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Yeast 'may prevent infections'

Yeast could be used to prevent life-threatening fungal diseases such as aspergillosis, scientists claim.

Experts in the US found that mice which had been injected with the substance were able to survive high doses of aspergillus, responsible for the fungal disease aspergillosis.

The mice, who were given three injections of dead saccharomyces (baker's yeast), were also found to have lower levels of infection in their organs.

The findings could help to develop a vaccine to prevent fungal infections, the researchers said.

Aspergillosis can prove fatal for humans with weak immune systems.

The fungal spores can cause a serious infection that affects the lung after they are inhaled. The fungus can also spread to the brain and other organs, leading to kidney and liver failure.

The study has been published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Journal of Medical Microbiology