Scientists suggest a new theory about the origins of a dangerous, drug-resistant fungus that may strike the sickest patients in hospitals and healthcare facilities that offers long-term care: global warming.
Researchers of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, published Tuesday in the journal mBio.
The fungus, a sort of yeast called Candida auris, was found merely ten years ago in a Japanese patient with an ear infection since it has been diagnosed in patients all over the world.
However, C. auris did not spread like a virus would, scattering out from one location. As a substitute, it popped up simultaneously in different parts of the world, together with India, South Africa, and South America.
Casadevall and his team thought the fungus’s emergence must have been the results of some change in the Earth’s environment — in this case, a gradual rise in temperature.
That’s odd for fungi, which usually like ambient, cooler temperatures, like a cold forest ground the place you may find a toadstool. Indeed, most fungal infections in persons are discovered on the coolest parts of the human body, together with the feet and in nail beds. The fungus tends to remain on the skin and doesn’t cause an internal infection as a result of it can’t survive the warmer temperatures contained in the body, the place it’s around 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
Candida auris is different. Whereas it poses no risk to most healthy people, it can survive inside the bodies of very sick individuals with weakened immune programs and trigger critical issues.
A couple of third of sufferers with a C. auris infection die. Scientists don’t but know the place C. auris first came from, it is difficult, if not inconceivable, to show the link. Nonetheless, the fungus is now found worldwide, and cases continue to mount.