§ Dr. Naysmith
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans there are to increase funding available for research into Aspergillus fumigatus infection; 
(2) what steps are being taken to fund research into (a) the prevention of and (b) diseases contracted via Aspergillus fumigatus infection. 
§ Yvette Cooper
The Department is not funding specific research into the prevention and treatment of Aspergillus fumigatus infections.
The main Government agency for research into the causes of, and treatments for, disease is the Medical Research Council (MRC) which receives its funding via the Department of Trade and Industry. The Department of Health funds research to support policy and the delivery of effective practice in the national health service.
The Department of Health provides support for research commissioned by charities and the research councils that takes place in the NHS. Details of on-going and recently completed research projects are available on the National Research Register (NRR) at www.doh.gov.uk/research/nrr.htm.
There are two on-going projects regarding Aspergillus infection:529WGenome sequencing of Aspergillus fumigatus, supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseaseTranscriptional Regulation of Chitinase Expression in Aspergillus fumigatus and the identification of novel targets for antifungal drugs supported by the Wellcome Trust.
The NRR also details 14 completed projects related to Aspergillus fumigatus, one of which was directly supported through the Department of Health's North West Regional Research Programme on DNA fingerprinting of Aspergillus.
The Public Health Laboratory Service, which receives funding from the Department of Health, recently reviewed all reports of Aspergillus infection between 1990 and 1999. Their findings were reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Infection 2001, Volume 126, at pages 397 to 414.
The Department has no plans to increase funding available for research into Aspergillus fumigatus infection.
The Department keeps its priorities for research under review. Priorities for departmental research for the development of the policy are determined through discussion with policy colleagues, the Departmental Research Committee and Ministers. In the NHS, priorities are identified through widespread consultation with those using, delivering and managing services. They take account of the burden of disease, potential benefits and departmental objectives, as well as the responsibilities and work of other funders.