A new study revealed that rising temperatures may make mushrooms more dangerous to health.
While bacteria and viruses are known agents of infection and disease, to date i Pathogenic fungi They only caused minor problems in healthy people and this is because the human body temperature is usually too high for the infectious fungus to survive. But the researchers warned that that could change Duke University in North Carolina.
This news could be a wake-up call for fans of the dystopian HBO series, The Last of Us, in which a fungus takes over humans.
“That’s exactly what it’s about, except for the zombie part!” , says study co-author Asiya Gusa.
What are pathogenic fungi?
Pathogenic fungi are fungi that cause disease in humans and other organisms. Of the nearly 300 species of fungi dangerous to humans, Candida, Aspergillus, and Cryptococcus are some of the best known. They are currently more dangerous to people who are immunosuppressed.
How can rising temperatures make fungi more dangerous?
Rising global temperatures are expected to increase fungal diseases in humans, but may also make them more dangerous.
When studying the effect of heat stress on fungi, the researchers found that rising temperatures lead to rapid genetic changes in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus.
Higher temperatures have been found to stimulate the fungus’ jumping genes, speeding up the number of mutations.
“It is likely that these mobile elements contribute to adaptation in the environment and during injury,” Jossa says. “This can happen faster because heat stress speeds up the number of mutations that occur.”
This may lead to increased heat resistance, drug resistance and the potential for pathogens, according to research published in the scientific journal PNAS.
“The study shows how rising global temperatures can lead fungi to evolve in unexpected directions…another consequence of global warming to worry about,” he says. Arturo CasadevallChair of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Johns Hopkins University.
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