A new strain of a tropical fungal interloper has been discovered in the United States…but no matter how it arose, this party crasher looks like “it’s going to stick around…”
Cryptococcus gattii is an encapsulated, pathogenic yeast, closely related to Cryptococcus neoformans.* Until 1999, it had been thought limited to tropical and subtropical climates; but in that year it emerged on Vancouver Island, resulting in one of the highest incidences of C. gattii infection reported anywhere in the world. Human illnesses caused by C. gattii were subsequently confirmed on the British Columbia mainland, in Washington State, and, since 2004, in Oregon.
For more information see the November 17, 2011 issue of the CD Summary: Cryptococcus Gattii: The Fungus Among Us.