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New Strain of Virulent Airborne Fungi, Unique to Oregon, Is Set to Spread

ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 2010) ā€” A newly discovered strain of an airborne fungus has caused several deaths in Oregon and seems poised to move into California and other adjacent areas, according to scientists at Duke University Medical Center.

"This novel fungus is worrisome because it appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people," said Edmond Byrnes III, a graduate student in the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. "Typically, we see this fungal disease associated with transplant recipients and HIV-infected patients, but that is not what we are seeing." Byrnes and other Duke co-authors work in the laboratory of senior author Joseph Heitman, M.D., Ph.D., and chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.

Their new work on the emergence and virulence of the new genotypes of Cryptococcus gattii fungi in the United States was published online in PLoS Pathogens on April 22.

 
 

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