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 Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>