Aspergillus Newsletter

eNewsletter: July 24th 2012

Living with it, Working with it, Treating it

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In this issue

Fungus Air Purifiers - Best air cleaners for fungus and mould pollution.

 

5th Advances Against Aspergillosis

Useful links

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Networking

LinkedIn Aspergillus & Aspergillosis Group for professionals

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Our Sponsors

Patients Section

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Designer cards in aid of the Fungal Research Trust. £1.75 each and 75% of that goes to the FRT. Christmas is coming and Jill makes fantastic Christmas cards from £1 each. Order both here.


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Appeals

Steph Smith AppealHimalayan Challenge
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Sponsored links

We are always looking to increase sponsorship of the website. If you are interested in purchasing a sponsored link on the website (and a link on this mailing every month) Contact us

 

Demographics

The Aspergillus Website has 41000 registered members (7% Vets, 32% Medical, 23% Science) and provides up to 20 million page requests per year.

35% (8540) of professional members have purchasing authority.

 

Visiting IP addresses

59000 unique users (IP addresses) visit this website every month and the trend is consistantly upwards (see graph for IP addresses (vertical axis) accessing website versus time(horizontal axis)).

76000 visits every month - so some visitors visit more than once per month. 1.5 million pages are requested per month (approx 20 pages per visit).

This Newsletter is sent out to 22000 members every month.

5500 external website links point to the Aspergillus Website.

Our Blog currently receives 10000 requests a month

 

Website & Newsletter advertising

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Mobile Access

Mobile Content

 

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Medical Codes for Aspergillosis Inadequate

ICD-10Medical codes for the classification of diagnoses are important to get right as it is those codes that are typically used to calculate prevalence in any particular country. Prevalence has a significant effect on future funding for the treatment of a disease as those figures are often used to guide national health funding bodies when they are deciding how much to devote to the diagnosis and treatment of each disease. Accurate prevalence figures are also important for research, drug development and much more.

The available ICD-10 medical codes for aspergillosis (Blog article) are poor and we would like to help the National Aspergillosis Centre have these codes revised:

  • B44 Aspergillosis
      • Incl.: aspergilloma
    • B44.0 Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis
    • B44.1 Other pulmonary aspergillosis
    • B44.2 Tonsillar aspergillosis
    • B44.7 Disseminated aspergillosis
  • Incl.: Generalized aspergillosis
    • B44.8 Other forms of aspergillosis
    • B44.9 Aspergillosis, unspecified

We need an expert volunteer to help work with the coders to redevelop this set of codes - if you feel you can do this us please contact us at admin@aspergillus.org.uk

Public Health and Tropical Medicine Fellowships. It has come to our attention that there are a series of Fellowships funded by the Wellcome Trust available to applicants for low and middle income countries. We would like to encourage medical mycology applicants and would be happy to provide facilities and expertise for training at the National Aspergillosis Centre for applicants. We would like to identify applicants for these Fellowships and help facilitate application - please contact us at admin@aspergillosis.org.uk

 

Latest News and Articles

LIFE competition

Project LIFE 2012-judges announce shortlist

Fundraising: Gregory Hope's 3 peak challenge (The highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales climbed in 24 hours) in aid of the Fungal Research Trust takes place on 29th July - all donations are welcome.

Relief for Asthmatics: BBA Jetstream ExplanationMany people who live with respiratory conditions caused by aspergillus (e.g. aspergillosis, severe asthma) are experiencing hightened discomfort and even more hospital admissions due to the recent unusually very wet weather in the UK finally have some good news - the weather is improving in large parts of the UK as the jet stream finally shifts northwards.

Selected articles: (97 new articles added, of which 1 is a review and 2 historical value)

MYCOBIOSYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF SILVER NANOPARTICLES FROM ASPERGILLUS NIGER: A SOIL FUNGAL ISOLATE A. niger is successfully used to generate nanoparticles (green synthesis). In present study, ideal conditions for green synthesis of silver nanoparticles from Aspergillus niger were found to be temperature 37 0C, pH of 6.0 and substrate of 2.0 mM.

The Evolutionary Imprint of Domestication on Genome Variation and Function of the Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus oryzae Genomic analysis of what makes A. oryzae different from its wild ancestor A. flavus. A oryzae is entirely domesticated and has existed in human-mantiained culture for up to 9000 years.

Challenging Recommended Oral and Intravenous Voriconazole Doses for Improved Efficacy and Safety: Population Pharmacokinetics-Based Analysis of Adult Patients With Invasive Fungal Infections Higher oral than intravenous VRC doses, followed by individualized adjustments based on measured plasma concentrations, improve achievement of the therapeutic target that maximizes the probability of therapeutic response and minimizes the probability of neurotoxicity. These findings challenge dose recommendations for VRC.

