Fungal diseases have been on the rise, with over 1 billion cases of fungal infections every year.
Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) result in approximately 1.7 billion deaths per year, making it one of the most vicious diseases in the current scenario. IFIs also carry a 60-90% mortality rate among all ICU patients.
The antifungals used against these Invasive Fungal Infections (IFIs) are limited by number and cost, making them unaffordable for many.
Moreover, due to a limited repertoire of antifungals, there is an emergence of novel and acutely potent opportunistic pathogens which pose the looming threat of becoming resistant to existing antifungals.
Candida spp. infections together with cryptococcal meningitis, pneumocystis pneumonia, disseminated histoplasmosis, and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis account for nearly 50% of all AIDS-related deaths. https://gaffi.org/
At IISER Thiruvananthapuram, we are developing Moldemort- a novel class of eco-friendly antifungal therapeutics against Invasive Fungal Infections. Chitin being an essential component of the fungal cell walls, our solution involves synthesizing recombinant chitinases through scrupulous domain engineering. The chitinases thus engineered are hypothesized to have higher chitinolytic activity than the naturally existing chitinases. The beauty of our design allows the application of the same principles to agriculture, housing, or pretty much any other industry where fungal contamination is an issue