PGI doc finds new species of dandruff-causing fungus

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 04, 2015 21:29 IST

A doctor of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, has identified a new species of a fungus.

Dr Arunaloke Chakrabarti, head, the department of medical microbiology, has discovered a new specie of fungus called Malassezia, commonly found in human skin that often causes dandruff. It has been named after Dr Chakrabarti's name as Malasseziaarunalokeii.

Dr Chakrabarti is known for developing diagnostic techniques involved in fungal diseases. According to international experts, in recent years, the rate of Malassezia infections (which causes dandruff) has gone up.

The experts say every shampoo contains anti-fungal compounds, while the dose is not standardised. Fungal infections kill at least 13.5 lakh people worldwide every year.

The union health ministry has designated the PGIMER department of microbiology as the centre for advanced research in medical mycology.

Earlier, the medical microbiology department had identified an antigen that may help in developing a vaccine against dysentery-causing bacteria.

The research has been given an international patent. After two years of research, the microbiology department identified an antigen - substances that make the immune system to produce antibodies to fight infections - against Shigella, which causes bacillary dysentery in humans.

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