Fungi as Human Pathogens

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    IT is fortunate that in Great Britain there are relatively few outbreaks of human disease caused by fungi such maladies are, however, much more common in the warmer parts of Europe and in the United States, where considerable study has been devoted to the diseases and their causal agents. Results of these investigations are published in the journal Mycopathologia (Dr. W. Junk, den Haag, Holland). The subject brings its own problems, particularly in naming and classification, some of which are discussed in a paper by T. Benedek (4, Fasc. 3 ; Dec. 1948). It is concluded that the dermatophytes cannot well be classified by the usual methods of botanical mycologists, and that it is preferable to retain the lour form genera originally suggested by Sabouraud. This retains the tradition of the Fungi Imperfecti, where species are classified merely from the form of their asexual spores until the sexual forms are discovered. Mycologists will also find, in the same number of Mycopathologia, useful papers on the yeast flora of grapes, must and wine (R. Ciferri and O. Verona), and of the Vegetation waters' separated from olive oil (R. Ciferri, O. Verona and F. Luparini). The blastomycetic microflora of fermenting tobacco is described by M. Giovannozzi. An investigation of antibiotic substances against Gram-negative micro-organisms has been made by G. Magni and A. Villa, and G. Magni has studied the biological significance of the pseudomycelium of asporogenous yeasts. W. J. Nickerson and O. F. Jillson also discuss the interaction of pathogenic fungi in culture, with reference to cell division in the dimorphism of pathogenic fungi. Specialist papers on mycopathology also appear ; it is in no invidious sense that they are not reviewed here in detail. There are far more general mycologists than mycopathologists in Great Britain ; but the former will nevertheless find much of interest in Mycopathologia.

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    Fungi as Human Pathogens. Nature 163, 715 (1949) doi:10.1038/163715c0

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