A fevered planet & the rise of fungal pathogens

This information seemed relevant for other preppers to be aware of, and the scientific article linked is fairly new as it was published in April 2021:

A professor of mine recently brought up how in the past, fungal pathogens have not been major health concerns for humans the way viral and bacterial pathogens have been. She spoke about how this was due to the fact that the majority of (although certainly not all) fungal pathogens don’t thrive at the temperature the typical human body is at, because it is much too warm for them. Essentially: “For the vast majority of fungal species, the capacity to grow at elevated temperatures limits their ability to infect and establish in mammals. However, fungi can be trained to evolve thermotolerance” (Nnadi et al).


As the planet is essentially fevered and we see global warming (IPCC Report) the freedom we have previously enjoyed from the threat of fungal pathogens may be coming to an end as “gradual adaptation to increasing temperature caused by climate change could lead to an increase of organisms that can cause disease.” (Nnadi et al.) Warming the planet means that fungal pathogens are adapting to survive and thrive at higher temperatures, temperatures that are far closer to a human’s body temperature than we should be comfortable with. “In addition, climate change can increase the geographic range of pathogenic species or their vectors, leading to the emergence of diseases in areas where they have not previously been reported.” (Nnadi et al.)


This is a major cause for concern because “fungi can arguably pose equal or even greater threats [than viruses and bacteria]: There are no vaccines available yet for fungal pathogens, the arsenal of antifungal agents is extremely limited, and fungi can live saprotrophically, producing large quantities of infectious spores and do not require host-to-host contact to establish infection. Indeed, fungi seem to be uniquely capable of causing complete host extinction.” (Nnadi et al.)


 Screen Shot 2021-08-10 at 6.37.08 PMFigure from Climate change and the emergence of fungal pathogens (Nnandi et al.)

Official Citations of the Linked Sources:

 Nnadi NE, Carter DA (2021) Climate change and the emergence of fungal pathogens. PLOS Pathogens 17(4): e1009503. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009503

 IPCC, 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S. L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press. 


  • Comments (21)

    • 3


      What are some things that the average prepper can do to combat this future fungal infection? Keep skin clean, and avoid having your house too hot and humid?

    • 2

      Good afternoon Camille,

      This is good information. Thank you.

      I’ll start following how the risk management community addresses this. Usually it’s by insurance but COVID19 created new rules.

      Keep up the doctoral studies !

    • 2

      In Europe the increase in fungal respiratory infections is due mainly to two things, neither being global warming.

      1 Is overcrowded and densely populated urban areas with habitats often reliant on poorly maintained or unmaintained air conditioning.  Often built in close proximity to each other, Many office blacks and especially hospitals have single AIR CON systems, so if someone sneezes in the basement the germs / spores can often spread throught the hospital.

      2 Modern houses now being built to be as insulated and as thermally efficient as possible but have very poor fresh air circulation / ventilation,  they are almost hermetically sealed, No vents in walls or windows, many with no fireplaces or chimneys, totally sealed glazing systems

      • 4

        Bill—can you cite a source for your assertion? I find no evidence supporting it and would like to see the study or data source.

        Here’s a comprehensive global meta-review of fungal diseases from NIH; the primary causes for the prevalence of respiratory fungi are immunosuppressive agents and diseases, overuse of antibiotics, longer ICU stays, and so on, as you can see:


        Camille—thanks for the really interesting information. This will definitely be a growing point of concern as global warming changes our ecosystems.

      • 1

        Sorry Naz would love to help, But its only what I’ve seen reported on TV in news articles and one short documentary about the apaling building standards in the UK that has the UK still at least 30 years behind most scandinavian home designs.    if I come across it again I’ll post it.

      • 3


        Does this help Naz ?

        1.1. Fungal pollution of indoor environments
        Fungi are ubiquitous in distribution and are a serious threat to public health in indoor environments (Samet and Spengler, 2003; Khan, 2009). Many fungi that are reported to cause allergy belong to Ascomycota, Basidiomycota or anamorphic fungi. There are many reports on fungi isolated from indoor environments (Table 1) (Portnoy, 2003; Khan et al., 2009). Fungi are able to grow on almost all natural and synthetic materials, especially if they are hygroscopic or wet. Inorganic materials get frequently colonized as they absorb dust and serve as good growth substrates for Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus versicolor (Samet and Spengler, 2003). Wood is highly vulnerable to fungal attack. Cladosporium and Penicillium (Penicillium brevicompactum and Penicillium expansum) are reported to infest wooden building materials. Kiln dried wood surfaces are more susceptible to fungi (Sailer et al., 2010). Acylated wooden furnitures, wood polyethylene composites, plywood and modified wood products are susceptible to infestation by Aspergillus, Trichoderma and Penicillium (Thacker, 2004; Doherty et al., 2011).

