In "The Last of Us," a video game and recently-wrapped HBO series, giant mutant fungi turn much of humanity into zombies. In real life, another fungus, the yeast Candida auris, is spreading, just as COVID finally fades.
Candida auris is the first multi-drug resistant fungus identified. It is deadlier than familiar relative Candida albicans, which lies behind common vaginal and throat infections. Candida yeasts are normal inhabitants of our skin and other superficial body parts, but are dangerous when they enter the bloodstream or reach solid organs, like the heart or kidneys.
"What is different and particularly scary about Candida auris is that it can survive on skin and healthcare surfaces up to two weeks, allowing the spread from person-to-person in healthcare settings and nursing homes. This fungus is not usually killed by clinically used antifungal drugs, which makes infection difficult to treat and can often result in death. It is also difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods," summed up Mahmoud Ghannoum, director of the Center for Medical Mycology at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
To continue reading, go to DNA Science, where this post first appeared.