Months after health officers in New York, New Jersey, and Illinois raised issues about a new deadly fungal superbug, research has recommended climate change could also be playing a role in its troubling rise.
“Candida auris fungus” (C. auris) is a multi-drug–resistant fungal an infection that spreads in hospitals and is extraordinarily deadly — killing as many as one in three who get it, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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. The researchers say global warming has performed a “pivotal role” in the infection’s rise, citing the fungus’s ability to “develop at higher temperatures.”
“What this research suggests is that is the start of fungi adapting to increased temperatures, and we’re going to have an increasing number of issues because the century goes on,” Arturo Casadevall, MD, Ph.D., and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology chair at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said. “Global warming will result in the selection of fungal lineages, which are more thermally tolerant.”
As scientists proceed to unpack what’s fueling the rise of this infection, here’s what those that are vulnerable to it need to know.C. auris was initially found in a Japanese man with an ear infection in 2009.