Fungicide use “most likely” played a role in the rise of a deadly drug-resistant germ.
Last Saturday, the New York Times came out with an alarming report on Candida auris, a drug-resistant fungal pathogen that has been attacking patients with compromised immune systems in hospitals across the globe, including facilities in New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.
What caught my eye was the possible link, noted in the article, with widespread use of fungicides, chemicals used by farmers worldwide to kill fungi that can harm crops. In recent years, farmers have grown increasingly reliant on a class of fungicides called triazoles—the same chemicals used to fight fungal pathogens in humans. Globally, they’re the most widely used class of fungicides. In Europe, triazoles make up more than a quarter of all fungicides on farms.