Routine processing procedures for isolating filamentous fungi from respiratory sputum samples may underestimate fungal prevalence A total of 55 sputum samples from 41 patients with COPD were analyzed, comparing fungal recovery of five dilutions of sputa on two media. Isolation of A. fumigatus in culture was significantly higher using the research approach compared to the HPA standard method for mycological investigations (P < 0.001). There was also a significant difference in the recovery rate of A. fumigatus (P < 0.05) between media. This highlights the need for a standardized approach to fungal detection which is more sensitive than the method recommended by the HPA

Voriconazole and posaconazole improve asthma severity in allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and severe asthma with fungal sensitization Both voriconazole and posaconazole are potentially effective alternative treatment options for SAFS and ABPA and may improve asthma control and reduce severity, though larger prospective studies are required to support these retrospective study findings.

Reviews or Detailed Overviews

Cystic fibrosis: a mucosal immunodeficiency syndrome An extensive review from the viewpoint that CF is a disease where the patient's airways are permanently inflamed and as a result are susceptible to infection. Animal models are in place to investigate how we can develop new drugs to combate this problem.

Patients Website

ISSE

Homeowners in the UK can now contact an organisation (Institute of Specialist Surveyer and Engineers) that is trying to eradicate bad practice and overcharging in the mould asessment and remediation industry for homes. They are usually able to recommend a professional who will efficiently advise the housholder.

ISSE is a professional institute approved by UK Secretary of State and is a full member of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), both achievements require the highest standards of practice.

Facebook community progress

We have launched a major project to engage patients using the facilities available on Facebook. We have over 123 members and 'Friends' .

Reaching new people is of fundamental importance to our need to reach people who may be living with aspergillosis and not be supported or even diagnosed correctly.

Facebook Groups

Aspergillosis Support for Patients

Aspergillus & Aspergillosis

Aspergillus & Aspergillosis

Fungal Research Trust

Fungal Research Trust

 

Patients With Aspergillosis - Own StoriesPatient's Own Stories

So far we have collected 50 stories (64 members) which are being updated regularly, written by patients directly into the 'wiki' website at Patients with Aspergillosis. Our pages were read by an average of 30 people per day in June. More stories needed!

The Lady with the AspergillusAnother of our patients has taken up the mantle of authorship this month. Michael Chapman has written a book based on his life with aspergillosis visiting hospital many times entitled 'A Fly on the Ward'. In the book he tries to takes a lighter look at life as a chronic patient. A proportion of sales will be donated to the Fungal Research Trust

Also available at £1.94 on Amazon The Lady with the Aspergillus by Julie Michael is available as an ebook and readable on PC/Mac/Phone with downloaded software, and of course on Kindle. All profits go to the Fungal Research Trust.

Information Leaflets

Allergy UK have also recently updated an information leaflet on allergy to mould which is very good: Mould Allergy Advice

Travelling with Aspergillosis

At this time of year many people start to plan for holidays. People living with aspergillosis and those with severe asthma have a lot in common so there is a lot of useful advice here: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/advice-for-travellers/asthma.aspx

Aspergillosis Patients Meeting

The theme for this month's talk was on how to stop smoking. A high proportion of people living with aspergillosis are known to smoke cigarettes and we know that the damage caused by the habit leaves everyone more vulnerable to lung infections, so there is a good probability that smoking has contributed to aspergillosis in some cases.

It is also beneficial if you already have chronic aspergillosis to give up smoking as cigarette smoke is known to switch off some of the mechanisms our lungs have (cilia) to remove dust from our lungs, including allergens and fungal spores. This is one reason why smokers cough - they accumulate lots of debris in their lungs.

The good news is that once you quit smoking the cilia can regrow and start working again - so you get double the benefit as you have stopped breathing in toxins and your lungs start to work to remove dust again - in fact this can cause people who have recently quit smoking to cough even more at first! Unfortunately smoking in the longer term  still causes damage to other organs and makes you more susceptible to many different types of cancer - these effects are not reversible.

Our speaker was one of our Smoking Cessation spelialist nurses at UHSM, Cheryl Pearse.

View all of our talks on Slideshare. (Cheryl's talk)

Remember for the next meeting, remote users can watch and chat live during the meetings here.

You can see a listing of all talks here (on the right)

Local Support Meetings

We have a new Support Group based in the East Midlands of England and run by Kate Montali. The first meeting has already been successfully held.

We always need new groups, particularly in the North East of England and Scotland, Southern and Eastern areas of the US so any volunteers would be welcome - all you need to do is arrange a venue (can be a pub/civic centre - we recommend NOT using your home at first) and a date and we will help publicising your group. How often you meet depends on you.

