EUROPEAN CONFEDERATION OF MEDICAL MYCOLOGY
J M. BASTIDE*, E. DROUHET**. B. DUPONT***
1993 : The year of Europe! At the time when Europe is becoming increasingly united, the concept of a European Confederation of Medical Mycology Societies (CEMM) deserves to be realized.
The importance of Medical Mycology has markedly increased in recent years due to the steady increase of the number and severity of mycoses and the wide diversity of responsible fungi produced by new environmental conditions of the human host. Basic research using modern genetic, molecular biology, immunology, biochemistry and other investigative techniques has been applied to pathogenic fungi in humans and animals. Important progress has been accomplished in the chemotherapy of both life-threatening deep mycoses and chronic superficial mycoses.
In 1953, at the Vlth International Congress of Microbiology in Rome, a small group of European mycologists, including R. Vanbreuseghem (Belgium), P. Redealli and R. Ciferri (Italy), G. Segretain, E. Drouhet and F. Mariat (France), G. C. Ainsworth (Great Britain), J. Lodder (Netherlands), H. Paldrok (Sweden) and several others, decided on the foundation of an International Society for Human and Ammal Mycology (ISHAM), and this was officially realized in Paris in 1954 during the XIIIth lnternational Botanical Congress. Numerous mycopathologists from other countries have Joined ISHAM, which, due to the value of the scientific contribution from its members, during International Congresses hold every four and more recently every three years, has permitted the steady development of Medical Mycology as an individual branch of Microbiology, along with Bacteriology, Parasitology and Virology.
Once ISHAM was established, some founder and charter members claimed the right to constitue National Societies of Medical Mycology for intensive education, training and development of research in this field, in their own country. Foundation of the Societe Francaise de Mycologie Medicale (SFMM) in 1956, was followed by that of the Japanese Society for Medical Mycology (1957), the Deutschsprachige Mykologische Gesellschaft (1960), the British Society for Mycopathology, the Medical Mycology Society of the Americas, etc., all affiliated to ISHAM.
Most European countries are new endowed with facilities for the study of fungal infections and their agents, either in formally constitued Societies or in Medical Mycology Groups attached to Societies of Microbiology, Dermatology, Infectious Diseases, etc. Nevertheless, collaboration between Europeans is weak and uncoordinated, some mycologists having few occasions to meet together regularly. For various reasons, many of us limit their activity and influence to their own country, geographical or linguistic regions, or unidirectionally toward distant continents.
For this reason, with a view to the formation of the CEMM, the SFMM proposed that representatives of various European Societies of Medical Mycology Groups meet on January 15th 1993 in Paris, at the Pasteur Institute. Of the 18 countries or groups of countries contacted, 13 were present at this preparative meeting: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey. The representative of the German Language Medical Mycology Society (J. Muller) represented also Austria, Luxembourg and part of Switzerland. Three countries could no attend the meeting (Bulgaria, Czeck Republic and Netherlands), but informed us of their acceptance of the project. We anticipate the adhesion of other European countries.
The preparatory meeting was a real success and all representatives accepted the project to found the European Confederation of Medical Mycology.
Its basic aims are to facilitate scientific exchanges, to improve communication between European mycologists, to create study groups for the standardization of methodology, to coordinate multicentre drug trials, to investigate the epidemiology of mycoses, to undertake other appropriate activities, and to meet annually in turn in each country at a European Congress organized during the country's regular, national meeting, except during the year when the ISHAM Congress will be held in Europe.
The European Confederation would seek affiliation with ISHAM, and close collaboration will be established with other National or European organizations such as the French GEMO (Opportunistic Mycoses Study Group), or the European EORTC (European Organisation for Resealch and Treatment of Cancer).
The 1st Congress of CEMM will be held in Paris on the 26th November 1993 on the day preceding the annual meeting of the SFMM. At this time the official statutes of the CEMM will be drafted and a new era of development of medical mycology will begin.
* President of SFMM.
** Senior President of SFMM, Chief Editor of JMM.
*** General Secretary of SFMM, Coordinator of CEMM.