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Rodents are pools for life-threatening disease: Study
Fungal diseases in the human population are on the rise, so it is important for health authorities to understand where these pathogens come from. A new study has searched for fungi in the lung tissues of small mammals and found fungal pathogens that cause diseases in humans. This suggests that these rodents can serve as reservoirs, agents of dispersal, and incubators ofemerging fungal pathogens.
"Our analysis, which specifically focused on lung pathogens that cause disease in humans, detected a wide range of fungi in the lung tissues of small mammals," said Paris Salazar-Hamm, first author of this research, of the University of New Mexico.
Over the last four decades there has been an increase in reports of novel human pathogens.Like the virus Covid-19, host jumps have also allowed fungi to evolve and diversify. In some cases, this could increase their virulence and in turn have an impact on humans.
Using next-generation sequencing, a method that allows a quick assessment of the wide- ranging species of fungi, the researchers analyzed fungal DNA in rodent lung tissues from museum specimens.
"We detected the fungus Coccidioides, the cause of Valley Fever, in the lung tissues of animals from Kern County, California, and Cochise and Maricopa Counties in Arizona, areas that have high rates of this disease," reported Salazar-Hamm.
"In addition, we detected sequences from Coccidioides in animals from Catron, Sierra, and Socorro Counties in New Mexico, which is the first time this pathogen has been detected in the environment in this region."
Paris Salazar- et al,Frontiers in Fungal Biology, DOI 10.3389/ffunb.2022.996574
B.Sc Life Sciences, M.Sc Biotechnology, B.Ed
Isra Zaman is a Life Science graduate from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University, and a postgraduate in Biotechnology from Amity University. She has a flair for writing, and her roles at Medicaldialogues include that of a Sr. content writer and a medical correspondent. Her news pieces cover recent discoveries and updates from the health and medicine sector. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.