      • 3

        Not really. I was referring to your statements regarding the increase in fungal infections being for “two things, neither being global warming”. The two reasons you propose don’t seem backed by evidence (though I’d love to see evidence if it exists; I’m here to learn).

        The scientific paper I linked to states, for a range of classes of fungal disease, what the prevalence is and what the likely causes are, which aren’t the ones you’ve cited (and your quote simply states that fungi are ubiquitous, a point we all agree on, but which is different than the question of whether fungal disease prevalence is increasing and what is causing it.

        Regarding hospitals, most in developed countries have high-end filtration systems (HEPA or MERV 13+) so if “someone sneezes in the basement” it does not, in fact, lead to a fungal infection. On the subject of homes, modern designs are actually improving the situation (see for example the Passive House standards that require air exchange (with heat recovery for efficiency) and filtration systems. If UK standards are 30 years behind, it only reinforces the point that modern standards are actually improving the health of interior environments, and that an increase in prevalence of fungal infections is likely due to something else.

        Do you accept global warming as evidence-backed science? If you have evidence to the contrary, or to refute the findings in the research that Camille linked to, I’d love to see it, but my bets are on the scientists, not on more general TV programs and articles.

      • -1

        Oh I fully accept Global warming Climate change is influenced by human activity, by how much is the bit I’m unsure of.   Regrettably I have zero faith in government experts, their collective track record is abysmal on many issues. I agree they are highlighting a genuine evidence based issue, but as yet I dont agree with much of their doom mongering.

        I certainly agree is is prudent to take urgent steps to mitagate the proposed negative effects of climate change, WITHIN REASON, but until the United States, Canada, China and India introduce major steps to reduce C02 emmisions then their is little point in the UK destroying its economy just to meet ineffective local targets.

        BTW Evidence based EXPERTS are frequently wrong, Such as the experts stating with absolute fact that Saddam Hussain had WMD.

        Yes ” Experts” the same experts who told us Thalidomide did not create deformities in babies, Primados did not cause abortions, Eggs did not have Salmonella, BSE could not jump species, The Contraceptive pill did not cause blood clots. Margarine was healthier than Butter, Statins had more benefits than negatives, Windscale could NOT leak radiation into the Irish sea, Fracking did not cause Earthquakes and Foot and Mouth was confined to Northumberland.

        Experts told us the UK economy would collapse if we did not adopt the EURO join the ERM and sign up to the Shengen agreement. Experts who said only 15000 Eastern Europeans would come to the UK when more countries joined the EU. Experts who swore that Iraq had WMD, that Trump would never be elected president and of course we would NEVER vote to leave the EU etc. Experts who said European Civil war, Global recession and Ten million unemployed would be a result of Brexit.

        EXPERTS talking about climate change recently , the same experts who said the hole in the OZONE LAYER could never be fixed, Same dudes told us a NUCLEAR WINTER was unavoidable. The same who said the Amazon would vanish by the year 2000

        HISTORY and FACTS prove the EXPERTS wrong time after time.

        o we have the galloping lefty Senator from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who says we have TWELVE years to save the world from climate change. BUT.

        Andrew Simms of the Guardian told us many years ago that we had only 100 months to avoid disaster,meaning that time ran out in 2016.

        Al Gore told us that we had just ten years in July of 2008 to ensure the survival of the United States of America. So America has been screwed for three years now.

        Jim Hansen of NASA warned in 2009that Obama only had four years to save Earth. Apparently Earth was lost in 2013.

        Prince Charles told us in May 2008 that we had just eighteen months to stop climate change. That gave us until the end of 2009. Then Prince Charles by July 2009 said this had been extended to just 96 months to save the world, Time ran out in 2018. In July 2019 Charles once again said we have 18 months to save the world. Its 2021 and nothing has happened.

        Lester Brown published in 2009 that we had only months, not years to save civilisation from climate change. Its been years.

        Its all BS but a good way of hitting us with more taxes and keeping plenty of activists, ologists, academics and politicians in good jobs.

        FYI They discusses Climate Change at Davos earlier this year, they did so by using 1500 private jets to get to and from the venue.

        IF climate change was real the UK government would not be increasing the numbers of flights using Heathrow from 500,000 PA to 749,000PA plus another 30,000 extra using London City airport. 

        To me their is nothing wrong with healthy skeptisism whilst taking steps to reduce the threat likely threats.

        Nice to have had this chat, Cheers.

      • 1

        Good afternoon NazSMD,

        The key word is surely “most” ref “…hospitals, most in developed countries … (HEPA or MERC 13+)”.

        I know some of the Veterans Health Service hospital annexs do not have ideal arrangements. I go to an annex because it is much cleaner and more sanitary than the big building.  The annex is leased space.

        Here in coastal Virginia, home building permits are issued without concerns to anticipated occupant(s)’ health. Max revenue streams for taxes govern the pending dwelling. Most important is revenue support for the public sector.

