The French Society of Medical Mycology (SFMM) is officially founded in 1956. It is the concretization of the efforts provided since 1946 by a working group from the mycology department of the Pasteur Institute directed by Professor Joseph Magrou. This group, animated by Gabriel Segretain, Edouard Drouhet and François Mariat, is already at the initiation of the course of medical mycology in 1953. He is also responsible for the creation of the International Society of Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM) in 1953 in Rome, and officially in 1954 in Paris, which consecrates the separation of medical mycology from the disciplines to which it was previously attached: botany, dermatology, bacteriology or parasitology.
The legal existence of the society was only recognized in 1956, and then celebrated by a big launching meeting at the Pasteur Institute. Thus on December 13th 1956, the national days of medical mycology began there, chaired by Doctor Rivalier, the first president of the SFMM, successor of the eminent mycologist Raymond Sabouraud at the ringworm laboratory of the Saint-Louis hospital in Paris.
On this occasion, Professor Tréfouël, director of the Pasteur Institute, recalled in his inaugural lecture the interest that the Institute has always shown towards medical mycology. He recalled that Louis Pasteur himself observed for the first time the mycelium-yeast dimorphism in anaerobic conditions in Mucor, during his studies on beer and yeasts, and that this observation proved to be decisive in the understanding of the physiopathology of the so-called dimorphic fungi, agents of superficial or deep infections. Professor Tréfouël added that Pasteur was also the pioneer of fungal aerobiology. He had produced remarkable drawings of the fungi of the air, from the atmosphere of the Paris observatory and compared to that of the Alps, at 2000 m, at the foot of Mont Blanc. He mentioned that Raulin, a disciple of Louis Pasteur, cultivated Aspergillus niger on new synthetic media; his work was at the origin of the discovery of trace elements. In the same way, other disciples of Pasteur, Van Tieghem, Calmette, Duclaux, Nocard made important contributions to mycology. All the communications and reports presented during the foundation of the SFMM were published in a volume of Mycologie Médicale, Institut Pasteur et Société Française de Mycologie Médicale, published by Expansion Scientifique Française, Paris 1956. The launching of the SFMM officially consecrated the separation of medical mycology from the other disciplines to which it was previously attached: botany, dermatology, bacteriology or parasitology.
More than sixty years after its creation, the SFMM counts today nearly 200 members. These members have become more and more numerous, not only in France but also in many European countries and other continents. The activities of the members of the SFMM are devoted to the study of the biology, physiology and pathology of pathogenic fungi for humans and animals. Diagnostic and therapeutic aspects are also widely addressed, both in terms of research and care.
Presidents of the SFMM from the past to the present
In replacement of the national days of medical mycology of the Pasteur Institute, two congresses were initially organized per year on the behalf of the SFMM. They took place in Paris and then in the provinces. The first congress took place in Sainte-Maxime in 1972. Since 2014, it was decided to return to holding a single annual national meeting, with alternating organizing cities.
Several scientific events have been held in parallel with the annual meetings of the SFMM, such as the first international symposium on antifungals (1986), the symposium on the fungal wall (1987), the international symposium on mycoses and AIDS (1989), the symposium on fungal adhesins with the French Society of Microbiology (1991), and the RICAI for the past several years.
At its creation, the bulletin of the French Society of Medical Mycology (SFMM) represented the original means of expression of the SFMM. Initially, it was non-periodic with two issues of abstracts not exceeding about thirty pages. After 1972, the newsletter became a regular periodical of three hundred to five hundred pages. This growth was largely related to the development of the place taken by fungal pathology in the panorama of infectious diseases. In 1991, the biannual bulletin was replaced by a new publication, in French and English, entitled the Journal de Mycologie Médicale (JMM). Edited in remarkable technical conditions, it was published every three months, in a large format 21 x 29 cm. Its national and international distribution was thus better assured. It reached the fundamental mycology community as well as the medical mycology community applied to many specialties, such as infectiology, resuscitation, oncology, hematology, organ transplantation, digestive surgery. From 2011, JMM has been indexed in PubMed and impacted in the Journal of Citation Report. Since 2020, the journal has been called Journal of Medical Mycology and is now published in English. The current editor-in-chief is Pr Christophe Hennequin, assisted by Alix T. Coste and Christine Imbert (www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-medical-mycology). The new orientation taken by the JMM allows its readers to know more widely about fungi and the infections they cause, and to prevent their complications more effectively.
The former editors-in-chief
The current editors-in-chief