Our Working Group Black Yeasts under the umbrella of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM), aims to bring together the very diverse and highly scattered information and knowledge on black yeasts and related fungi. Scientists, clinicians and workers in applied fields have a wealth of information on these fungi, which is currently hardly accessible. This information covers clinical aspects, diseases on cold-blooded animals and insects, fungi growing on rock under extreme climatic conditions, black yeasts used in bioremediation of polluted environments, black yeasts in drinking water, susceptibility testing, animal models, molecular evolution and ecology, etc. We wish to combine these data and bring workers interested in black yeasts together, as we may learn a lot from each other. Above all, we can build up a consortium with sufficient critical mass and impact to stimulate sequencing of some entire genomes of black yeasts. The availability of genome data will enormously boost diagnostics, ecology and virulence studies. Our Working Group already organized six very successful meetings: in Utrecht (2007), Ljubljana (2009), Curitiba (2011), Guangzhou (2013), Utrecht (2015) and Viterbo (2016).
A special area of black yeast research is the unique disease entity, chromoblastomycosis. For this area a dedicated subgroup has been founded (http://www.isham.org/WorkingGroups/Chromoblastomycosis/) which organized its first meeting in San Luis (Brazil), while the next meeting is scheduled in 2017 in Havana, Cuba.
The next joint meeting on black yeasts and chromoblastomycosis will be held in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on 5-6 July, 2018, as a post-congress activity of the 20st ISHAM in Amsterdam.
Participation in the Networks is open to everybody with interest in black yeasts and related organisms, see the list below and please let me know if I forgot anyone. Membership of ISHAM is recommended.
Kind regards, Sybren de Hoog.