Invasive fungal diseases are key causes of morbidity and death in immunocompromised patients and represent major drivers of increased healthcare costs. For example, up to 10% of patients with hematological malignancies suffer from these infections after their immune systems are weakened by high-dose chemotherapy. Unable to mount an effective immune response to the infection, up to 50% of these patients die as a consequence.
Early diagnosis and management of invasive fungal infections are key to improving survival among immunocompromised patients, but current diagnostic procedures are limited, particularly in terms of sensitivity and specificity. A major challenge faced by researchers is the development of highly specific and sensitive imaging techniques that enable localization of the infection site and early diagnosis. Read more.