September 10, 2019
Climate change is often associated with changing environmental conditions, but it has now been linked to an increase in fungal diseases in humans. Typically, the human body is too warm to harbor most fungi, but as climate temperatures warm fungi adapt, and if these fungi adapt to growing at the same temperature as the human body we may be at risk.
A team of scientists from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health believe that Candida auris may have already adapted in this way after investigating a spate of infections from 2012 – 2015. During this time frame genetically different versions of the fungus began infecting people on three different continents, suggesting they were not spread by travelers with an infection.
C. auris infections are fatal between 30 and 60% of the time in humans, and some infections are resistant to existing antifungal medications, making this a serious health concern. In the past we have been able to rely on our immune systems and warm body temperature to resist many fungal infections, but unfortunately, they may not be able to protect us from harmful fungi that are able to adapt to our warming planet.
Source: Science News for Students
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