Eighty percent of US antibiotics are used to promote livestock and poultry growth and protect the animals from the bacterial consequences of the manure-laden environments in which they are grown. That's 34 million pounds a year of antibiotics. as of 2015.
The agricultural applications help generate drug resistance across multiple human bacterial infections, killing 23,000-100,000 Americans a year and, with increasing amount of antibiotics applied abroad, 700,000 people worldwide.
Now a fungal species, Candida auris has developed  multidrug resistance and is spreading across human globe across the globe (see figure). The CDC reports 90% of C. auris
Uncompromised, uncompromising news
A case of C.auris cases by country. ” width=”881″ height=”419″ class=”size-full wp-image-257356″ srcset=”https://truthout.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Chart1.png 881w, https://truthout.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Chart1-200×95.png 200w, https://truthout.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Chart1-400×190.png 400w, https://truthout.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Chart1-800×380.png 800w” sizes=”(max-width: 881px) 100vw, 881px”/> From CDC (2019)
C. auris, a yeast, is killing immunocompromised patients in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes at a prodigious clip, up to 40-60% of those who suffer bloodstream infections in a month's time.
In the rooms of the infected and the dead, the fungus appears intransigent to nearly all attempts at eradication. The fungus can survive the aerosolized hydrogen peroxide
how to treat the modern hospital and jeopardize the sterile spaces asepsis 150 years ago?
It is becoming apparent that C. auris 's resistance, and that of many other fungi species, is traceable to industrial agriculture's mass application of fungicides.
Across crops – wheat, banana, barley, apple, among many others – the fungicides select for resistant strains that they are so resistant to the
The Path of Yeast Resistance
Matthew Fisher and colleagues recently classified six main classes of fungicides, all rarely used in the US Midwest before 2007.  The azoles and morpholines target the ergosterol biosynthetic pathway, which generates the plasma membrane of fungi cells. benzimidazoles interfere with fungi cytoskeleton, The following is the composition of cell microtubules. The strobilurins and succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors take more physiological routes, inhibiting the electron transfer chain of mitochondrial respiration. The anilinopyrimidines appears to target mitochondrial signaling pathways.
Candida auris has evolved Resistance to a suite of azole antifungals, including fluconazole, containing variable susceptibilities to other azoles, amphotericin B, and echinocandins. Azoles, used in both broad spectrum spectrum fungicides, annihilating a wide range of fungi rather than targeting a specific type.
How Did Fungus and Fungicide Find Each Other in the Field?
C. auris, CDC's Tom Chiller hypothesizes, 70 years old Japanese woman at the time a Tokyo hospital in 2009 (although a 1996 isolate was subsequently identified ). Pakistan, India, South Africa, isolated on white background. and Venezuela, 2012-2015.
single nucleotide. amino acid replacements associated with azole resistance among the ERG11 single nucleotide polymorphisms – one among several search SNPs – across four geographic regions. They were not the same strain,  in other words, strains isolated by distance from each other exposed.
That might indicate molecular adaptations to different exposures. evolved its own unique solution to the problem.
Even though fungi do not horizontally transfer agricultural trade, agricultural trade, in any one locale.
A second team identified multiple genotypes of different international origins in the relatively confined confines of the United Kingdom. A third team, as the nearby map shows, identified a similar mix in U.S. Pat. cases.
It is not clear other than travel-related cases. Without a baseline of fungal load among, say, domestic agricultural workers.
Agricultural azole fungicides include a third of the total fungicide market.
So we should not be surprised that in applying the fungicides at landscape scales in the millions of pounds annually, the medical use of triazole antifungals, using the same mode of action, would rapidly turn ineffective.
Government policy Instead of intervening in the interests of global public health. lucrative global expansion of fungicidal use, fostering the conditions for virulent drug-resistant fungi.
In 2009, fungicides were applied on 30% of corn, soybean, and wheat acreage in the US, totaling 80 million acres. dubious economic rational. Global sales continue to skyrocket, nearly tripling since 2005, from $ 8 billion to $ 21 billion in 2017 .
tetraconazole, an agricultural triazole, taken from isolated usage in
the western Plains in the late 1990s to massive application throughout California's Central Valley, the upper Midwest, and the Southeast. Boscalid, a fungicide used in fruit and vegetable crops, has increased from ~ 0.15 to 0.6 million pounds from 2004 to 2016, a 400% increase, and is now widely used across the country.
From within each new locale, the fungicides percolate into the local environment.
In 2012, USGS scientists studied 33 different fungicides used in potato production and found at least one fungicide in 75% of tested surface waters and 58% of groundwater samples. by runoff and spray drift, becoming highly mobile.
As climate change fundamentally reshapes the US predicted to expand outside their current ranges while also responding to new climate regimes. Aspergillus flavus the producer of a cancer-causing aflatoxin that reduced corn yields and poisons humans, thrives in drought conditions and large crop-water deficits.
With the market treated as a force Farming as It Owns Fungus Control
In antibiotic use and the potential economic costs of transitioning from high rates of application.
