Scientists cannot create drug for deadly pathogen that has killed THOUSANDS across 50 countries
Scientists can’t make a drug for deadly pathogens that have killed THOUSANDS in 50 countries because it reproduces sexually to create new strains unlike any other that reproduce asexually
- Candida auris infects the bloodstream and can sometimes cause death
- Scientists can’t make a drug to fight it because the pathogen reproduces sexually, creating different strains as a result
- Most infectious bacteria reproduce asexually, meaning they create strains that are copies of themselves
In 2009, a deadly pathogen emerged that scientists have yet to drug-treat, and the reason is that it reproduces sexually.
Most contagious bacteria reproduce asexually, meaning it creates strains that are copies of itself — enabling the manufacture of drugs.
However, Candida auris mate with each other, producing different species each time.
C. auris causes bloodstream infections, wound infections and ear infections and can sometimes cause death.
It was first discovered in 2009 and has since spread to more than 50 countries, where outbreaks have been reported and thousands have died from fungal infections.
Candida auris mate with each other producing different species each time. C. auris causes bloodstream infections, wound infections and ear infections and can sometimes cause death
The study that revealed why C. auris is multidrug resistant was conducted by studies at McMaster University, which analyzed nearly 1,300 strains of the pathogen.
The team looked for and confirmed recombination events or sexual activity.
Jianping Xu, a professor in McMaster’s Department of Biology and a researcher at Canada’s Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats, said in a pronunciation: ‘The research shows that this fungus has recombined in the past and can recombine in nature, allowing it to generate new genetic variants fairly quickly.
“That may sound scary, but it’s a double-edged sword. Because we’ve learned that they can recombine in nature, we could potentially replicate the process in the lab, helping us understand the genetic controls of virulence and drug resistance, and potentially other traits that make it such a dangerous pathogen.”
Pictured are four C. airus lineages, showing how different each is. That’s why scientists can’t make a drug to fight the pathogen
There are five different clades, or genera, of C. airus that are known worldwide.
Clade I was mainly isolated from South Asia, Clade II mainly from East Asia, Clade III mainly from Africa, Clade IV mainly from America and several tribes of Clade V from Iran in Central Asia.
The five clades differ from each other by 20,000 to more than 200,000 nuclear genomes, reads the study published in Computation and Structural Biotechnology Journal†
Canada is one of the countries with three of the five known divergent genders, and researchers note that some came from the same hospital.
Xu explains that if one strain becomes resistant to one drug and another strain becomes resistant to another drug, sexual activity can produce offspring that are resistant to both drugs.
“The mixing of strains in the same hospital, possibly in the same patient, creates an opportunity for them to meet and mate,” he said.
‘This research is about sex and the implications of sex for organisms are often very broad. For fungi it means that they can spread genes that are beneficial to them much faster through populations than just asexual reproduction.’
Little is known about C. auris, which is also difficult to identify in samples.
But what is known is that those who spend time in nursing homes or have lines and snakes in their bodies are more at risk of getting infected.