Cunninghamella arunalokei is the new species of fungus that causes chronic mucormycosis in immunocompetent individuals. It was detected in a patient prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. It is named after Prof Arunaloke Chakrabarti in recognition for his contributions in the development of medical mycology in India and Asia.
Cunninghamella species are mainly found in soil and air samples. So far, 15 species and three varieties of Cunninghamella have been discovered and four species have been detected in humans. The infections are mostly seen in patients with hematological malignancy and hematopoietic stem cell transplant.