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A prime example is Candida auris, a multidrug-resistant fungal infection that is emerging as a serious global health threat.C. auris was first identified in Japan in 2009, in the ear of a patient who complained of an infection.While it remains unclear whether those deaths were due to the C. auris infection or to underlying health conditions, the need to address the scourge of C. auris – which has led to the deaths of up to 70 percent of those infected – cannot be disputed.Indeed, the fungus seemed to have a greater effect on people with serious long-term conditions.While most C. auris infections are treatable with a class of antifungal drug called echinocandins, some have demonstrated varying levels of resistance to echinocandins, as well as to the other two classes of antifungal drugs, azoles and polyenes.Antifungal drugs are more difficult to develop than antibacterial drugs, because fungal cells are eukaryotic, like human cells, rather than prokaryotic like bacterial cells.The spread of C. auris highlights the need for coordinated local and international public-health initiatives to address the emerging problem of drug-resistant infections in hospitals.
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