Contact admin@aspergillus.org.uk for details.

Liverpool: Next date to be announced, "Wetherspoons", Childwall Fiveways Hotel, Queens Drive, Liverpool, L15 6XS. Map Facebook
London: Next date to be announced, video conference available. Google UK, Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9TQ. Map Facebook

West Midlands: Thursday 9th August, 2012 at 1:30pm, Dudley Golf Club, Rowley Regis, West Midlands B65 9DP. Map Facebook

East Midlands: Tuesday 31st July 2012 at Beans Coffee House in Higham Ferrers, Northants, NN10 8DZ Map Facebook

USA: San Francisco. Map Facebook
USA: Los Angeles. Met recently 1:30pm at Weiler's Deli. 22323 Sherman Way in West Hills. Map Facebook
USA: Vermont. Map Facebook

 

Laboratory Protocols

We have added BioChemiCalc. BiochemiCalc™ gives laboratory scientists a straightforward online environment in which to carry out biochemical calculations and provides a learning space for undergraduate students, for whom biochemical calculations are often a bit of a mystery

We are always looking for more for our collection - please send your suggestions here

Veterinary

Making Sense of Mycotoxins For years, researchers, scientists, and veterinarians have advised horse owners to be cautious and aware of mycotoxins in horse feeds, forages, and pastures. And while these tiny toxins can cause serious illnesses in horses, they can also be difficult for owners to understand.

At the 2012 Kentucky Equine Research Conference, held May 17-18 in Lexington, Ky., Ramesh C. Gupta, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ABT, professor and head of the toxicology department at Murray State University's Breathitt Veterinary Center, in Hopkinsville, Ky., gave an overview of mycotoxins that affect horses and the clinical signs, diagnostics, and treatments associated with mycotoxicosis.

You can now search all of our veterinary articles alongside all of the rest of our articles in the website Library

NOTE: Vets in the UK in need of assistance with acquiring antifungals please contact us here

 

LIFE WebsiteMake a donation using Virgin Money Giving

 

 

 

 You can donate through Virgin Money Giving. Through this organisation all of your donations goes straight to our charity. If you are a UK taxpayer we can reclaim the tax on your donation.

Will you donate just £1 (or $1 or €1) per newsletter to help us deliver the Aspergillus website and sustain research into Aspergillus related illnesses? That is just £12 for a year of newsletters. We need your help to continue providing up to date information and resources for patients and Doctors through the Aspergillus website.

NOTE: Direct donations made through this page have raised £1470 so far this year - Many thanks for helping us run the Aspergillus Website.

Attention Clinicians!

You may like to contribute to the following collaborative groups who are collecting clinical data on these rare infections:

Fungiscope is a global rare fungal infection registry, a working group of ISHAM.

International Pediatric Fungal Network (PFN) collating information on treatment of pediatric patients

AspICU2 is a web-based multicentre observational survey to assess the burden of aspergillosis and other fungi in critically ill patients.

Expert Patient Programme

Learn to manage long term illness better by taking part in a 6 week course. Originally designed at Stanford University, USA 20 years ago this programme has proven benefit for the patient, the carer and family. In the UK this is provided free of charge by the NHS.

Contact us for more information

Research Grant Awards

The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy is inviting applications for research projects to be funded from its Education Fund. The Education Fund is designated for research projects and initiatives of benefit to the field of antimicrobial chemotherapy (Closes 1 November 2012 )

European Union Executive Agency for Health and Consumers is inviting proposals for projects including Preventing Chronic Diseases 

Jobs

Sixteen are currently being advertised:

Postdoctoral Position: Systematic genetic analysis of fungal virulence
NIH-funded positions available in the Madhani laboratory (Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF) to apply systematic genetic analysis to the virulence of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans

2 Senior Staff Specialists or Staff Specialists (Infectious Diseases)
To provide high quality specialist Infectious Diseases clinical care to patients and to contribute to the organisation, management and provision of Infectious Diseases (including Infection Control) services

Clinical Research Fellows, National Aspergillosis Centre, Manchester, UK.
Over the next 2 years at least 2 vacancies will be available for Clinical Research Fellows at the National Aspergillosis Centre. The precise area of research has not been decided and will depend partly on the experience and interest of any successful candidate.

Ten 2-year post-doc positions, Marseille, France
Ten 2-year post-doc positions offered to work in the areas of Tropical Parasitology, Medical Mycology and Epidemiology of Chronic Infectious Diseases

Tenure-track investigators sought to work in the areas of Tropical Parasitology, Medical Mycology and Epidemiology of Chronic Infectious Diseases
Associated to full level professor, 4 year contracts will be signed with the possibility to integrate permanent positions within the IHU involving both University and Hospital responsibilities

Locum position - Staff Specialist in Infectious Diseases, Blacktown Hospital, Western Sydney, Australia
 A new 1.0 FTE position for a Staff Specialist in Infectious Diseases at Blacktown Hospital. 

