Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of
Medicine, MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia
"Cryptococcosis is a rare fungal infection caused by inhaling the fungus, Cryptococcus
neoformans...(which) is found in soil..."

Meningitis - cryptococcal
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of
Medicine, MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia
"Meningitis - cryptococcal is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord caused
by the yeast-type organism Cryptococcus neoformans...that is found in soil worldwide..."

FUNGUS IN SLUDGE - BIOSOLIDS - natural airborne killers ...
2/18/2007. Recently, the media has reported on a deadly tropical infectious cryptococcus ...
Cryptococcus is recognized as a very dangerous pollutant found in sludge - biosolids. ...

Emergence and Pathogenicity of Highly Virulent Cryptococcus gattii Genotypes in the
Northwest United States
Abstract Top
Cryptococcus gattii causes life-threatening disease in otherwise healthy hosts and to a lesser extent in
immunocompromised hosts. The highest incidence for this disease is on Vancouver Island, Canada,
where an outbreak is expanding into neighboring regions including mainland British Columbia and the
United States. This outbreak is caused predominantly by C. gattii molecular type VGII, specifically
VGIIa/major. In addition, a novel genotype, VGIIc, has emerged in Oregon and is now a major source of
illness in the region. Through molecular epidemiology and population analysis of MLST and VNTR
markers, we show that the VGIIc group is clonal and hypothesize it arose recently. The VGIIa/IIc
outbreak lineages are sexually fertile and studies support ongoing recombination in the global VGII
population. This illustrates two hallmarks of emerging outbreaks: high clonality and the emergence of
novel genotypes via recombination. In macrophage and murine infections, the novel VGIIc genotype
and VGIIa/major isolates from the United States are highly virulent compared to similar non-outbreak
VGIIa/major-related isolates. Combined MLST-VNTR analysis distinguishes clonal expansion of the
VGIIa/major outbreak genotype from related but distinguishable less-virulent genotypes isolated from
other geographic regions. Our evidence documents emerging hypervirulent genotypes in the United
States that may expand further and provides insight into the possible molecular and geographic origins
of the outbreak.

Author Summary Top
Emerging and reemerging infectious diseases are increasing worldwide and represent a major public
health concern. One class of emerging human and animal diseases is caused by fungi. In this study, we
examine the expansion on an outbreak of a fungus, Cryptococcus gattii, in the Pacific Northwest of the
United States. This fungus has been considered a tropical fungus, but emerged to cause an outbreak in
the temperate climes of Vancouver Island in 1999 that is now causing disease in humans and animals in
the United States. In this study we applied a method of sequence bar-coding to determine how the
isolates causing disease are related to those on Vancouver Island and elsewhere globally. We also
expand on the discovery of a new pathogenic strain recently identified only in Oregon and show that it is
highly virulent in immune cell and whole animal virulence experiments. These studies extend our
understanding of how diseases emerge in new climates and how they adapt to these regions to cause
disease. Our findings suggest further expansion into neighboring regions is likely to occur and aim to
increase disease awareness in the region.