Press "Enter" to skip to content

New yeast species that might prevent life-threatening fungal infections

 Israeli and German researchers have discovered a new yeast species that might prevent life-threatening fungal infections in humans, Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) has said.

In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the new species was named Kazachstania weizmannii, in honor of the late Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president and the founder of WIS.

The researchers focused on the inner-body yeast Candida albicans, which may cause thrush infections, for example, in the genitals or on the tongue, and may even spread and infect the blood and internal organs.

This dangerous invasive candidiasis is commonly seen in hospitals and clinics, particularly in immunocompromised patients, with mortality rates of up to 25 percent.

The new yeast species was discovered as the team noticed that some of their lab mice could not be colonized with Candida albicans but carried a previously unknown yeast species.

The newly discovered species significantly reduced dangerous yeast in the intestine without endangering the host mice, even those with weak immune systems.

The preliminary data show that the presence of new yeast species was mutually exclusive with the Candida species, suggesting that the two species might also compete with each other in human intestines, although these findings need to be substantiated by further analyses.

The competition between the two species might have therapeutic value for the management of human diseases caused by Candida albicans, the researchers concluded.

Famagusta Gazette