves food supply, ecological balance and climate change. More than 70% of plant killers are fungi, and each year plant pathogen fungi bring huge food and property losses to humans. Crops affected by plant pathogen fungi include food products commonly found on rice, rice, corn and other staples. Of these, rice pestilence caused by pathogenic fungi alone can cause a global rice yield of 10-30%, which is enough to feed 60 million people. But this is just the tip of the iceberg for the remaining more than 8,000 plant pathogen fungi. Plant pathogen fungi also seriously threaten ecosystems. Chestnut disease strains have led to the deaths of billions of American chestnuts, and the mass deaths of trees can lead to ecosystem imbalances and increase the greenhouse effect, which in turn has led to the opening of “gates” in many high-latitude areas to other animals and human pathogens.

Rice withered by rice plague bacteria

Pathogen fungi and animal health: Few animals can escape the “magic claws” of pathogen fungi. The scourge of animal pathogens not only sweeps through the amphibian kingdom, but also affects many animals, from insects to mammals. Fungal-induced bat white nose disease has brought many bat species in North America to the brink of extinction, and many bats act as “pollinators” of plants. It is not difficult to imagine that a disaster in bats is likely to affect the survival and reproduction of some plants, resulting in ecosystem imbalances. Many animal pathogenfungi have “rich diets” in which people and animals are equal. Not only can they infect animals, but they can also pose a great threat to human health. For example, an outbreak of Gertrelococcal disease on Vancouver Island, Canada, has been a disaster for many humans, livestock and wildlife. Therefore, animal pathogenic fungi and plants, ecology, human health also have an inseparable relationship.

Pathogen fungal infections have a very high fatality rate for wild animals

Pathogen fungi and human health: pathogen fungi in our body also owe “tired blood debt.” Around 300 million people worldwide suffer from severe fungal infections each year, of which more than 1.6 million lives are swallowed up by fungal infections, and the current extreme shortage of first-line antifungal drugs has led to high rates of cofungal infection deaths. Even more frightening is that, in the long time and our “fighting wisdom and courage” process, the human pathogen fungus is constantly breaking their own “upper limit.” For example, a pathogenic fungus called newborn cryptococcal is generally considered to be the main infection of immunodeficiency patients, but in china, it has developed a “special hobby”, with a tendency to significantly infect immuno-sound population. In addition, in recent years, multi-drug-resistant “super fungus” in the global epidemic, resulting in an already very serious fungal prevention and control situation. Not only that, but many fungi can use sexual reproductive processes to “transform” their genomes efficiently, enabling the rapid emergence of a variety of “superkiller” offspring in nature. This means that in order to gain an advantage against fungi, we can’t just move smoothly, we need to speed up significantly.

From left to right, for the following, itemy, candida, and cryptococcal

Synergy health – good policy to deal with pathogenic fungi: the threat posed to humans by pathogenic fungi through plants, animals, ecological environment and other “multi-front” unfolded, any “front” failure will cause immeasurable damage to mankind, the above case warns us, to ensure the ecological environment around us and the health of animals and plants, It is an effective means of resisting fungal attacks. As Dr. William Karesh, as cited by The Washington Post in 2003, put it: “The health of humans, poultry, and wildlife cannot be talked about separately, and the world needs to work together for Health, which requires a collective effort from experts from different disciplines”. “One Health” as a world-wide integrated health concept, means multidisciplinary, multi-national cooperation for human health, animal health, plant health, ecological environment health constitute a healthy whole efforts. Therefore, “One health” is a “good medicine” to address the threat of pathogen fungi.

One Health Seminar – Future Directions for Pathogen Fungal Research

In response to the threat of pathogens and better “collaborative health” for humans, animals, animals, and the environment, the American Society for Microbiology held its second fungal symposium on “One Health” in Washington, D.C., in October 2017. The conference brought together more than two dozen internationally renowned experts and scholars from the field of mycology to form an interdisciplinary group of experts to discuss how to deal with humans, animals and plant pathogen fungi. The seminar was chaired by Professor Joseph Heitman of Duke University, Dean of the School of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University. Focusing on the enormous impact of pathogenic fungi on humans, focusing on the enormous impact of pathogenic fungi on humans, the conference focused on “One Health: Fungal Pathogens of Humans, Animals, and Plants”, summarized the types of pathogenic fungi that pose a serious threat to human life and agricultural safety, analyzed the serious challenges that fungi pose to agriculture, species diversity and human health, and summarized current strategies for the prevention and treatment of fungal diseases. Experts at the seminar agreed that the fight against pathogenic fungi should focus not only on human health, but also on the ecological environment, flora and fauna, and human “collaborative health”. Based on this, the conference concluded that future research on pathogen fungi requires cross-country, cross-country collaboration between global mycologists. For more information, see Conference Report One Health: Fungal Pres of Humans, Animals, and Plants (

Summary Report of the Seminar on Mycology

New “baker’s dozen” – a new journey in the pathogen fungus world

Focusing on the impact of pathogenic fungi on “collaborative health”, the seminar put forward 13 (baker’s dozen) recommendations for the future development of the pathogen fungal community, planned a new journey of the future pathogen fungal community, and suggested the future focus of mycology research, fungal resource sharing, mycology talent development and development direction as follows:

1. Report and track fungal infections that cause disease in humans, animals and plants

2. Conduct a continuous global survey of fungal species

3. Survey of fungi in the tissue-human microbial group

4. Support and maintenance of related fungal genome databases

5. Continuous investigation and collection of resources to support fungal species

6. Research and development of new fungal diagnostic and therapeutic means

7. Investigation of the molecular mechanism of fungal resistance

8. Continuousand and strengthen the cultivation of talents in fungal physiology, classical mycology, genetics, genomics and pathogens

9. Identification of new pathogenic fungi in people, animals and plants with a view to prejudging and controlling malignant fungal outbreak infections

10, complete the genome sequencing of more fungal species

11. Research and development of new prevention strategies for plant fungal diseases

12. Find effective ways to protect frogs, ferns, bats and other animals from fungi

13. Promote and support discussions and exchanges among fungalscientists in different research directions to promote multidisciplinary collaborative development


In the face of the threat of pathogen fungi, it is clear that the research areas of pathogen fungi cannot be separated. In the face of the global “big health problems” caused by pathogen fungi, the study of global pathogenic fungi urgently needs a cross-cutting, cross-regional planning and co-ordination. China is a hard-hit area affected by pathogenic fungi, and it is urgent to strengthen the prevention and control of pathogenic fungi. On the one hand, we should actively advocate international exchanges and cooperation, learn from foreign pathogenic fungi prevention and control system, on the other hand, we also urgently need to strengthen popular science publicity work, improve public awareness of pathogenic fungi and their harms, and carry out and strengthen the domestic pathogen fungus field of resource information sharing, innovative research, personnel training and platform construction, Establish and improve the prevention and treatment of pathogenic fungi major diseases early warning, molecular detection and diagnostic treatment as one of the integrated prevention and control, so as to finally keep humans away from the troubles of pathogenic fungi.

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