Celebrating British Science Week: The Vital Role of the Mycology Reference Centre Manchester
By Lauren Amphlett

British Science Week presents the ideal opportunity to highlight the exceptional work of our colleagues at the Mycology Reference Centre Manchester (MRCM). Renowned for its expertise in diagnosing, treating, and researching fungal infections, the MRCM has made vital contributions to fungal diagnostics and patient care. In 2017 the centre was designated a European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM) Centre of Excellence in Clinical and Laboratory Mycology and Clinical Studies. This designation was further extended in 2021, highlighting the MRCM’s dedication to advancing research capabilities, enhancing resources, and fostering international collaboration. Such efforts contribute to the development of services and ensure that the MRCM remains at the forefront of medical mycology, setting standards for diagnostic excellence and patient care.

Located at Wythenshawe Hospital and operating under the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), the Mycology Reference Centre Manchester (MRCM) provides specialist mycology diagnostic services within Greater Manchester and throughout the UK. The centre offers an extensive range of services, including antifungal management and mycological guidance on diagnosing diseases and clinical management and care of patients. Their expertise covers a broad spectrum of conditions, including Candida infections and chronic and invasive Aspergillus infections, in addition to addressing issues related to moulds in homes and their impact on human health.

The importance of the MRCM’s work extends beyond diagnosis. Fungal infections, with their ambiguous symptoms, require a combination of clinical observation and laboratory investigation for accurate identification and treatment. The MRCM’s accredited diagnostic work provides clarity and direction for effective patient management.

Moreover, the MRCM, in collaboration with the National Aspergillosis Centre, contributes significantly to the academic sphere. Both centres work with the University of Manchester Fungal Infection Group (MFIG) and play a vital role in the education and training of future medical professionals through undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in Medical Mycology and Infectious Diseases. This educational role ensures high-quality training for professionals entering the field, further strengthening the UK’s capacity to combat the growing problem of fungal diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

The Mycology Reference Centre Manchester is a cornerstone for fungal diagnostics, a hub for international training and research, and a critical partner in the global fight against fungal infections. As we celebrate British Science Week, we would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge and commend the work of our colleagues at the MRCM and their invaluable contributions to science, medicine, and patient care both nationally and internationally.