Doctors Are Worried About The New Deadly Fungal Superbug

Henrietta Brewer
July 27, 2019

As scientists proceed to unpack what's fuelling the rise of this infection, right here's what those that are susceptible to it have to know.

It has since been spotted in the US, Canada, Venezuela, Colombia, South Africa and India, as well as Spain, Norway, and Germany.

"A$3 s the climate has gotten warmer, some of these organisms, including Candida auris, have adapted to the higher temperature, and as they adapt, they break through human's protective temperatures", co-author Dr. Arturo Casadevall, chairman of molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins University, told CNN.

Whereas there are probably many causes that the infection has now spread to 30 countries, authors of the study - revealed this week in the journal mBio - are blaming climate change.

While there are many species of fungus impacted by climate change, the whole infecting humans phenomenon is part of what makes C. auris unusual: Of the millions of species of fungi, only a few hundred cause human disease. Why?


The majority of fungi grow well in ambient temperatures but only a small percentage can tolerate our body temperature. "The reasons that fungal infections are so rare in humans are that most of the fungi in the environment can not grow at the temperatures or our body".

Casadevall and his colleagues point out that Candida auris can live and share at temperatures in excess of 42 degrees Celsius.

Severe cases of this superbug can cause a blood infection in some patients according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and it poses a "serious global health threat".

Dr Casadevall said health authorities around the world need to step up their ability to keep track of fungal infections in the same way as they do bacteria and viruses.

In the United States there have been 587 reported cases, mostly in New York, New Jersey and IL.


"Fortunately, Candida auris has not spread too wide swaths of the inhabitants, and wholesome individuals hardly ever develop an infection", he writes.

Symptoms may not be noticeable because patients with C. auris infection are often already sick in the hospital. Signs are contingent on which a part of the body has change into contaminated with the sickness; however, can embrace chills and fever. Hospitals consist of a number of patients who have a significantly weakened immune system.

The reports reveal about 30-60 percent of patients have died only due to this fungal infection. Eliminating all traces of the fungus from his contaminated room was so hard that "the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles", the New York Times reports. More than one-third of strains were resistant to two, and some appeared to be resistant to all three, according to the CDC.

To evaluate the hypothesis, they compared the thermal susceptibility of C auris to those of some of its close phylogenetic relatives, including Candida haemulonii, and found that it is capable of growing at higher temperatures than other fungal species.


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