Candida auris: The deadly fungal infection resistant to treatment

A mysterious and deadly fungal infection called is causing concern around the world because it's immune to current anti-fungal treatment.

Candida auris has been labelled an "emerging global threat", and a Kiwi researcher is looking into feijoa peels to see if that holds the cure.

The yeast infection poses a very serious threat, explains Victoria University's Dr Andrew Munkasci.

"It's a fungus that's spreading around the world - and there are no anti-fungal drugs that will kill it."

That's what makes Candida auris so dangerous and deadly. It spreads in hospitals, targeting people with weakened immune systems like the sick, the elderly and babies.

However Munkasci has identified an unusual possible treatment. Feijoa peels work on other forms of Candida, so may help treat the deadly auris species too.

"We've tested the efficacy of these feijoa extracts and feijoa compounds against other Candida species," he said. "We have not yet tested it against Candida auris, but it's on the radar."

Finding a cure is a matter of urgency, as the infection is now officially being described as an emerging global threat found in more than 30 countries so far, including in the UK, the US and Australia.

The Ministry of Health says there have been no reported cases in New Zealand.

"Fungal infections are generally something to be concerned about," Munkasci said.

It's a frightening prospect: a mystery infection threatening the most vulnerable able to resist current modern medicine.