The French National Reference Center for Invasive Mycoses and Antifungals (NRCMA) has broad missions defined by the Santé Publique France (our Center for Diseases Control)
(1) Expertise on all pathogenic fungi responsible for invasive fungal infections: Identification of clinical isolates relies on polyphasic approach using morphology, carbon assimilation pattern when relevant, antifungal susceptibility patterns using EUCAST, MALDI-TOF and nucleic acid sequences of mutiple loci including ITS as recommended by ISHAM. All isolates are stored together with the related clinical and epidemiological information. However, the NRCMA does not sale strains. A database called Institut Pasteur FungiBank that includes all the parameters useful for a reliable identification of pathogenic fungi is fed by the NRCMA data. We are also collaborating with Fabrice Chrétien and Gregory Jouvion (Experimental Neuropathology unit) when their expertise on histopathology and ours on medical mycology need to be combined for the diagnosis of invasive mycoses on tissue slides.
(2) Surveillance of all invasive fungal infections, detection of emergence of new species or resistance to antifungal drugs: we rely on a nationwide network of mycologists and clinicians to collect information. The cases are recorded on secured websites and isolates are sent to the NRCMA for further characterization.
(3) Development of techniques: new tools for the diagnosis of invasive fungal infections and for the genotyping of isolates involved in outbreaks are developed continuously and validated using our large collection of samples and isolates.
(4) Advice to public health authorities and professionals involved in management of patients suspected of or diagnosed with invasive fungal infections: this activity relies on individual advice by email or phone calls, participation to working groups …
(5) Teaching: we are in charge of the Medical Mycology course of Institut Pasteur which trains future medical mycologists from all over the world.
Explanations regarding shipment and technical issues can be found here.