Candida auris: Superbug found India that may lead to the next pandemic
Superbug Candida Auris: Why in News?
Researchers have detected a superbug named Candida Auris in India, that has the possibility of leading to the next pandemic. This organism's traces have been found in the secluded beaches of India and is said to be multidrug resistant.
Multidrug resistant superbug found in India that may lead to the next pandemic: Details
- The superbug has been found on the Andaman Islands, as per a study published in Journal mBio on March 16, 2021.
- An expert also had warned earlier that COVID19 has paved a way for widespread outbreak of C.auris by providing it just the right conditions to develop and linger
- It is called superbug as it can resist multiple antifungal treatments
- The research team studied more than 45 samples of soil and water collected from 8 sites in Andaman islands. C. Auris was also found in the samples isolated from salty marshes where no human activity ever happens.
It was found that the samples of superbug isolated from the marshes were not multidrug resistant and grew slowly at higher temperatures.
This was different from the samples collected from the beach where most of the organisms found were multidrug resistant and more closely related to those found in hospitals.
The isolate found in the marshes is said to be the wild variety which may not have adapted to the high temperatures and thus would not be as harmful to humans as others.
Location of C. auris:
It has still not been proved that C. auris naturally lives on the Andaman Islands, or that it originated there.
Symptoms of C. auris:
- The superbug can show no symptoms before turning into fever and body chills. The symptoms if do not go away timely may even lead to the death of the body they host in.
- C. auris survives on the skin before entering the body through wounds.
Types of Infections caused
Candida auris has caused bloodstream infections, wound infections, and ear infections. It also has been isolated from respiratory and urine specimens, but it is unclear if it causes infections in the lung or bladder
How does C Auris spread?
- It spreads in people who have recently been hospitalised or have a central venous catheter, or other lines or tubes entering their body, or have previously received antibiotics or antifungal medications, appear to be at highest risk of infection with this yeast.
- The genome sequencing/testing of C.auris specimens in various countries of Asia, Africa and South America prove that the fungus has emerged independently there in multiple regions at the same time. CDC found in its research that isolates within each region are quite similar to one another, but are relatively different across regions.
C. auris was discovered in 2009 for the first time in Japan. Now C. auris infections have been reported from over 30 countries. As per CDC, "C. auris an emerging pathogen because increasing numbers of infections have been identified in multiple countries since it was recognized."
Diagnosis of C. auris:
The fungal infection is not easily detectable and can vary in its symptoms. The infections are usually diagnosed through blood cultures and culture of other body fluids. It can be easily confused with various other common types of curable candida infections.
Why is it being called the next pandemic?
The spread of Candida Auris in various countries including the UK, USA and India in a short time is a cause of worry. As per a report by Dr Sheppard from McGill University, Canada, "
There is evidence C. auris is present in the UK because the fungus had been found in the foot ulcers of people with diabetes in London - which has also been reported in India."
Also changing global temperatures has made this pathogen adept to various hot conditions which aids its survival in the human body. Moreover its multi drug resistant attribute adds to its survival rate and damage to human life. Thus it can be referred to as the next pandemic if any outbreak occurs.