Chrome 2001
.
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
 
.
. .
.
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
Health News Health News
.
Scientists Map DNA of Deadly Fungus
April 17, 2014

 

THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers who sequenced the genome of a deadly fungus say their achievement offers a genetic map for finding weaknesses in the fungus in order to fight it.

Cryptococcus neoformans causes millions of cases of pneumonia and meningitis every year, says a team of scientists that spent 10 years decoding the DNA of one highly dangerous strain, called H99.

The mapping of the fungus' entire genetic code, or genome, can be used to learn more about how the fungus causes illness and to find ways to prevent it from developing into even deadlier strains, the scientists said.

"We are beginning to get a grasp on what makes this organism tick," study co-author Dr. John Perfect, a professor of medicine at Duke University, said in a university news release. "By having a carefully annotated genome of H99, we can investigate how this and similar organisms can change and mutate and begin to understand why they aren't easily killed by antifungal medications."

The study is published April 17 in the journal PLoS Genetics.

Perfect said he first isolated H99 from a patient with cryptococcal meningitis 36 years ago.

Cryptococcus neoformans primarily infects people with a weakened immune system, such as transplant recipients and patients with HIV/AIDs. The researchers found that the H99 strain became less virulent as they grew it in the laboratory.

"Virulence, or the ability of this organism to cause disease in mice or humans, is not very stable. It changes, and can rapidly be lost or gained. When the organism is in the host it is in one state. But when we take it out of the host and begin growing it in the laboratory it begins mutating," senior study author Fred Dietrich, an associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke University School of Medicine, said in the news release.

The next step is to mutate all of H99's genes one by one to determine which ones cause disease, the researchers said.

They added that having a map of H99's genome also provides them with a starting point for studying other strains of Cryptococcus neoformans.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about fungal diseases.
Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


SOURCE: Duke University, news release, April 17, 2014...

InteliHealth
.
.
.
.
.
More News
InteliHealth .
.
General Health News
Today's News
Today In Health History
This Week In Health
Addiction News
Allergy News
Alzheimer's News
Arthritis News
Asthma News
Babies News
Breast Cancer News
Bronchitis News
Cancer News
Cervical Cancer News
Children's Health News
Cholesterol News
Dental/Oral Health News
Depression News
Diabetes News
Ear, Nose And Throat News
Environmental Health News
Eye News
Fitness News
Genetics News
Headache News
Health Policy News
Heart Attack News
Heart Failure News
Heart Health News
HIV/AIDS News
Infectious Diseases News
Influenza News
Lung Cancer News
Medication News
Men's Health News
Mental Health News
Multiple Sclerosis News
Nutrition News
Parkinson's News
Pregnancy News
Prostate Cancer News
Schizophrenia
Senior Health News
Sexual/Reproductive Health News
Sexual dysfunction
Sleep News
STDs News
Stroke News
Tobacco Cessation News
Weight Management News
Women's Health News
.
.
.
.
InteliHealth
    Print Printer-friendly format    
   
.  
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
.