Global Catastrophic Threats from the Fungal Kingdom: Fungal Catastrophic Threats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The fungal kingdom poses major catastrophic threats to humanity but these are often unappreciated and minimized, in biological threat assessments. The causes for this blind spot are complex and include the remarkable natural resistance of humans to pathogenic fungi, the lack of contagiousness of human fungal diseases, and the indirectness of fungal threats, which are more likely to mediate their destructive effects on crops and ecosystems. A review of historical events reveals that the fungal kingdom includes major threats to humanity through their effects on human health, agriculture, and destruction of materiel. A major concern going forward is the likelihood that physiological adaptations by fungal species to global warming will bring new fungal threats. Fungal threats pose significant challenges specific to this group of organisms including the potential for intercontinental spread by air currents, capacity for rapid evolution, a paucity of effective drugs, the absence of vaccines, and increasing drug resistance. Preparedness against bio-catastrophic risks must include consideration of the threats posed by fungi, which in turn requires a greater investment in mycology-related research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent topics in microbiology and immunology
Volume424
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Fungi
Mycology
Global Warming
Physiological Adaptation
Mycoses
Optic Disk
Agriculture
Drug Resistance
Innate Immunity
Ecosystem
Vaccines
Air
Health
Research
Pharmaceutical Preparations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

@article{251f2b1868ac4abf8e6703e0c57baf4a,
title = "Global Catastrophic Threats from the Fungal Kingdom: Fungal Catastrophic Threats",
abstract = "The fungal kingdom poses major catastrophic threats to humanity but these are often unappreciated and minimized, in biological threat assessments. The causes for this blind spot are complex and include the remarkable natural resistance of humans to pathogenic fungi, the lack of contagiousness of human fungal diseases, and the indirectness of fungal threats, which are more likely to mediate their destructive effects on crops and ecosystems. A review of historical events reveals that the fungal kingdom includes major threats to humanity through their effects on human health, agriculture, and destruction of materiel. A major concern going forward is the likelihood that physiological adaptations by fungal species to global warming will bring new fungal threats. Fungal threats pose significant challenges specific to this group of organisms including the potential for intercontinental spread by air currents, capacity for rapid evolution, a paucity of effective drugs, the absence of vaccines, and increasing drug resistance. Preparedness against bio-catastrophic risks must include consideration of the threats posed by fungi, which in turn requires a greater investment in mycology-related research.",
author = "Arturo Casadevall",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/82_2019_161",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "424",
pages = "21--32",
journal = "Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology",
issn = "0070-217X",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Global Catastrophic Threats from the Fungal Kingdom

T2 - Fungal Catastrophic Threats

AU - Casadevall, Arturo

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - The fungal kingdom poses major catastrophic threats to humanity but these are often unappreciated and minimized, in biological threat assessments. The causes for this blind spot are complex and include the remarkable natural resistance of humans to pathogenic fungi, the lack of contagiousness of human fungal diseases, and the indirectness of fungal threats, which are more likely to mediate their destructive effects on crops and ecosystems. A review of historical events reveals that the fungal kingdom includes major threats to humanity through their effects on human health, agriculture, and destruction of materiel. A major concern going forward is the likelihood that physiological adaptations by fungal species to global warming will bring new fungal threats. Fungal threats pose significant challenges specific to this group of organisms including the potential for intercontinental spread by air currents, capacity for rapid evolution, a paucity of effective drugs, the absence of vaccines, and increasing drug resistance. Preparedness against bio-catastrophic risks must include consideration of the threats posed by fungi, which in turn requires a greater investment in mycology-related research.

AB - The fungal kingdom poses major catastrophic threats to humanity but these are often unappreciated and minimized, in biological threat assessments. The causes for this blind spot are complex and include the remarkable natural resistance of humans to pathogenic fungi, the lack of contagiousness of human fungal diseases, and the indirectness of fungal threats, which are more likely to mediate their destructive effects on crops and ecosystems. A review of historical events reveals that the fungal kingdom includes major threats to humanity through their effects on human health, agriculture, and destruction of materiel. A major concern going forward is the likelihood that physiological adaptations by fungal species to global warming will bring new fungal threats. Fungal threats pose significant challenges specific to this group of organisms including the potential for intercontinental spread by air currents, capacity for rapid evolution, a paucity of effective drugs, the absence of vaccines, and increasing drug resistance. Preparedness against bio-catastrophic risks must include consideration of the threats posed by fungi, which in turn requires a greater investment in mycology-related research.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85075805549&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85075805549&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/82_2019_161

DO - 10.1007/82_2019_161

M3 - Article

C2 - 31119433

AN - SCOPUS:85075805549

VL - 424

SP - 21

EP - 32

JO - Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology

JF - Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology

SN - 0070-217X

ER -