Strengthening of surveillance and diagnostic capacity for fungal diseases in Colombia

Project: Research/Creation Project

Project Details


Fungal diseases cause over 1.5 million deaths worldwide; despite these numbers, in countries like Colombia they are still considered as neglected diseases, although the majority of deaths by fungal pathogens are preventable. Most serious mycoses occur as a consequence of baseline conditions such as asthma, AIDS, cancer, transplantations, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has exposed the threat of emergence of bacterial and fungal antibiotic resistant health-care associated infections, which may have increased their burden, with elevated numbers of infections characterized by higher levels of Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), not only in patients but also in healthcare facilities. Precise and on-time diagnosis of fungal diseases allows reducing both illness and death and improving clinical outcome of those at risk, which will in turn improve public health for the population. Colombia is partitioned into 33 territorial units known as departments. Because the report of most mycoses is currently not mandatory (only C. auris cases and COVID-19 associated mucormycosis are notifiable diseases), the epidemiology and the real impact of these diseases in the Colombian population is poorly understood. Although there are public health laboratories in the main regions of the country, they only monitor a small group of diseases and generate reports or channel the referral of samples or isolates to the National Institute of Health (INS). The purpose of this project is to strengthen the laboratory-based surveillance of fungal diseases in Colombia, to increase the surveillance and diagnostic capacity for mycoses, target and train healthcare professionals, improve the laboratory capacity of the INS as National Reference Center, all of these activities in collaboration with the Mycotic Diseases Branch of CDC and academic institutions in Colombia, such as Universidad del Rosario and Universidad de Antioquia.
Effective start/end date9/30/219/29/26

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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