Researchers have discovered a deadly fungus as the source of fatality in AIDS-related diseases. The research has found that the more deadly varieties of Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungi species that is highly aggressive and deadly were transported from Africa to Asia. A specific kind of the fungus – referred to as the Cryptococcus neoformas type grubii – leads to meningitis in AIDS sufferers or others with immunodeficiency or otherwise damaged immune systems due to HIV infection.
Human Fatalities from Deadly Fungus
Cryptococcal meningitis was identified as a human pathogen over 50 years ago.
Researches believe there are up to one million instances of cryptococcal meningitis documented every year, leading to over 600,000 fatalities. An infection from the fungus, which attacks the patient’s nervous system, is best treated with prolonged antifungal medication treatments, which have no negative side effects.
Scientists employed genetic sequencing methods to assess the genetic range of Cng in 183 trials obtained from medical centers and the surroundings in Thailand compared with 77 trial samples collected from worldwide research. This research has been instrumental in identifying how the fungus spreads, survives and how to minimize the negative effects of the fungus.
HIV and Fungal disease
Thailand is fighting a growing HIV pandemic and almost 20% of HIV-infected persons are affected in one way or another, by cryptococcal infection. Even with the staggering number of deaths from this disease, there is very little public knowledge about it, either in Thailand or other countries.
Cryptococcal meningitis can kill several hundred thousand humans every year, nearly as much as malaria, but gets very little consideration.
Infection occurs when a small yeast-like fungal microbe is inhaled and goes into a dormant state in the respiratory system. At some point, the microbe becomes active again and at this time, the body’s immune system may eliminate the infection or stop it with internal fungistatic and fungicidal defense mechanisms.
Researchers found Cng in Thailand displays considerably fewer genetic varieties when compared to other regions of the world, particularly Africa where several distinct families of the pathogen can exist.
This research suggests that varieties of the fungus in Africa may have a broad range of deadly variations that are good at adapting to antifungal treatments. This further suggests that physicians in Africa should closely monitor the danger of drug-resistant varieties of the fungus.
Analysis also indicates that the virus spread from Africa to Asia sometime within the last 7,000 years and several other human infectious diseases are believed to have started inside the last 11,000 years, after a well-known surge in farming and livestock.
Due to this research, scientists now believe this virus was transported by contaminated pigeons, domesticated approximately 5,000 years ago. Since the pigeon originally came from Africa, it has frequently been considered the carrier and possible spreader of the fungus.