Superfungal outbreaks? Expert: Healthy people dont need to panic.

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 Superfungal outbreaks? Expert: Healthy people dont need to panic.


The mortality rate of the Beijing News Express was over 60%, and nearly 50% of the infected persons died within 90 days. Recently, a news that superfungi have been listed as an urgent threat by the United States and 18 cases of confirmed infections in China was brushed on the screen, causing public panic.

However, he also reminded that the number of people infected worldwide is indeed increasing, which can be called an outbreak of epidemics. The appearance of this phenomenon may be related to the way of life and medical treatment.

The origin of superfungi is still unclear.

Recently, the New York Times reported that a kind of superfungus called Candida ear has erupted in many places in the United States. There are 587 confirmed cases in the United States. The fungus causes mysterious infection and is listed as an emergency threat by the CDC. Nearly 50% of the infected people died within 90 days. Yesterday, Chinese media announced that 18 cases of superfungal infections have been diagnosed in China.

Candida strains in Petri dishes. Source: CDC official website

Super fungi related topics once appeared on the microblog hot search list. Many netizens expressed their concern in the message: Its terrible. What should we pay attention to? Fear! How should ordinary people protect themselves?

Reporters learned that the reason why Candida auricularis is called superfungi is that it has strong drug resistance, high mortality rate after blood infection, and long survival time in the environment.

Candida auricularis was first discovered in Japan in 2009, and then rapidly spread around the world. According to CDC official website data, Candida infection cases have been found in more than 30 countries and regions around the world, including China, Japan, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, India and so on.

Despite nearly ten years of research, the origin of Candida auricularis is still unclear, and scholars at home and abroad still have limited understanding of the formation and rapid evolution of pathogenicity and drug resistance of Candida auricularis.

Candida is an emerging fungus that poses a serious threat to global health; it is a drug-resistant bacterium that spreads in medical institutions and is still rare in the United States; Candida can cause blood infections and even death, and more than a third of invasive infections (such as blood, heart or brain infections) can occur in one. Death within a month.

Eighteen cases of infection in China mostly occur in ICU

The first case of superfungal infection in China was found last year in a 76-year-old patient with nephrotic syndrome and hypertension.

In May 2018, a team led by Professor Wang Hui, Peking University Peoples Hospital, and researcher Huang Guanghua, National Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, reported the first case of superfungal infection in China.

It was found that the first Candida strain in China was generally sensitive to commonly used clinical antifungal agents, which meant that existing antifungal agents could kill superfungi. In addition, it was found that copper sulfate had a strong growth inhibition effect on superfungi, which provided a new method for disinfection and sterilization in hospitals.

An expert who has studied Candida for a long time told reporters that 18 cases of infections were found in China, including 3 cases in Beijing and 15 cases in Shenyang. Most of the infections occurred in ICU (intensive care unit) of medical institutions.

He reminded the public not to panic. Healthy people will not be infected with candida, and people with immunodeficiency may be affected.

However, he also pointed out that most medical institutions in China do not have the conditions to diagnose candida, and may not be able to accurately identify it. The CDC also says that unless there is a special laboratory in a medical institution, Candida can be misdiagnosed as other fungi, which can lead to the wrong treatment for patients.

Explanation 1: Super fungi have no effect on healthy people and need not be prevented

In addition, it can survive in the environment for a long time, and can survive in the skin of patients and medical staff and the surface of hospital facilities for a long time, resulting in outbreaks of infection in the hospital. For example, if a patient in the ward is infected, Candida can be transmitted to other patients through bed sheets, medical devices or other means. A typical example in the UK is the cross-infection between patients caused by Candida auricularis through thermometers. Experts say.

What symptoms will occur after infection? Can it be cured? Experts told reporters that in fact, people infected with Candida are ICU wards themselves, and the symptoms of infection are ultimately organ failure.

Experts pointed out that the first Candida strain found in China was sensitive to antifungal drugs, and the commonly used antifungal drugs were effective. Infection cases found in Shenyang are more tolerant to fluconazole (a commonly used antifungal drug), but sensitive to other antifungal drugs, and can be quickly treated with other drugs. In foreign countries, only a few strains of Candida are resistant to all drugs, so it is difficult to treat them.

In addition, from the lethality point of view, the study found that the toxicity of superfungus isolates from China is weaker than that of the common clinical Candida albicans.

Is there any way to avoid infection? Experts say the source of Candida auricularis is unclear because it has not been discovered for a long time and fewer researchers. Few patients have been found in China, and there is no basis for epidemiological investigation, so there are few studies. At present, some foreign researchers believe that Candida auricularis is a symbiotic bacteria carried by human body itself, which may exist in the skin or intestine. But its not clear where it actually exists.

However, experts caution that Candida can only infect people with immunodeficiency, mainly those in ICU wards. Healthy people will not be infected. There is no impact on healthy people, and there is no need for prevention.

Interpretation 2: Increasing number of people infected globally

In response to the statement that superfungus is an outbreak of global epidemic, experts said that the overall trend, the number of infected people in the world is indeed increasing, can be called an outbreak of epidemic.

He further explained that in the years following the discovery of the first infected person in 2009, no new cases were found, but since 2013, the number of infections in India has become particularly high. By 2015 and 2016, the United States, Europe and India began to report cases on a large scale, unlike previous scattered cases, sometimes dozens of people were infected in a hospital. Because Western CDC departments pay more attention to these problems, they think that this is a new species that has begun to spread on a large scale.

Is China facing the same problem? China is hard to say now. He reminded that the current problem is that many hospitals in China do not know enough about candida, and lack of testing conditions, resulting in missed detection.

Conventional detection methods are difficult to detect Candida auricularis. Some third-class hospitals with better conditions have protein spectrum technology and advanced microbial detection instruments, which can detect Candida auricularis. However, he also pointed out that ICU disinfection measures are in place in domestic hospitals nowadays. If hospitals operate according to the norms, it is unlikely that there will be an outbreak of epidemics. If there is an infected person, immediately isolate and disinfect the ward, there is no big problem.

Interpretation 3: The appearance of superfungi is influenced by multiple factors

Are superfungi associated with antibiotic abuse? Experts pointed out that at present, scholars at home and abroad have not found how Candida ear appeared, but generally related to human lifestyle, medical methods. Because before the 1950s, Candida infections were relatively few, and then more and more.

He said that Candida ear and other Candida infections are increasing for roughly the same reasons. First, there are more and more people with immunodeficiency. With the progress of medical technology and the extension of life span, the immune function becomes weaker in old age. Moreover, the application of new medical technology such as cancer chemotherapy makes the immune system defective. In addition, the prevalence of AIDS is also one of the causes of fungal infections; the clinical use of antibiotics also has an impact.

Source: New Beijing Daily Responsible Editor: Li Wan_B11284