Review

Worldwide emergence of resistance to antifungal drugs challenges human health and food security

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Science  18 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6390, pp. 739-742
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap7999

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Abstract

The recent rate of emergence of pathogenic fungi that are resistant to the limited number of commonly used antifungal agents is unprecedented. The azoles, for example, are used not only for human and animal health care and crop protection but also in antifouling coatings and timber preservation. The ubiquity and multiple uses of azoles have hastened the independent evolution of resistance in many environments. One consequence is an increasing risk in human health care from naturally occurring opportunistic fungal pathogens that have acquired resistance to this broad class of chemicals. To avoid a global collapse in our ability to control fungal infections and to avoid critical failures in medicine and food security, we must improve our stewardship of extant chemicals, promote new antifungal discovery, and leverage emerging technologies for alternative solutions.

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