FUNGAL INFECTIONS

Candidiasis is a type of infection caused due to Candida spp. Candida albicans is considered the most prevalent opportunistic pathogenic microorganism in the human species. It is a common fungus of the commensal flora in healthy individuals, causing both superficial and systemic infections in the oral mucosa, digestive system or vaginal tract. As a commensal organism, it lives in harmless equilibrium with its host.

However, C. albicans becomes a very virulent pathogen when the immune system is lowered or is severely weakened, being very frequent the occurrence of invasive candidiasis in AIDS sufferers, diabetics, patients undergoing intensive surgery or transplant recipients, newborn babies, the elderly and persons subject to antitumor antibiotic therapy or prolonged treatment. The clinical incidence of this opportunistic fungus has increased in recent years with an increasing segment of the population having altered immune defences, and it is equally a major health problem of hospital-associated type infections.

There are various types of infections caused due to candidiasis, such as oro-pharyngeal candidiasis, genital yeast infection/invasive infection and cutaneous candidiasis.

Increasing consumer awareness about candidiasis and growing number of treatment options are major factors fueling growth of the candidiasis market. This market is segmented by route of administration:

  • Oral
  • Parenteral
  • Topica

Rising awareness about the infections is expected to cause the growth of candidiasis market. Increasing focus of various governments in the APAC region, such as in highly populous China and India, on improving the healthcare infrastructure, along with increasing consumer awareness about the condition is expected to position the region on a high growth trajectory in the global candidiasis industry over the forecast period (2016-2024). As per stats released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 75% of women will suffer from at least one vaginal candida infection in their whole life, while 40-45% will suffer twice or more.

Furthermore, 46,000 cases of invasive candidiasis are reported each year in the U.S. High costs of antifungal drugs and also the poor results of these drugs inhibit market growth, especially in cost-sensitive emerging economies. Invasive Candida infection is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mortality rate is 19-24%, though these are not entirely accurate figures, these people usually suffer from other medical conditions as well.

In developed countries, increasing number of organ transplantation, use of catheters, artificial valves and joints causing to growth of Candida infection (biofilms). The North America and Europe regions account for the largest market share, due to high awareness about the infection, wide availability of treatment and easy access to OTC antifungal drugs creates a highly conducive environment for growth of the market.

On the other hand, Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are the second cause of invasive fungal disease and, 90% of these infections are described in patients with some immunodeficiency, which causes high mortality rates. According to data from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and the World Health Organization, between 70 and 90% of AIDS patients have neuropathological disorders, being cryptococcal meningitis the most common fungal infection that affects the central nervous system and the third most frequent neurological complication. C. neoformans infections such as C. gattii, are estimated to cause one million cases of cryptococcal meningitis a year among these patients, resulting in about 625,000 deaths (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, Atlanta). The highest percentage falls in sub-Saharan Africa where mortality is around 50-70%. In the USA and other developed countries, mortality stands at 12% (CDC, Atlanta, USA).

In short, the World Health Organization characterizes the AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) as one of the greatest threats to global public health today. It can affect anyone of any age in any country, threatening our ability to treat serious infections and potentially makes standard medical procedures too risky. Currently, there is a high number of deaths per year attributed to worldwide antimicrobial resistance, with a minimum increase of more than an additional 10 million planned for 2020-2030 if measures are not taken to address this problem.

Considering the many possibilities and needs of application of VG-01, different dosage forms and systems thereof are described:

Where do fungal infections appear and how can we fight them?