Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Disease causing fungus under scrutiny

Candida albicans, a common fungus which can cause life-threatening infections, will be put under scrutiny in an effort to find new methods of prevention and treatment.

Dr Jan Schmid at Massey University’s Institute of Molecular Biosciences and his colleagues, Dr Peter Lockhart from the same institute and Dr Richard Cannon from the Department of Oral Sciences and Orthodontics at the University of Otago, have been awarded a grant from the competitive Marsden Fund to investigate the genetics of a group of particularly harmful Candida strains.
Candida albicans is a major fungal pathogen in humans, causing both superficial infections such as oral thrush as well as life-threatening infections of the blood stream. In New Zealand the number of reported infections doubles every three years and the fungus poses an increasingly serious threat to human health worldwide.

The prevention and treatment of these infections is of great medical importance, but is limited by our lack of fundamental knowledge of the genetic differences between the various forms of the fungus.

Dr Schmid’s group has previously discovered a group of Candida strains which can cause disease up to 100 times more often then others, and the group will use modern DNA techniques to compare the genetic make-up of these strains with a large number of other Candida albicans types.

The group aims to map the organisms’ genomes in order to find the genes which make some strains so successful as pathogens. The experiments will help the researchers to deduce which gene products are responsible for causing human disease. The findings will then be confirmed by examining the genes expressed by strains of Candida albicans obtained from human carriers and patients with oral thrush.

The results of this research will provide the basis for new approaches to the prevention and treatment of fungal infections in humans.
The group’s grant is worth $180,000 a year for the next three years.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


BusinessDesk: Body massages and Uber are in, DVDs are out, says Stats NZ

Statistics New Zealand has rejigged the consumers price index basket in its latest three-year review, adding body massages, Airbnb and Uber and removing DVD and Blu-Ray players…More>>


StuffMe: Commerce Commission Welcomes Dismissal Of Merger Appeal

In a summary of their judgment released today, Justice Dobson and lay member Professor Martin Richardson dismissed the appellants’ process criticisms and found the Commission was entitled to place significant weight on the prospect of reduced quality of the products produced by the merged entity. More>>


Digital Futures: New Chief Technology Officer Role Created

Communications Minister Clare Curran has called for expressions of interest for the new role of Chief Technology Officer position to help drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand. More>>

Real Estate: NZ house sales slump in December but prices still firm

The number of property sales across New Zealand slumped 10 percent in December from a year earlier but prices continued to lift, according to the Real Estate Institute. More >>


Dry: Beef + Lamb Launches Drought Resources

The resources include a fact sheet outlining strategies to manage and mitigate the effects of drought, coping with stress on the farm and advice on feed requirements and animal welfare during the dry period. More>>


InternetNZ: Net Neutrality Failure In US "Will Hurt All Users"

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter has condemned the decision by the United States communications regulator to undo 2015 open Internet rules, warning that all Internet users will end up worse off as a result. More>>