IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th September, 2022 Health

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  • A team of researchers have identified a gene that probably holds the key to preventing the fungal infection Candidiasis.


  • Candidiasis is an infection caused by Candida fungi, most of by Candida albicans. These fungi are found almost everywhere in the environment.
  • Signs and symptoms include white patches on the tongue or other areas of the mouth and throat, soreness and problems swallowing. When it affects the vagina, it may be referred to as a yeast infection or thrush.
  • Signs and symptoms include genital itching, burning, and sometimes a white discharge from the vagina. Yeast infections of the penis are less common and typically present with an itchy rash. Very rarely, yeast infections may become invasive, spreading to other parts of the body. This may result in fevers along with other symptoms depending on the parts involved.
  • Factors that increase the risk of candidiasis include HIV/AIDS, mononucleosis, cancer treatments, steroids, stress, antibiotic usage, diabetes, and nutrient deficiency.
  • Candidiasis is treated with antifungal medications. Intravenous fluconazole or an intravenous echinocandin such as caspofungin are commonly used to treat immunocompromised or critically ill individuals.


The recent research

  • Named CSA6, the gene has been identified in Candida albicans.
  • The fungus is a typical member of the human gut flora and typically resides in mucosal linings of the gastrointestinal and urogenital tract of healthy individuals without causing any harm. However, it can turn into a pathogen under immuno-compromised conditions, causing life-threatening systemic infection.
  • In the new study, the researchers identified regulators of chromosome stability in the fungus which is also a clinically relevant fungal model system.
  • They identified a set of six chromosome stability (CSA) genes that were found to be critical for maintaining genome integrity.
  • While five of the CSA genes identified in the study are already known to be important for cell division in other species, the sixth CSA gene, named CSA6 was found to encode for a protein that is essential for viability in C albicans.
  • They discovered that Csa6 was a critical regulator of cell cycle progression. This holds the key to preventing the fungal infection