As if there were not enough existential threats to worry about, the CDC is becoming increasingly concerned about the sudden proliferation of the fungus Candida auris. It would appear they have good reason to be concerned.
C. auris was first identified as a cause of ear infections (hence the name "auris") in Japan in 2009. Since that discovery there have been a number of outbreaks, apparently occurring simultaneously, on three separate continents. It has quickly morphed into an invasive "superbug" which shows high resistance to a wide range of antifungal drugs. It also forms a hard to remove biofilm which can persist on surfaces for at least six months.
There are, quite possibly, more questions than answers regarding this organism as researchers try to solve such riddles as:
Where does it come from?
Most fungi that affect humans may also be found elsewhere in the environment
. So far, C. auris has only been found on people.
How does it adapt so quickly?
During an outbreak of C. auris at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, England in 2016, the organism was able to develop resistance to an entire class of antifungal medications in less than 30 days.
Some researchers have theorized that climate change may be a factor. Organisms adapting to higher ambient temps could find the bodies of mammals more hospitable.
The superbug Candida auris is giving rise to warnings — and big questions
On the Emergence of Candida auris: Climate Change, Azoles, Swamps, and Birds
Brevity Quest 2019