Aspergillosis and Triazoles
The environmental mold Aspergillus fumigatus is the primary cause of invasive aspergillosis, a fungal infection that accounts for over 15,000 hospitalizations each year at a cost of $1.3 billion in the United States. A. fumigatus can cause severe infection and is a major cause of mortality in seriously ill patients, including stem cell and organ transplant recipients. Treatment with triazoles, a class of antifungal medicine, has greatly improved survival, but resistant infections are increasingly reported worldwide. People with a triazole-resistant infection have over a 30% higher likelihood of dying than patients with an infection that can be treated with these medicines. Of particular concern are resistant infections that appear to be related to environmental use of triazole fungicides in agriculture rather than to previous patient use of antifungal medicine. Use of triazole fungicides in the environment increased more than fourfold from 2006 to 2016 in the United States, amplifying concerns about resistant A. fumigatus infections. CDC is exploring how this resistance emerges and spreads and how to address it.
Learn about other foodborne, waterborne, and fungal disease prevention priorities.