CABI fungi examined for medical marvels

Hot off the press is this news release from CABI’s Bioservices department:

CABI houses one of the world’s largest genetic resource collections of fungi, numbered at over 28,000 strains. We will be supplying the University of Strathclyde’s Institute for Drug Research (SIDR) with extracts from filamentous fungi to be screened for pharmaceutically active compounds, which could potentially be developed into drugs.

Compounds with diverse medical applications have been discovered many times in the past. Penicillin, the critically important antibiotic was isolated from a strain of Penicillium chrysogenum, a commonly occurring fungus. Incidentally, the very isolate used by Alexander Fleming in his work, is a part of the CABI collection. The CAB Abstracts database can amaze you with the range of uses of fungal compounds against a multitude of targets such as fungi, bacteria and parasites in medical, veterinary and agricultural settings. I think the abstract for this paper, available in the database, provides a neat summary.

“This is a really exciting collaboration and we are looking forward to working with the expertise of the scientists at SIDR.  We are hopeful that our partnership will prove the winning formula for discovering new pharmaceutical drugs to fight cancers, diseases and resistant strains of infections such as MRSA", said Joan Kelley, Executive Director of CABI Bioservices.

You can read the complete CABI press release here.

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