bannerHON
img
HONnews
HONnews
img PATIENT / PARTICULIER img PROFESSIONNEL DE SANTE img WEBMESTRE img
img
 
img
HONcode sites
All Web sites
HONselect
News
Conferences
Images

Themes:
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
Browse archive:
2014: A J J M A M F J
2013: D N O S A

 
  Other news for:
Genetics
Infection
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
 Resources from HONselect
Scientists Map DNA of Deadly Fungus
Cryptococcus neoformans can be especially threatening to people with weak immune systems

By Robert Preidt

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.

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

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=686838

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
DNA
Sprains and Strains
Research Personnel
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Immune System
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


Home img About us img MediaCorner img HON newsletter img Site map img Ethical policies img Contact