Mucormycosis, the COVID-19 factor and the pressing need for new treatments

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Prior to 2021, textbooks about fungal diseases would classify mucormycosis as a very rare infection. However, for the immunosuppressed, mucormycosis presents a severe and, in many cases, fatal invasive fungal infection.

The disease is caused by exposure to mucor mold, a fungus common to soil, plants, manure and decaying fruits and vegetables, as well as rural air, around the world. In addition, recovery of mucor from the mucus of healthy people is not uncommon. However, the unusual circumstances attributable to the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in the fungal infection reaching prominence in countries like India. There has been a large rise in cases, illness and sometimes death, in those who have contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus (1). While early diagnosis and the use of antifungals can increase the chances of recovery, global shortages and a lack of new medications pose a significant health challenge.

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