Candida: Living with a killer fungus

Neil A. R. Gow*, Ingrida Raziunaite, Fiona M. Rudkin, Katja Schaefer, Bhawna Yadav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


If you are sneezing your way through winter and wondering whether your immune system is functioning well, then realise that it is at least holding at bay a fungus that colonises most of us, and kills more than 50,000 immunologically vulnerable people every year.

Recent medical advances in the treatment of cancer, trauma, organ failure, HIV and other conditions save many people who years ago would not have survived. These are the new group of patients who are vulnerable to attack by killer fungi, including about a half-dozen species of Candida, that profit from any weakness in immunity and health. These species collectively account for the fourth highest burden of human bloodstream infections (around 250,000 each year), of which as many as 40% may not survive. Unfortunately, these organisms do not have a large community of microbiologists backing up our need to know more about them. But we are gradually learning how to hit harder with better drugs, to diagnose earlier and to understand the underpinning immunology of fungal infections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-21
Number of pages4
JournalMicrobiology Today
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2016


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