Fungus Shrinks to Get into the Brain
Published in Brain/Neurology.
Researchers at the University of Utah (U of U) Health report that a fungus that is a common cause of fungal meningitis undergoes a transformation once it enters the body, allowing it to infect the brain. Studies in mice showed that as the fungal intruder travels through the body, it shrinks and acquires characteristics that help the infection to spread, all in a matter of days.
The discovery could lead to new strategies for blocking Cryptococcus neoformans infection and preventing detrimental effects on the host. C. neoformans is the leading cause of a rare but deadly swelling of the brain that occurs in people with weakened immune systems.