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Research planned on deadly fungus

Researchers at the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia and local physicians will form a new research team to gather epidemiological data on an airborne fungus that can lead to death in people with compromised immune systems, such as those suffering from HIV/AIDS and leukaemia.

While no data exist on Cambodia’s prevalence of infections and deaths caused by Aspergillus – and the infection it causes, Aspergillosis – nearby countries see millions of cases every year. Vietnam sees some 2.4 million and Thailand some 1.2 million every year, said Dr Yannick Caron, who will lead the new team.

Caron said the participating research team is just beginning to kick off its work.

“One of the aims of the project is to provide epidemiological data like prevalence and the incidences of the disease,” he said.

Researchers also want to identify the various Aspergillus species present in the Kingdom, Caron said.

Physicians at Khmer-Soviet Friendship, Preah Kossamak and Calmette hospitals will take part in the research. The hospitals didn’t respond to questions about how many suspected Aspergillosis patients they treat.

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