Epidemiology, Modern Diagnostics, and the Management of Mucorales Infections

J Fungi (Basel). 2023 Jun 12;9(6):659. doi: 10.3390/jof9060659.


Mucormycosis is an uncommon, yet deadly invasive fungal infection caused by the Mucorales moulds. These pathogens are a WHO-assigned high-priority pathogen group, as mucormycosis incidence is increasing, and there is unacceptably high mortality with current antifungal therapies. Current diagnostic methods have inadequate sensitivity and specificity and may have issues with accessibility or turnaround time. Patients with diabetes mellitus and immune compromise are predisposed to infection with these environmental fungi, but COVID-19 has established itself as a new risk factor. Mucorales also cause healthcare-associated outbreaks, and clusters associated with natural disasters have also been identified. Robust epidemiological surveillance into burden of disease, at-risk populations, and emerging pathogens is required. Emerging serological and molecular techniques may offer a faster route to diagnosis, while newly developed antifungal agents show promise in preliminary studies. Equitable access to these emerging diagnostic techniques and antifungal therapies will be key in identifying and treating mucormycosis, as delayed initiation of therapy is associated with higher mortality.

Keywords: DNA sequencing; Mucorales; antifungal agents; diagnostics; epidemiology; mucormycosis.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.