This ‘Superbug’, Found in India, can Lead to Next Pandemic

candida auris superbug
Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Indian scientists have reported a new type of dangerous fungus when the world is devastated by the Coronavirus pandemic. They fear that the particular type of fungus called Candida auris or ‘C. auris’ could cause the next epidemic around the world.

New Delhi University researcher Anuradha Chowdhury and her colleagues discovered the superbug recently in the Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands. They say if the superbug becomes a ‘Candida auris’ or ‘C. auris’ epidemic, nearly 11 million people around the world can die in a year.

It is not possible to prevent the superbug with the help of traditional medical procedures. Because ‘C. auris’ is resistant to all types of drugs prevalent in the market. Anuradha and her colleagues collected 48 samples from a total of 8 places in Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

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Researchers said the character of C. auris found in saline wetlands is slightly different. It is not completely drug resistant. The superbug is believed to be of the original species and others are modified forms.

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“C. auris survives on the skin before entering the body through wounds. Once in the bloodstream, it causes severe illness and can lead to sepsis — a condition that kills up to 11 million people a year globally,” the World Health Organisation said about the superbug. The This superbug can cause serious bloodstream infections, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said. It can especially infect people who require catheters, feeding tubes or breathing tubes, the CDC said.

In 2009, the first ‘C. auris’ found in Japan. Later, researchers found it in coastal areas of some countries, including Britain. But this is the first time in India that researchers found C. auris.

The Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore said the superbug is yet to fully match the high temperature of humans or other organisms. 

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