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Researchers Close in on Cure for Double-Edged Fungus

Candida albicans are commensal microbes, “but for people whose immune systems are compromised by HIV or other severe illnesses, it is frequently deadly.” A press release from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reports the discovery that rendering the vacuoles of Candida’s cells would leave the fungus unable to acidify, a function that prevents the formation of filaments that characterize its deadly form. The “study reveals a vulnerability that could be exploited using drugs known to alter the pH of the vacuole, rendering Candida harmless while potentially posing little risk to infected patients.”

Read the press release from the JHU School of Medicine.