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 The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>