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Deadly drug-resistant superbug found in the wild in Andamans

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    30th Mar, 2021

A deadly hospital pathogen, the Candida Auris, has for the first time been identified in the environment, off the coast of South Andaman district in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Context

A deadly hospital pathogen, the Candida Auris, has for the first time been identified in the environment, off the coast of South Andaman district in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

About

About the Candida Auris

  • Candida Auris or C. Auris belong to Fungs and was identified in 2009 in a patient in Japan.
    • It is a multidrug-resistant pathogen.
    • It can pose a serious global threat to human health.
  • Family: It belongs to the Candida haemulonii clade of the Metschnikowiaceae family of the order Saccharomycetales.
    • Related Species:The related species of the Metschnikowiaceae family have been detected in plants, insects, and aquatic environments, as well as from human body sites.
    • Closest Species: The closest known relative of C.auris is C. haemulonii, which was first discovered in 1962 from the gut of a blue-striped grunt fish, the skin of dolphins, and the seawater off the coast of Portugal.
  • Habitat: This fungus is present in the environment as degraders of organic matter.
    • Fungi predominately thrive in tropical and subtropical areas.
  • Being an emerging pathogen, very little is known about the fungus so far.

Findings:

  • Habitat: It has for the first time established that the fungus is found in tropical marshes and marine environments, outside hospital environments.
    • Its ability to survive on dry environmental surfaces for prolonged periods suggests that this yeast is well adapted to survival outside human host settings as well.
  • Threat: These fungi have high mortality in immune-compromised patients.
  • Adaptation:TheC.auris’ shows thermal and salinity tolerance, which is because of its adaptation to global warming.

What are Superbugs?

  • Microorganisms: These are strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi.
  • Resistance: Superbugs are resistant to most of the antibiotics and other medications commonly used to treat the infections they cause.
    • Example: superbugs include resistant bacteria that can cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections and skin infections.
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