6 June : The Centre of Advanced Research in Medical Mycology & WHO Collaborating Centre of the Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh would organize the six days PGI-ICMR-WHO-IUMS 9th National training course from 7th June to 12th June, 2010. The theme of the workshop is ‘Diagnostic Medical Mycology – conventional and molecular techniques’. Doctors and faculty members from different institutes of the country would participate in this training course. The training course is of extreme importance as it is meant to disseminate the state of art laboratory aspects of fungal infections.
Developing countries are home of around five-sixth of world’s population and the countries are located in the tropical and sub-tropical regions where fungi thrive well in hot and humid climate. India among these developing countries has a large number of poor population with little modern medical facilities in one end and rapidly developing prosperity and health care on the other end. Below optimum hospital care practice in the economically deprived group, uncovered construction in the hospital premises, increase in patients with diabetes (> 30 millions) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) (3-6 millions), and introduction of modern transplant and management facilities in prospered group, have led to high increase in invasive fungal infections rate in hospitals of India. Large number of untrained health providers (quacks), misuse of steroids, intravenous drug abuse, availability of spurious medical care infusion sets, are additional risk factors for fungal infections in India. Thus, the number of persons at risk of fungal infections in India is staggering. However, the exact data regarding incidence/prevalence of fungal infections in India is sketchy at best. The deficiency of availability of data is due to there being few diagnostic mycology laboratories in India and lack of awareness of manifestations of mycotic diseases among majority clinicians. This course in diagnostic mycology every year is helping in the development of this discipline in this country. Already we could develop around 20 laboratories in this country. That has helped us in development of two national networks – zygomycosis network and candidemia network. These networks will help in understanding the epidemiology of those two diseases in this country.
The Mycology Division in the Department of Medical Microbiology has worked consistently in various field of fungal disease for the last three decades. It is working at present as the National Reference Laboratory in the field of medical mycology. WHO has made it is as the ‘WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Fungi of Medical Importance’. Recently this center has received another feather in its cap. It is now recognized as the ‘National Culture Collection for Pathogenic fungi’. With the sanction of Rs. 2.4 crore a state-of-art culture collection facility has been developed with the following objectives:
1. To set up a facility of International Standard for preservation and to handle deposits of medically important fungi.
2. To supply authentic strains to investigators in India
3. To provide service for identification of medically important fungi.
4. To create and maintain a database of preserved medically important fungi.
5. To initiate fungal taxonomy research at the facility and impart training on taxonomy to interested researchers.
The present National training course is the ninth in the series. This course has become so popular that large number of faculty members from different Institutes of the country expressed their desire to attend the workshop. With the aim of development of diagnostic mycology facilities in all corners of the country one participant has been selected from each city for the workshop. The delegates will come from Agartala, Ranchi, Bhopal, Lucknow, Delhi, Mumbai, Jodhpur, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Solapur, Ahmedabad etc.