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Fungal Pathogens Can Be As Dangerous As Bacteria, Viruses

July 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Last September, Chobani recalled Greek yogurt manufactured in its Idaho plant after customers complained of severe gastrointestinal discomfort. The company said the yogurt had been contaminated by a relatively harmless fungus dangerous only to people with unhealthy immune systems. After complaints from otherwise healthy individuals, however, scientists took a closer look. They found that the yogurt had been tainted by one particular fungal strain that, unlike other strains, showed an ability to cause lethal infections in mice when spores were injected into the bloodstream. They also  survived passage through the GI tract when ingested orally. The conclusion? “Fungal pathogens can threaten our health systems as food-borne pathogens."
Soo Chan Lee et al., "Analysis of a Food-Borne Fungal Pathogen Outbreak: Virulence and Genome of a Mucor circinelloides Isolate from Yogurt. ", mBio, July 08, 2014, © Lee et al.
Food & Nutrition
North America
United States of America
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