How A Deadly Tropical Fungus Got To Oregon

Oct 23, 2019

There are some diseases and pathogens we just don't expect to be present in our part of the world.  Malaria, for example; it's tropical, and so far has stayed in the tropics. 

The fungus cryptococcus gattii is supposed to be tropical, too.  But it's present in the region, and exposure to it can be fatal, and has been, at least a dozen times in the last 15 years in Oregon. 

Now researchers theorize that oceangoing ships, the 1964 tsunami, and a subsequent flood may all have helped push cryptococcus into the region. 

David Engelthalter led the research; he's at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and he is our guest.