The inauguration of the European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM) Centre of Excellence


The University Hospital of South Manchester is to become the first hospital in the UK and Europe to be recognised as a centre of excellence for the diagnosis and treatment of aspergillosis and other fungal  infections.

The inauguration of the European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM) Centre of Excellence scheme is taking place at the University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) on Wednesday January 11, 2017.

The Mycology Reference Centre Manchester (MRCM) based at The University of Manchester, in partnership with the National Aspergillosis Centre (NAC) at UHSM’s Wythenshawe Hospital, will be the first recipients of this award. It recognises their collaboration in better understanding medical issues related to mycology – the scientific study of fungi.

The MRCM, under the leadership of Professor Malcolm Richardson provides a specialist National Health Service Medical Mycology Reference Service to patients throughout the UK and acts as a focus for national and international training and research in Medical Mycology in the UK.  The National Aspergillosis Centre (NAC), the first national centre for aspergillosis in the world, is based at Wythenshawe Hospital. This service, led by Professor David Denning, benefits patients across the UK, by building on the extensive expertise in chronic fungal lung infections with sophisticated laboratory support provided by the MRCM.

Professor Richardson explains:

“While there have been some significant improvements in diagnostic tests and therapeutic choices for fungal diseases over the last 15 years, access to appropriate diagnostics and treatment is far from universal within Europe and globally. In many countries inadequate expertise in clinical management and diagnostic capability are major issues that need to be addressed. The network of ECMM Centres of Excellence will direct clinicians, patients, and their relatives to an appropriate and capable centre that can provide advice and training. We are delighted and honoured that Manchester is to be the first.”

Professor Denning adds;

“This partnership has allowed expansion of our clinical and research capabilities which provides us with us with a strong base to collaborate with other European Centres of Excellence and beyond. Both centres contribute to The University of Manchester Masters programme in Medical Mycology and are integrated into the Manchester Fungal Infection Network alongside the Manchester Fungal Infection Group, which carries out basic and applied research on a variety of fungal pathogens. A variety of on-line resources provided by the first ECMM Centre of Excellence include a wealth of educational and training materials.”

For more information please contact Susan Osborne, Director of Communications at The Goodwork Organisation on 07836 339208.

You can now watch a recording of this event here



The European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM) is the overarching organisation of the National Medical Mycology Societies in Europe and works towards the unification of all European scientists interested in medical issues related to mycology.

Over 300 million people of all ages in all countries are estimated to suffer from a serious fungal infection each year. Over 1,660,000 people are estimated to die, and millions more require hospital care. Like malaria (438,000 deaths) and tuberculosis (1,800,000 deaths) many deaths from fungal disease are avoidable. Most serious fungal infections are ‘hidden’, occurring as a consequence of other health problems such as asthma, AIDS, cancer, transplantation, or immunosuppression.

Annual fungal disease burden estimates have recently been estimated in the UK, based on a population in 2011 of 63,182,000 people: invasive candidiasis 5142 cases; Candida peritonitis complicating chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis 88; Pneumocystis pneumonia 207-587 cases, invasive aspergillosis, excluding critical care patients 2901-2912, and invasive aspergillosis in critical care patients 387-1345 patients, <100 cryptococcal meningitis cases. The number of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis cases in people with asthma is estimated to be 178,000 (50,000-250,000) and 873 adults and 278 children with cystic fibrosis. Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis is estimated to affect 3,600 patients, based on burden estimates post tuberculosis and in sarcoidosis. All require specialised testing for diagnosis, and delays or missed diagnosis often lead to death, long term illness, psychological problems and reduced work capacity.