Cryptococcosis Gattii: The Meaning, History, Symptoms and Picture of Cryptococcosis Gattii.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Cryptococcosis is an airborne pathogen, spreading through the air as opposed to from person-to-person contact.  The disease mainly infects groups with immune system deficiencies, particularly individuals who are HIV-positive.

Cryptococcus gattii, formerly known as Cryptococcus neoformans var gattii, is an encapsulated yeast found primarily in tropical and subtropical climates. Its teleomorph is Filobasidiella bacillispora, a filamentous fungus belonging to the class Tremellomycetes.. 

Other immunocompromised groups include children and infants, pregnant women, anyone with an autoimmune disorder, such as Lupus, and the elderly. There have been instances, however, where individuals with perfectly healthy immune systems have become infected, though these cases are rare.

History-Past Outbreak
Cryptococcus Gattii is a deadly form of fungus that is usually found in the tropics but in 1999 made its way into the soil and trees of British Columbia.  Recently, in 2004, the deadly stain of fungi was found in Oregon.

The spores of Cryptococcus Gattii when inhaled grow and attack the respiratory systems of animals and that includes humans.  From the time an animal inhales the spores, infection occurs within two to twelve months, but usually, seven months.

The deadly form of fungi leaves about 20% of its victims with menengitis which attacks the nervous system with deadly results.  Symptoms are high fever, headache, and neck pain.

It is unknown how the disease and spores of Cryptococcus Gattii are spreading, but they are now in the United States.

The disease in Oregon has had a 25% mortality rate while initially the disease had less than a 5% mortalitiy rate.  The disease is not spread from animal to animal or human to human but is said to be an enviromental disease instead.  

Symptoms
Symptoms of Cryptococcosis are much like those of pneumonia, with shortness of breath, a lingering cough and wheezing being amongst the most predominant. Other symptoms include skin lesions, fever, headache, and, in severe cases, a change in mental status.  Anyone experiencing these symptoms, particularly in the Northwest region of the United States, should seek immediate medical attention.

According to recent news reports and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a new strain of Cryptococcus gattii, or Cryptococcosis, has begun spreading through the Northwestern United States, namely Oregon, causing potentially fatal illness in both animals and humans.

Source: http://health.gather.com




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