      • 2

        There is a brand new hospital in Glasgow Scotland whose new ventilation system was blamed by some for the deaths of patients because fungal spores from feral pigeons on the twelvth floor managed to infect patients on the floors below. Naturally the hospital denied it, but many families simply dont believe the hospital.

        “According to Gail’s daughter Beth: “One day the consultant came in and said to us ‘we’ve identified the source of the infection and it’s called Cryptococcus, and it’s a really nasty infection that comes from pigeons’.” 




      • 1

        I believe in listening to the experts seriously, BUT with a healthy dose of Skeptisism

        The Titanic is unsinkable, Mount St Helens isnt about to erupt, Peace in our time, I’ve signed a deal with AH,  BSE/ Scrapie/ mad cow disease cannot jump species, The hole in the Ozone layer is to big to be repaired, The BBC Polar bear will become extinct in ten years ( Record numbers of Polar bears reported later that year) Ebola cannot come to the UK our preventative measures are unbeatable ( two weeks later a nurse arrives in UK infected with Ebola.   Thalidomide does not cause deformities, tell that to a boy I went to school with.   Foot and Mouth disease is safely confined to one small area of Northumberland ( it was everywhere within 6 weeks)

      • 5

        Well, I’ll still say that none of what you present is evidence for your initial claims about what’s increasing fungal infections. Incidents are not trends, just as weather is not climate; no doubt buildings are inconsistently permitted and managed but the paper from NIH, and the other that Camille cited, are clear on the bigger picture.

        And the people you cite in the list to refute experts are far from experts—in fact many are politicians. Here’s one thing I’m pretty sure we agree on: we both regard politicians as unreliable sources!

        Anyway, this is getting into a huge digression; my main point was to salute the paper Camille shared with us and to focus back on the fact that it will be a growing issue. The actual experts are remarkably consistent, despite what the politicians and celebrities say. 

      • 2

        Good morning NazSMD,

        A favorite example of mine to contribute here toward end of this early AM rambling; …

        Most all of my career I’ve dealt with experts.

        Since ~ Jan, 1950 we really do need adjectivesin our descriptions such as “experts”. This word requires an adjective. Circa Jan 1950 is when we lost George Orwell.

        Although not considering it a digression, here’s my entry that explains “experts”:

        In high school and college I learned about the periodic chart of the elements. A feature mentioned by a university professor delved into the inert elements. The professor was a high-level former official with a Federal agency in D.C.

        Later, when working overseas in the oil exploration industry, was told by a REAL expert that the inert elements were not inert.

        This post w/ my favorite example is to assist me in joining you and other forum members in re the material Camille presented to us – along with encouragement on her PhD program at Cornell.

      • 4

        So, how do you discern “real” experts from the not so real ones, particularly when looking forward? That seems to be the crux of much of this discussion, and an important skill for all of us to hone.

        My bets generally are on proper scientific process and evidence-based reasoning. Looking at biases and external influences is important too (and indeed already part of the formal scientific process, with those meant to be disclosed in any published study). 

        Perfect? Free from error or bias or intentional fakery? Certainly not, but way more transparent and assessable than most politicians, social media posts, and speculation. 

      • 1

        Good afternoon NazSMD,

        Distinguishing the “real experts” from others is a combination of semantics and pedantics.

        Our discussion here approaches the universal.

        Who established the the scientific process?  Who established the evidence based reasoning ?

        Scientists and engineers designed and tested the USS Thresher.

        Naz, I don’t have any knowledge of your background to provide some clarifying examples.

        In the science arena, look at CDC. Are you familiar with the CDC Foundation (private sector). Do you know about CDC’s Washington, D.C.’s office. 

        I’ve testified as an expert before an administrative agency. This was overseas oil leasehold matter. 


        “Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”

        Will Durant, American historian 

        Attributed to George Orwell:  ” The correlation is so strong only an expert could miss it”.

    • 3

      Thanks for this, Camille! I had heard some of this about the warnings before the pandemic, but not all of that.  And I’d certainly not heard about the fungi risk that is brewing.  

      NazSMD, I think the key adjective is ‘proper’ in that proper scientific process.  I would include full transparency as part of that which is at times questionable even in evidence-based research/reasoning (as you say it is typically better with a peer review process). I do include here the conflict of interest when the research is done by those ‘experts’ that profit from a particular outcome (medications, cigarettes, herbicides, insecticides, manufacturing, mining, etc).  The lack of transparency is used as a means of succumbing to pressure to increase power or profit or both. The pressure for tenure in academia. The power of advancement or prestige in business or politics.  The profits in FDA research, approval and marketing.    I’m still agog as to how vaping was ever legalized…and then marketed.  

    • 3
      • 4

        Thanks for sharing Bill Masen.  This is a really scary reality of what Camille was mentioning could be even worse in the future.  An epidemic within a pandemic.  What a nightmare.  

    • 3

      Really interesting article. Thank you for posting!