FUNGAL Disaster on Our Horizon?


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 26 July 2019

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Fungus, Yellow, Eagle Creek, Toiyabe Wilderness
Fungus, Yellow, Eagle Creek, Toiyabe Wilderness.
Fungus, Toiyabe National Forest, Mokelumne Wilderness, Pacific Crest Trail between Carson and Ebbetts Pass at Eagle Creek below Reynolds Peak.

 

FUNGAL Disaster on Our Horizon?

Rise of Candida Auris Blamed on Global Warming,
American Society for Microbiology, July 23, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Super-Fungus
"...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."

Super-Fungal Forge
"Global warming may have played a pivotal role in the emergence of Candida auris, according to a new study..."

The Line
"The reasons that fungal infections are so rare in humans is that most of the fungi in the environment cannot grow at the temperatures of our body. Mammalian resistance to invasive fungal diseases results from a combination of high basal temperatures that create a thermal restriction zone and advanced host defense mechanisms in the form of adaptive and innate immunity."

FUNGUS
Crossing
the Line
"What this study suggests is this is the beginning of fungi adapting to higher temperatures, and we are going to have more and more problems as the century goes on. Global warming will lead to selection of fungal lineages that are more thermally tolerant, such that they can breach the mammalian thermal restriction zone."

Adaptation
In Action
"...as the climate has gotten warmer, some of these organisms, including Candida auris, have adapted to the higher temperature, and as they adapt, they break through human's protective temperatures."

Grim Prospects
"What this study suggests is this is the beginning of fungi adapting to higher temperatures, and we are going to have more and more problems as the century goes on. Global warming will lead to selection of fungal lineages that are more thermally tolerant, such that they can breach the mammalian thermal restriction zone."

Messing With The Forge of Life
"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."

 

Bottom Line

Macro Disruptions
We've already seen the effects of changes in the environment spurring changes in fungal distributions/relationships at different levels of the web of life than those directly affecting humans, mostly affecting the relationships between frogs, amphibians, & fungus, to the great detriment of the frogs & amphibians. Fungal responses to global warming are now, apparently, moving fungus into a much greater threat position to humans.

Micro Disruptions
Call their changing relationship, being that of the fungus hitting the frogs & amphibians, a very special form of what we humans should see (if we were wise) as a type of, "canary in the coal mine," in this case announcing that the advent of serious micro-biological disturbances, potentially headed our way, expressed by evolutionary advances of fungus triggered by our unbalancing the traditional heating and cooling of our planet. Our irresponsible behaviors are unleashing dangerous changes into the micro-biological world. The Fungal World is adapting. Rapidly...

Gross!
The Big Changes

Up to now, we've only seen the most gross, superficial climate and seasonal effects our current level of warming, which are driving seasonal climate changes, have done to our, "macro," ecosystems, being the effects of warming we've seen on our weather, water, climate, seasonal progressions, and the global distribution and behavior of ice, each of which is significantly affecting the relationship between the, "macro" world of us, "big," living things, being plants and animals, to our traditional seasonal weather patterns. But there's more!

The Subtle Changes
These fundamental changes in our cycle of planetary heating and cooling have only begun to reverberate through the harder to see, but even more fundamental relationships between the micro-fungal-biological world undergirding our macro world, being the balance that the micro world of bacteria, virus, and fungus, (and their various vectors! (and the Protista world, too...), have with our macro animal world. We are in very deep trouble if that balance is changing.

Driver's Seat
Oh, and, "we," being the participants in our corporate-consumption growth-based societies around the world, are on a clearly identifiable increasing trajectory of energy consumption, emissions, and global CO2 levels, driving what appears to be ever-increasing imbalances between our macro and micro worlds.

Don't even get me started about our effect on bacterial resistance...

 

Recent Scholarship

Recent Warning about Seriousness of Microbiological Changes Driven by Warming and Seasonal Changes.

 

 

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Candida Auris, drug resistant, fungus, evolving, adapting, climate change, global warming, warmer, temperatures, human threat, heat tolerence

 

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