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Improving outcome of fungal diseases - Guiding experts and patients towards excellence.

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Invasive fungal infections are on the rise and during recent years understanding the epidemiology of fungal infections improved. Over 1 billion people are affected and 25 million patients are at imminent risk of severe organ damage or death due to fungal infection. The European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM), founded in 1993, is the roof organisation of 23 National Medical Mycology Societies in Europe. ECMM fights fungal infections at various levels, by creating and distributing scientific knowledge and promoting scientific exchange. In response to the increasing prevalence and management complexity of invasive fungal infections, ECMM recently launched three additional initiatives ( (i) ECMM together with other European infectious diseases societies created a comprehensive set of European guidelines for the diagnostic and therapeutic management of invasive fungal infections. (ii) ECMM founded the ECMM Academy awarding fellow status (FECMM) to outstanding researchers who advanced medical mycology. The academy aims at strengthening networking activities between these researchers. (iii) Centres throughout the world can apply for ECMM Excellence Center Status. Following such application on site auditing of up to three levels of mycological work (clinical, microbiological, epidemiological/clinical trials) evaluates the excellence of a centre along predefined criteria. All three initiatives share a common ambition; they aim at improving outcome of fungal diseases through guiding experts and patients towards excellence. Acknowledging fungal infections as a global problem, all three initiatives explicitly reach out beyond European borders.

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