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1. Mycology laboratory diagnostic capacity in the UK: a survey
A new survey is being launched as part of a collaborative project between Public Health England and the UK Clinical Mycology Network, on behalf of the British Society for Medical Mycology and the English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance.
ESPAUR’s antifungal consumption and resistance surveillance subgroup highlighted, in the 2016 ESPAUR report , that a survey of laboratory testing capabilities for clinically significant fungal pathogens was necessary. An earlier national survey on the compliance and implementation of the BSMM standards of care for patients with invasive fungal infections was performed in UK hospitals in 2007 . However, in the subsequent 10 years, there have been new guidelines published on fungal diagnostics, as well as antifungal drug monitoring, warranting a follow-up survey.
The mycology laboratory diagnostic capacity survey – developed by the subgroup – aims to ascertain the current mycology laboratory practice and capabilities throughout the UK. It covers awareness of the 2015 BSMM standards for diagnosis of serious fungal diseases  and identification of emerging fungal pathogens (such as Candida auris ). The survey will be distributed through a number of professional groups and will open on 28 March 2017 and close on 8 May 2017.
The results of this survey will help to raise awareness of antifungal diagnostics, identify areas of improvement for the management of serious fungal diseases, and inform PHE’s antifungal surveillance activities. Initial results from the survey will be published later this year as part of ESPAUR’s outputs.
All UK clinical laboratories are invited to participate in the survey by clicking on the link below. The survey may take 10-15 minutes to complete and should be completed in one sitting: Click Here To Take The Survey
For further information on the survey and its collaborators please refer to the PHE website or contact email@example.com.
- PHE (2016).English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance (ESPAUR): 2016 report
- Schelenz S, et al (2009). Standards of care for patients with invasive fungal infections within the United Kingdom: a national audit. J Infect. Feb 58(2): 145-53.
- Schelenz S, et al on behalf of the British Society for Medical Mycology (2015). British Society for Medical Mycology best practice recommendations for the diagnosis of serious fungal diseases, Lancet Infect Dis. 15(4) 461-474.
- PHE (2015). Candida auris identified in England. HPR 10(21).
2. Infection reports in this issue of HPR
The following reports are published in this issue of HPR. The links below are to the relevant webpage collections or publications.
2.1 HCAI/bacteraemia reports
2.2 Pertussis in England: fourth quarter and annual reports for 2016
Incidence of laboratory confirmed pertussis remained elevated in individuals aged one year and over during the October-December 2016 quarter. The latest quarterly report nevertheless shows that, despite these high levels of activity, cases in infants under three months of age, being targeted by the vaccination programme in pregnant women, continue to remain low compared with the same period at the time of the 2012 peak . This underlines the importance of the vaccination programme for pregnant women. Importantly, coverage of the programme increased in the fourth quarter 2016 and efforts to improve coverage further should continue. An annual report on laboratory-confirmed pertussis is also published in this issue of HPR .