Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vancouver Island has one of the highest rates of Cryptococcus infection in the world

05.05.2010
Calgary doctors research how to minimize complications from the disease

Cryptococcus disease is a rare but serious infection resulting from inhaling a toxic fungus often found in fir trees. Approximately 250 people have been infected with the disease in British Columbia since its emergence in 1999. The disease can cause meningitis, pneumonia and in 10 per cent of cases it can lead to death.

Little is known about how the fungus leaves the bloodstream and enters the brain; however, researchers at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine have made a key observation. Using a mouse model, Drs. Meiqing Shi and Christopher Mody and their team noticed that a class of therapeutic drugs already approved for other medical uses could stop the fungus from crossing the brain blood barrier and therefore reduce brain infection. The finding was published this week in the May edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

"We would love to partner with someone and study this further," says Mody, a member of the Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation and senior author on the study "While the therapy was tested in mice we do think it could ultimately transition to humans. The class of drugs we used in the study is already approved for use in humans for other conditions."

If this new treatment is approved for Cryptococcus infection for humans it could prevent further spread to the brain but it would not replace current therapies, which include an aggressive treatment of two-drugs taken for a period of many months.

Cryptococcus first appeared on Vancouver Island in 1999, and has spread into the B.C. lower mainland as well as down the Pacific coast into Washington and Oregon. It can take several months for respiratory symptoms to appear and fortunately not many people exposed to the fungus become ill.

"The type of Cryptococcus on Vancouver Island comes from warm climates such as Northern Australia and is particularly dangerous even in healthy people so it is very important to study the emergence of this infectious disease," says Paul Kubes, PhD, a co-author on this study and Director of the Snyder Institute for Infection, Immunity and Inflammation .

There are 37 different species of Cryptococcus and various strains have been affecting people in Africa and Australia. Vancouver Island has only recently been infected with the fungus and has one of the highest rates of infection in the world.

This research was funded by the Lung Association of Alberta & NWT as well as Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (funded by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Endowment Fund).

The full research article can be found here: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/41963

Video: Cryptococcus in the blood vessel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uu7ciwX0MI

Marta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucalgary.ca

Further reports about: Cryptococcus neoformans Infection Snyder inflammation

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>