Antifungal resistance is a real and growing problem. According to an innovative new study, nylon polymers may help to tackle fungal species that currently defy treatment.
Although it is less well known than antibiotic resistance, antifungal resistance is also an expanding problem.
Particular fungi have always been hard to treat, but, increasingly, some that were once easy to manage are becoming ever more difficult to tackle.
For instance, the very common fungus Candida, which can cause invasive infections, is starting to become immune to conventional antifungals.
So, the race is on to design antifungal drugs that can circumnavigate this medical conundrum. One new and surprising contender is nylon.
Over recent years, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been investigating nylon polymers’ ability to fight fungi.
The authors of the new study, which was led by Nancy Keller, wanted to locate a compound that would interact with the fungus in the same way that peptides in the immune system do.
Peptides are short chains of amino acids, so the team looked at other short chain molecules, and they settled on nylon.