Miami hospital disinfectant wipe Joe Raedle/Getty Images

La traque d'un champignon tueur

SINGAPOUR – Les mises en garde contre l'essor de ce que l'on appelle les superbactéries : des microbes pathogènes résistants à de nombreux antibiotiques (voire tous), se succèdent à un rythme effréné ces dernières années. Bien des gens ne semblent pas réaliser que les superbactéries sont déjà là et qu'elles tuent déjà des gens. Un premier exemple éloquent est celui de Candida auris, une infection fongique multirésistante qui apparaît comme une menace préoccupante pour la santé mondiale.

C.auris a été identifiée pour la première fois au Japon en 2009, dans l'oreille d'un patient qui se plaignait d'une infection. (Auris signifie « oreille » en latin.) On a depuis diagnostiqué C. auris comme la cause d'infections de plaies, d'infections du sang, des oreilles et d'infections des voies respiratoires dans des pays répartis sur quatre continents, dont l'Inde, le Koweït, le Pakistan, l'Afrique du Sud, la Corée du Sud et certains pays d'Amérique du Sud.

Aux États-Unis, les Centres de contrôle et de prévention des maladies rapportent que le champignon a infecté 13 personnes entre mai 2013 et août 2016, dont quatre sont décédées. Bien que l'on ne soit pas certain que ces décès soient dus à l'infection C. auris ou à des problèmes de santé sous-jacents, la nécessité de lutter contre le fléau C. auris (qui a entraîné la mort de près de 70 % des personnes infectées), est incontestable.

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