Consuming shiny fruit can lead to serious health problems

That has made the fungus a serious threat in hospitals and other healthcare settings. It is also often resistant to some antifungal medications that may work against it. While outbreaks of C. auris are rare, doctors have encountered cases that are resistant to all currently available drugs, including in the US.

This fungus is believed to have existed in the wild for quite some time. Last year, researchers in Canada and India were the first to record it in the wild, living in the warm island regions of India. The same team is behind this latest study, published in mBio in March.

In 2020 and 2021, they collected and sampled the surface of 84 fruits grown or sold in India, mainly apples, for pathogenic yeasts such as C. auris. On eight of these apples (13%), they found various strains of resistant fungi.

However, none of the apples freshly picked from the orchard showed traces of C. auris; Stored and store-bought apples also often have other related Candida species on them.

The process of treating apples and other fruits with fungicides – often done to keep them from spoiling – is helping to promote the growth of these superbugs. A similar phenomenon can be seen in animals treated with antibiotics or in people treated with antibiotics that do not cure the entire infection, allowing resistant strains of bacteria to emerge.

Our finding that C. auris in natural ecosystems can be exposed to agricultural fungicides and stored fruit may represent an important opportunity for the selection of azole resistance in C. auris and other human pathogens“, the scientists wrote.

While the team’s research focuses on finding C. auris in India, they warn that it’s not just a local problem. Indeed, in recent years, outbreaks have been detected in previously unrecorded parts of the world, including Brazil and new parts of the United States.

More research is needed to understand the exact risk that fruits and vegetables may play a role in the spread of C. auris and its other routes of exposure. But one thing is for sure: It’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid encountering one virus and another.

When we consider pathogens of human disease, we tend to consider what is immediate to us.“, study author Jianping Xu, a microbiologist at McMaster University in Canada, told India’s The Tribune. But we have to look at it more broadly. Everything is connected, the whole system. Fruit is just one example. “

Source: Medindia

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