Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rapidly mutating yeast causing more infections

02.04.2009
During the recent years yeasts have been causing more and more infections in humans. One of them can mutate surprisingly quickly by reorganizing its chromosomes. This enables this yeast to tolerate higher doses of anti-fungal medicine. This is shown by new research findings from the Lund University in Sweden.

A yeast named Candida glabrata commonly occurs in humans, usually on our skin. It does little harm there. But if it enters the blood system, it can be directly life threatening to people with poor immune defense, such as cancer and AIDS patients.

"It can actually eat you up from the inside," says Jure Piškur, professor at the Department of Cell and Organism Biology at the Lund University.

Jure Piškur, together with a team of research colleagues, has studied the underlying reasons that this yeast can cause more and more infections in humans. The research team has discovered that Candida glabrata can mutate surprisingly rapidly. Instead of mutations occurring in individual genes, this yeast can mutate by reorganizing their chromosomes and make extra copies of large chromosome pieces.

The consequence of this is that Candida glabrata is becoming more and more resistant to fungicidal medicine. The present research report shows that a certain mini-chromosome can enable the yeast fungus to survive even if it is treated with nearly ten times the normal dose of the fungicide fluconazole.

"Our research now aims to identify the weak points in Candida glabrata so that we can develop effective medicine," says Jure Piškur.

Candida glabrata has become the second most common yeast pathogen in humans. It primarily causes irritation, in the genitals, for instance. Jure Piškur stresses that people whose immune defense is normal run very little risk of being affected by the life-threatening form of fungal infection in the blood system.

The most common type of fungus in humans is called Candida albicans and causes commonly occurring infections in women's genitals. This yeast fungus is relatively easy to treat with fungicides. But more and more often after the treatment Candida albicans is replaced with the more resistant Candida glabrata.

The research findings regarding Candida glabrata were recently presented in two scientific journals, PNAS and Nature Review Microbiology.

PNAS 2009 106:2688-2693; published online before print February 9, 2009, doi:10.1073/pnas.0809793106

Fungal Pathogenesis: Varying for virulence
Nature Reviews Microbiology 7, 256 - 257 (01 Apr 2009), doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2125, Research Highlight

For more information, please contact Jure Piškur, phone: +46 (0)46 - 222 83 73 or Jure.Piskur@cob.lu.se

Pressofficer Lena Björk Blixt; Lena.Bjork_Blixt@kanslin.lu.se;+46-46 222 71 86

Facts about chromosomes and genes:
Chromosomes are the structures that all genes sit on. If the genome is seen as a book and chromosomes as the pages of the book, then genes are the words on each page. Instead of individual words changing, which is what happens in normal mutations, in C. glabrata its pages are mixed and in certain cases also copied and placed in the book in a new order. The genes are thus the same as before, but the genetic make-up as a whole is altered and this likely influences the gene expression.

Lena Björk Blixt | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.pnas.org/content/106/8/2688.full?sid=e1d75c59-1e52-471b-9647-f83d9b54e5b1

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>