Eighty Years of Mycopathologia: A Retrospective Analysis of Progress Made in Understanding Human and Animal Fungal Pathogens
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Mycopathologia was founded in 1938 to 'diffuse the understanding of fungal diseases in man and animals among mycologists.' This was an important mission considering that pathogenic fungi for humans and animals represent a tiny minority of the estimated 1.5-5 million fungal inhabitants on Earth. These pathogens have diverged from the usual saprotrophic lifestyles of most fungi to colonize and infect humans and animals. Medical and veterinary mycology is the subdiscipline of microbiology that dwells into the mysteries of parasitic, fungal lifestyles. Among the oldest continuing scientific publications on the subject, Mycopathologia had its share of 'classic papers' since the first issue was published in 1938. An analysis of the eight decades of notable contributions reveals many facets of host-pathogen interactions among 183 volumes comprising about 6885 articles. We have analyzed the impact and relevance of this body of work using a combination of citation tools (Google Scholar and Scopus) since no single citation metric gives an inclusive perspective. Among the highly cited Mycopathologia publications, those on experimental mycology accounted for the major part of the articles (36%), followed by diagnostic mycology (16%), ecology and epidemiology (15%), clinical mycology (14%), taxonomy and classification (10%), and veterinary mycology (9%). The first classic publication, collecting nearly 200 citations, appeared in 1957, while two articles published in 2010 received nearly 150 citations each, which is notable for a journal covering a highly specialized field of study. An empirical analysis of the publication trends suggests continuing interests in novel diagnostics, fungal pathogenesis, review of clinical diseases especially with relevance to the laboratory scientists, taxonomy and classification of fungal pathogens, fungal infections and carriage in pets and wildlife, and changing ecology and epidemiology of fungal diseases around the globe. We anticipate that emerging and re-emerging fungal pathogens will continue to cause significant health burden in the coming decades. It remains vital that scientists and physicians continue to collaborate by learning each other's language for the study of fungal diseases, and Mycopathologia will strive to be their partner in this increasingly important endeavor to its 100th anniversary in 2038 and beyond.
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