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 Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>