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Progress in the fight against harmful fungi

A group of researchers at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories has created one of the three world's largest gene libraries for the Candida glabrata yeast, which is harmful to humans. Molecular analysis of the Candida glabrata fungus mutations led to the discovery of 28 new genes that are partly responsible for the yeast's tolerance of common drugs.

Infectious diseases caused by fungi, viruses, bacteria and parasites represent the world's number one cause of death. A few dozen types of harmful fungi claim more than 1.5 million human lives every year. Especially people with a severely weakened immune system are at particular risk of infections with yeasts of the Candida species, with invasive infections being fatal in around 40 per cent of cases. Medications are expensive, and fungi are increasingly developing resistance.

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