Killer Fungi

Killer Funghi found with the ability to communicate and infect

Scientists have managed to find a fungus that has microbes with the ability to communicate with each other within their own cells.

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Cryptococcus gattii, a fungus that resides in soil has been found to do exactly that. A particular variation of the fungus can infect healthy people, which is unusual for a fungus. The first known cases were in British Columbia, Canada, and also in Oregon and Washington state.

The unfortunate soul that inhales the spores of this fungus has their life threatened by serious infections of the spinal cord, the material surrounding the brain and even the brain itself!

These minute little (enter own expletive) are so virulent due to that fact that they grow very quickly inside our white blood cells. These fungal cells work together by using extracellular vesicles to talk to each other. This had never before been observed by scientists. The technique employed is called a “division of labour”.

This pathogen can be fatal to humans. In a six-year period, this fungus managed to infect sixty people in the USA. Of the sixty, nine died.

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Reference and further reading Live Science

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