Limiting the negative effects related to fungi, fungal spores and pollen
We study moulds and yeasts of biomedical interest, such as pathogenic strains for humans or animals, as well as elements in our environment that cause allergies or produce toxins. We develop rapid and effective identification methods to detect these problematic fungi and so improve the diagnosis and surveillance of the related diseases.
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We maintain and develop a collection of fungi and yeasts of biomedical interest. This collection (known as BCCM/IHEM) is part of the Belgian Co-ordinated Collection of Micro-organisms (BCCM). We are an international reference point for, inter alia, the identification of fungal strains and the development of diagnostic methods.
We participate in the international ‘Neqas ringtest’ for the identification of filamentous fungi and yeasts, as well as for the sensivity tests against antifungal drugs of these organisms.
We rely on scientific research to better understand the mechanisms of resistance of certain fungi to anti-fungal medicines. Finally, when there is an epidemic of ringworm of the scalp1 in children, our expertise is used to identify the source of the infection and so contain the epidemic as quickly as possible.
Within the framework of our aerobiology programme, we have a network of five stations spread across the national territory for monitoring pollen and fungal spores. Every day, we measure the levels of allergenic pollen2 and fungal spores present in the air. We publish this information on our website,www.airallergy.be, so that doctors and patients suffering from allergies can take the most appropriate preventive and curative measures.
1 Ringworm of the scalp is a fungal infection, also called tinea capitis
2Between 01/01 and 30/09 only
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We have long experience in environmental microbiology and mycological analyses.
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We are member of the ‘Belgian Society for Human and Animal Mycology’, of the ‘Societé Française de Mycologie’ (SFM) as well as of the ‘International Society for Human and Animal Mycology’ (ISHAM). The BCCM/IHEM collection is member of ECCO (the Europen Culture Collection Organisation) and WFCC (World Federation of Culture Collections). Our aerobiological network is part of EAN (European Aerobiological Network).