    Advertise your vacancy free of charge on the Aspergillus Website here. *Optional donation to the Fungal Research Trust to cover costs incurred in providing this newsletter.


Conferences - coming up

Fungal Interactions [organized with the British Mycological Society]. Alicante, Spain. September 3-6th 2012

International Severe Asthma Forum 2012, 11-13th October 2012

Eindejaarsmeeting Réunion de fin d’année. Château du Lac – Genval 30 November, 1-2 December 2012

The European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID). 31st Annual Meeting to be held in Milan, Italy, May 28-June 1, 2013.

Many more here...

Courses and Workshops

We keep a listing of courses and workshops including 'one off' events and courses that repeat regularly. Course subjects are wide ranging and include medical mycology, lab ID, young scientists symposia and much more. Those coming up next are:

Invasive Mycoses: Evolving Challenges and Opportunities in Antifungal Therapy -A Case-based Discussion August 1st 2012

Introduction to Infection Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship August 24 - 26th 2012.

Medical Biofilm Techniques 2012 August 27 - 30th 2012. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Distance Learning Course in Biofilm September 4th - November 5th. Copenhagen, Denmark.

If you know of a course that should be added to this list please add it by contacting us here

Blog

NewsBites

  1. Everyone has a preexisting condition for something. They just don’t know it yet.
  2. Jens Frisvad Given Award for work on Aspergillus
  3. Advances Against Aspergillosis 5 - a review
  4. Deidre Wins the Day Against Mouldy Housing
  5. Alan Turing's 100th Birthday
  6. Aspergillosis of the Eye - New Potential for Treatment

Blogs

  1. Medical Codes Inadequate for Aspergillosis
  2. Using a Yeast to Fight a Mould: The Antifungal Fungus
  3. Undiagnosed Aspergillosis: New Diagnostic Tests Needed
  4. The Taming of Aspergillus
  5. Nine New Aspergillus Species Identified
  6. Undiagnosed Aspergillosis Man 'Looked Like He Had Been Shot!'
  7. UK to be a Centre for Renewable Chemicals Using Aspergillus
  8. Patients Not Taking Their Daily Medication costs US $300 billion
  9. What is the true cost of counterfeit drugs?
  10. Better Diagnostics Needed to Detect Aspergillosis
  11. Global prevalence of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis following pulmonary tuberculosis

 

Latest Books

Fungal Infection: Diagnosis & Management 4th Edition M Richardson and D Warnock

Die Fadenpilze Aspergillus Flavus Niger by Siebenmann F (Jul 2012)

Consultations in Infectious Disease: A Case Based Approach to Diagnosis and Management by Daniel Caplivski and W. Michael Scheld (31 May 2012)

Anti-fungal evaluation of medicinal plants: Aflatoxin producing Aspergillus species by Rajani Palaparthi, Sridevi Veluru and Manasa Machavarapu (9 Jun 2012)

Biocommunication of Fungi by Guenther Witzany (7 Jun 2012)

Books written by aspergillosis patients

The Lady with the Aspergillus by Julie Michael (9 Apr 2012)

A Fly on the Ward by Michael K Chapman (30 Apr 2012)

 

Latest Theses

View latest theses online. UK USA

Molecular detection of bloodstream pathogens in critical illness Author:  Al_griw, Huda Hm  Awarding Institution:  University of Manchester  Awarded:  2012

NB Links to theses may require library membership.

Technical Tips

We have now moved this to our Aspergillus & Aspergillosis Group in LinkedIn were we have a membership of over 250 professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Once a member you can start discussions and ask questions.

Searching for Aspergillus Information

RSS

New Feeds:

Twitter

You can now receive notification of updates to the Aspergillus Website on your mobile phone via SMS texting free of charge. Go to http://twitter.com/AspergillusWeb and open a Twitter account. Follow AspergillusWeb. 259 already follow AspergillusWeb.

If your network does not support Twitter SMS and you have a smartphone you can still monitor our messages over 3G or Wifi via free software and apps installed on your phone

Facebook Causes

The Fungal Research Trust have a Facebook Causes page with over 500 members. Give your support to the cause here.

LinkedIn

Join the Aspergillus & Aspergillosis group (250 members) to get in touch and keep in touch with your professional colleagues working in this field.

LinkedIn runs discussion forums in each group that all members can start up. Ask questions & debate with colleagues.

 

Thanks for reading!

Visit our website again soon.

The Aspergillus Team.

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