Conditions and Diseases
Immune System

Why is it usually more difficult to treat fungal infections than it is to treat bacterial infections?

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2010-10-15 00:03:26

Viral infections are harder to treat than bacterial infections

because bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, while

viruses cannot

Fungal infectons are difficult to treat because of the nature of

fungi. They are phylogenetically very closely related to animals

and have a very similar biochemical makeup to animals. In treating

an internal fungal infection it is difficult to find a drug that

kills the fungus and not the animal. Most fungi are killed by the

immune system, and if it is impossible for the immune system to

kill the fungus on its own, then the animal is likely to not


Bacteria on the other hand are prokaryotic, making them very

different from eukaryotic life (plants, animals, fungi, and

protists). It is easy to target the bacteria cells as they are so

biochemically different from our own. The only thing needed to do

to kill a bacterium is to destroy the cell wall, which can be done

using a number of drugs. Although it may be true that bacteria is

easier to kill inside a human than fungus is, there are antibiotic

resistant bacteria now.

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