A deadly fungal infection called Candida auris has been spreading rapidly in the United States recently.
About Candida auris (C. auris):
- It is an emerging multidrug-resistant yeast (fungus) that represents a global health threat.
- It is capable of causing invasive infections in the human body. It can cause severe illness in people with weakened immune systems.
- Scientists first discovered C. auris in Japan in 2009. Since then, it has spread quickly to other countries.
o It is primarily contracted in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes.
o It can also liveon the skin or other body partswithout making a person sick. This is called being “colonized.”
o The fungus can either colonize a specific region of the body, such as the skin, rectum, or mouth, without causing symptomsor it can cause severe invasive infectionsby entering the bloodstream or wounds.
o It can be spread through contact with contaminated surfacesor equipment, or from physical contact with a person who is infected or colonized.
o It can cause infections in different parts of the body, such as the bloodstream, open wounds, and ears.
o The symptoms depend on the locationand severity of the C. auris infection.
o Symptoms may be similar to those of an infection caused by bacteria. There is not a common set of symptoms specific to C. auris infections.
o A high fever with chills that does not get better after taking antibiotics may be a sign of a C. auris infection.
o Most C. auris infections are treatablewith antifungal drugs.
o However, some C. auris infections have been resistant to all three main classes of antifungal medications, making them more difficult to treat and often requires the use of combination therapies.
Q1: What are Fungi?
Fungi, along with Animalia (animals), Plantae (plants), Protista, Archaea/Archaebacteria, and Bacteria or Eubacteria form the six ‘kingdoms’ of biology. They are eukaryotic organisms; i.e., their cells contain membrane-bound organelles and clearly defined nuclei. They are found in all temperate and tropical regions of the world where there is sufficient moisture to enable them to grow. They help in breaking down dead organic material, they continue the cycle of nutrients through ecosystems.