Future Directions for Clinical Respiratory Fungal Research

Mycopathologia. 2021 Oct;186(5):685-696. doi: 10.1007/s11046-021-00579-5. Epub 2021 Sep 29.


There has been a growing appreciation of the importance of respiratory fungal diseases in recent years, with better understanding of their prevalence as well as their global distribution. In step with the greater awareness of these complex infections, we are currently poised to make major advances in the characterization and treatment of these fungal diseases, which in itself is largely a consequence of post-genomic technologies which have enabled rational drug development and a path towards personalized medicines. These advances are set against a backdrop of globalization and anthropogenic change, which have impacted the world-wide distribution of fungi and antifungal resistance, as well as our built environment. The current revolution in immunomodulatory therapies has led to a rapidly evolving population at-risk for respiratory fungal disease. Whilst challenges are considerable, perhaps the tools we now have to manage these infections are up to this challenge. There has been a welcome acceleration of the antifungal pipeline in recent years, with a number of new drug classes in clinical or pre-clinical development, as well as new focus on inhaled antifungal drug delivery. The "post-genomic" revolution has opened up metagenomic diagnostic approaches spanning host immunogenetics to the fungal mycobiome that have allowed better characterization of respiratory fungal disease endotypes. When these advances are considered together the key challenge is clear: to develop a personalized medicine framework to enable a rational therapeutic approach.

Keywords: Allergy; Antifungals; Fungal; Immunotherapy; Infection; Personalized medicine; Respiratory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal
  • Fungi* / genetics
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Mycoses* / diagnosis
  • Mycoses* / drug therapy


  • Antifungal Agents