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How A Deadly Tropical Fungus Got To Oregon

Canadian Medical Association Journal
X-rays show pneumonia from Cryptococcus Gatii in a Canadian patient.

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.   


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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.