Abstract

There has been a rising interest in the levels, diversity and potential impacts of yeasts in aquatic environments. Some of the species isolated from such niches are known pathogens or have pathogenic and antifungal resistance features. This deems it necessary to understand the characteristics and potential health implications of such environmental yeasts species. Studies on these subjects are limited. Most studies on aquatic yeasts have linked them to water pollution. However, the current gold standards to determine microbial pollution of water use bacteria as the main indicator organisms. Including yeasts in water quality standards may provide a different dimension on the quality of water when determining its fit-for-use properties. Pathogenic yeasts cause superficial infections or life-threatening infections, especially in immunocompromised people. Some of the yeast species isolated in recent studies were resistant to commonly used antifungal agents of clinical and veterinary relevance. With the high prevalence rate of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in South Africa, antifungal resistance is a public concern as it poses serious medical and economic challenges. Most available studies are concerned with clinical environments only. There is, thus, a need to review the literature that also focuses on aquatic environments.

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