Thursday 20 January 2022

Probing the nature of Candida auris


Candida auris was first identified in 2009. The fungus, which led to serious outbreaks in hospitals and other care settings, alarmed scientists as it evaded traditional medications to treat fungal infections. Since then, the race has been on to better understand the fungus and hopefully better control it.


New research from University of Michigan marks a major step forward in understanding C. auris biology, homing in on the genetics behind its ability to shape-shift from a round yeast form to a more hair-like, filamentous form.


Notably, the fungus has now been found on all inhabited continents and different variants and morphologies have emerged in different parts of the world. Determining the genetics behind these variants is key to determining how form and disease are related. But until now, studying C. auris' genes has been difficult.



This has bene overcome using genetic tools based on a DNA-based CRISPR-Cas9 technique and a bacterium that commonly infects plants. Exploiting the bacteria's ability to infect fungi as well, the team used it to insert DNA into the genome of C. auris. Screening the genetically modified cells for ones that had different morphologies, or structures, lent clues to which genes were controlling it. The team is the first to use these methods successfully in C. auris.


The researchers are now seeking to uncover the genetic factors behind C. auris' ability to spread so well on hospital and other surfaces.


Journal Reference:


Darian J. Santana, Teresa R. O’Meara. Forward and reverse genetic dissection of morphogenesis identifies filament-competent Candida auris strains. Nature Communications, 2021; 12 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27545-5


Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

1 comment:

  1. Je suis intéressé.mais je veux postulé d'un offre d'emploi .


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