Global warming may have played a pivotal role in the emergence of Candida auris, according to a new study published in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. C. auris, which is often multi-drug resistant and is a serious public health threat, may be the first example of a new fungal disease emerging from climate change.
C. auris emerged independently on three continents simultaneously, with each clade being genetically distinct. “What is unusual about Candida auris is that it appeared in three different continents at the same time, and the isolates from India, South Africa, and South America are not related. Something happened to allow this organism to bubble up and cause disease. We began to look into the possibility that it could be climate change,” said Casadevall.