A 2016 UK report [responsetodrug-resistantbacteriaandfungi;and the WHO, among its duties, lists critical antibiotics that should be barred from agriculture use.
But new fungicides Given recent tracails in antibiotic and herbicide resistance, it appears that the chemical companies and their farming clients will pursue developing new fungicides new fungicides based on targeted molecular research, multiple drug cocktails and gene-edited res istance.
blame workers for contamination, xenophobic anxieties rather than addressing the systemic failures of industrial agriculture.
The conjoined motives of powerful medical and agricultural companies are almost certain to promote 'solutions' that exacerbate an arms race between toxic drug applications and fungal resistance the agro-pharmaceutical sector. There is, however, a different, evidence-based paradigm for responding to fungicidal collapse. disease modeling and cultural pract ices intercropping, here soybean and flax, can increase and diversify the soil microbiota to exclude pathogenic fungi. ” width=”600″ height=”397″ class=”size-full wp-image-257374″ srcset=”https://truthout.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/WADO_soybeans__flax_intercrop_Alexis_Stockford_cmyk-600×397.jpg 600w, https://truthout.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/WADO_soybeans__flax_intercrop_Alexis_Stockford_cmyk-600×397-200×132.jpg 200w, https://truthout.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/WADO_soybeans__flax_intercrop_Alexis_Stockford_cmyk-600×397-400×265.jpg 400w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px”/>
In California's Central Valley,
In California's Central Valley, the soybean and flax can increase and diversify the soil microbiota to exclude pathogenic fungi
Verticillium Wilt, A pathogenic soil fungi, have found that planting broccoli crops in between rotations of strawberry crops greatly reduced levels of  Verticillium.
Dating back several decades, have been found in the diversification of potato crop rotations.
Researchers in India – a country where drug-resistant A. fumigatus and C. potato crops potato crops potato crops potato crops , Cells as a result of chemical attack, scientists applied silica to foliar tissue, finding that silica has been absorbed and strengthened the cell walls against fungal invasion. Disease infestation rates ranged from 2.8 – 7.9% in the silica-based integrated management systems and 49.4 – 66.7% in the conventional fungicidal dependent systems.
In general, organic farming supports mutualistic fungi to a much greater degree than conventional farming, crowding out pathogenic strains. Crop rotations, the incorporation of legumes, and the cultivation of soil aggregates support.
Reducing chemical fertilizers and limiting tillage, two agroecological practices with major benefits for reduced pollution and enhanced carbon storage, so select for beneficial strains of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi that form mutualistic relationships with plant roots and can confer resistance to soil pathogens.
Integrating agricultural production into a broader matrix of non- crop vegetation is also important for controlling fungal pathogens. Wild landscapes reduce the potential for pathogenic populations to adapt to crops and modeling 19659034] Ivette Perfecto and John Vandermeer's labs have been done yeoman work, written up in depth here and summarized here, tracing the means by which that of ecological relationships – predation, mutualism, competition, etc. – up and down the food web in which a crop finds itself can [noun] rust fungi.
The nitty-gritty as it applies to fungi can be found in Vandermeer's student Douglas Jackson's dissertation on agroecological
Zachary Hajian-Forooshani (pictured), another University of Michigan student, Mycodiplosis fly larvae feed on the coffee rust the Perfecto-Vandermeer team study in M exico and Puerto Rico.
More Than Mining Soil
agroecological theory of conservation are more likely than 'land-sparing' approaches to conserve natural resources while simultaneously supporting rural livelihoods and low-external input food production.
What emerges is a picture of ecological complexity in which fungicidal warfare is just the wrong tool.
Instead, throwing bad money after bad, fungicides today are applied in a system in which thrive out of simplified landscapes, vast and uninterrupted genetically identical monocultures, rapidly accelerating global warming, and an ever-quickening
In a cruel irony, fungicidal application places evolutionary pressure on pathogens to develop resistance at the same time that industrial management provides the near-perfect conditions for fostering and spreading virulent mutations.
stiffness competition .
Wiping out local ecologies and the near-free work that they offer to help increase their wealth, their water, pollinate their plants, feed their livestock, and control pests sell commodified equivalents to a captured market.
The damage done is more than agricultural or economic. It’s a business plan pursued even at the risk of eroding our capacity to socially reproduce ourselves as a civilization.
Farmers and food activists have complained industrial agriculture represents little more than nutrient and carbon mining. Companies are compelling farmers to grow so much so fast that production squeezes carbon out of the soil in the form of food commodities. As a result, land and water are polluted into such oblivion that food safety cannot be accounted for.
By that pollution, occupational exposures, outbreaks of increasing virulence and extent, metabolic diseases such as diabetes, antibiotic resistance, and now the growing threat of fungicide resistance, carbon mining now extends to gouging out global public health.
Once the order of the day, alternate agricultures long pursued and updated by smallholders worldwide, and backed by a growing scientific literature, offer a way out of that trap.