In Emerging Lethal Fungus Infection, Disease-causing Genes Spread Easily: Study

by Rukmani Krishna on  September 7, 2013 at 1:05 AM General Health News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment
Font : A-A+

A study revealed that a rare, emerging fungal disease that is spreading throughout Canada and Northwestern USA can easily pass its deadly genes to related fungal strains within the species but less readily to more distant relatives. The study was partly funded by Wellcome Trust.
 In Emerging Lethal Fungus Infection, Disease-causing Genes Spread Easily: Study
In Emerging Lethal Fungus Infection, Disease-causing Genes Spread Easily: Study

The findings will help to understand the origins of infectious outbreaks and predict the likelihood of the disease spreading to other populations and geographical areas.

Cryptococcus gattii is a type of fungus that was previously only found in warmer climates throughout the tropics. However, since 1999 outbreaks of highly virulent strains of the fungus have been reported in the cooler climes of Canada and Northwestern USA, causing serious illness in otherwise healthy people and domestic and wild animals and proving fatal in some cases.

To try to understand how likely it is that the disease will spread further, a team of researchers in the US and UK interbred different strains of the fungus to test how easily the characteristics of these more dangerous strains can be transferred to other less harmful strains.

The results show that genes conferring traits that make the fungus more dangerous are easily passed to the offspring when the two parent strains are closely related. When the strains are distantly related to each other, the genes are much less likely to spread.

Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

More News on:

Weaver Syndrome Histoplasmosis 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

Facebook

News Category

News Archive