Mechanisms of genetic diversification in major fungal pathogen of humans

ScienceDaily | 7/9/2018 | Staff
ditranian (Posted by) Level 3
There are 5 million fungal species, but only a few hundred can cause disease in humans. Candida albicans is one of the most formidable of these species. It belongs to one of the four genera of pathogenic fungi responsible for high mortality rates in humans and is the second most common agent of opportunistic fungal infection in the world. Candida albicans is part of the human gut microbiota (a commensal fungus) but it also causes mucosal infections in healthy individuals and severe opportunistic infections in those with weakened immune defenses (immunocompromised individuals and patients who have received organ transplants, undergone serious surgery or suffered major trauma).

Understanding how pathogens emerge and spread involves analyzing the structure of their populations. Several studies have shown the importance of population genetics in shedding light on the emergence of new diseases, such as white-nose syndrome in bats in North America, which is caused by a fungus and is devastating entire bat populations. In this case, population genetics studies revealed that a fungus of European origin, which is harmless in European bat populations, invaded North America via clonal expansion.

Scientists - Biology - Fungal - Pathogenicity - Unit

Scientists in the Biology and Fungal Pathogenicity Unit at the Institut Pasteur and INRA, in collaboration with 12...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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