Deadly superbug Candida auris is wreaking havoc in hospitals. Where’s the research money needed to stop it?

| | July 16, 2019
candida auris
Image: Xenex
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In the universe of scary drug-resistant pathogens that can kill, Candida auris is having a moment. The freaky fungus, which is behaving in ways scientists didn’t think fungi could act, has been garnering headlines because of its uncanny ability to resist multiple antifungal drugs and settle into hospital rooms so persistently it can take renovations to get rid of it.

But while concern about the superbug has grown exponentially in recent years, funding for research to stop it has not. Scientists who work in mycology — the study of fungi — say there is precious little money available to study Candida auris.

“Traditionally, mycology has been the ugly duckling of infectious diseases,” said Dr. Luis Ostrosky.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Why the West should worry about losing the gene-editing race

So funding for science aimed at finding tools to better diagnose C. auris and new antifungals to treat it? Yes, there’s some pharma money for that, Ostrosky said. But science that shows how to avert these hugely difficult infections doesn’t generate sales.

“There is some federal funding being allocated for this,” said Ostrosky, “but perhaps not to the level that we would need to tackle this very quickly.”

Read full, original post: Everyone agrees this superbug is a threat. Few are willing to fund research to stop it

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