Fungi are one of the most important and diverse groups of organisms on the planet, having a dual impact on humanity. They adversely impact human and animal health and can be a scourge to agriculture, while in turn serving as a beneficial source
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Fungi are one of the most important and diverse groups of organisms on the planet, having a dual impact on humanity. They adversely impact human and animal health and can be a scourge to agriculture, while in turn serving as a beneficial source for foods and beverages, new medications, and biocontrol. There are approximately 1.5 million different species of fungi on Earth, which largely reside in soil and plant. They are also readily found on human skin and within the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tract, yet only about 300 species are known to make people sick [1,2]. Fungi are bountiful in the environment and we encounter them everyday, usually in the form of freely dispersed spores and hyphal fragments that we breath-in. Typically, encounters with fungi are harmless, as the human immune systems is well poised to handle such interactions. However, some fungal species pose significant health risks, such as endemic mycoses or those producing toxins like mycotoxins. Most importantly, immune dysfunction can lead to serious life-threatening diseases or severe fungal-induced allergic diseases such as asthma or other chronic conditions . In fact, most invasive fungal diseases are associated with changes in the host such as immunosuppression, antibiotic-mediated disruption of microflora, or other immunosuppressing conditions resulting from HIV/AIDS and hematologic malignancies [3,4]. Such diseases require therapy with antifungal agents. Yet, there are only limited classes available to treat invasive fungal infection, and emerging drug resistance further restricts treatment options. In some cases, agents used to control agriculturally important moulds are the same class as those used to treat humans, and de novo
resistance can emerge from the environment . Fungi are not always easy to detect and cryptic chronic infections in the form of unculturable organisms can confound diagnosis . [...]