A new fungal outbreak has caused a domino affect from the forest to the drug industry, and people are seeking answers. As environmental illness has reached all time highs and the drug industry can provide no answers except excuses, the people are becoming increasingly aware of how severe the earth’s mold infection is. Whether one listens to the chem.-trackers or hurricane victims, the dreaded four letter word is turning up everywhere, no matter how skeptical one is.
In the Pacific Northwest, a new fungal pathogen has caused more embarrassment to most medical practitioners, the pharmaceutical industry, and even the Canadian Government as the public grows more suspicious, knowledgeable, yet unfortunately ill. Yet few still seem to care unless it affects them personally. It still goes back to that out of ‘sight out of mind’ thought cycle. It is more due to the fact that aesthetics appear to be more popular than mold, both domestically and physically. It’s a sad fact of life, and far more impactful than know, mostly due to ignorance. Many people chalk up ‘mystery’ illnesses with commonly overused ‘excuses’, such as environment, asthma, allergies, acid reflux, fatigue, old age, dementia, forgetfulness, and even the ‘never ending cold’, but few pinpoint the common culprit: mold. It is no coincidence. There are many reasons.
This new fungal strain has created an outbreak of disease among otherwise healthy people and animals on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Howard Hughes Medical Institute geneticists at Duke University Medical Center have reported.
This is very similar to mycotoxicosis, duped by the drug puppeteer website WebMD as ‘Toxic Mold Syndrome’. WebMD, in their very obvious corporate campaign to downplay a virtual pandemic of international outbreaks of healthy people who have been distraught with a rash of mycotoxicosis generally caused by deficient buildings, are asking the same questions these people are as to why little attention has been brought to this matter. In the case of deficient buildings, healthy individuals can often be exposed to much more dangerous fungi, such as Stachybotrys, Chaetomium, and Aspergillus. According to many leading experts, there has been an unexplainable epidemic of thyroid disease, Hashimoto’s Syndrome, Grave’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, scleroderma, and the list keeps continuing. This can only be explained by the problems with indoor air pollution, primarily mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins such as fumonisin are highly toxic chemicals produced by molds and fungi. According to the United States Army 9 (Textbook of Military Medicine: Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare: Chapter 34), trichothecenes, common mycotoxins found in stachybotrys (also known as black mold) causes multiorgan effects including emesis and diarrhea, weight loss, nervous disorders, cardiovascular alterations, immunodepression, hemostatic derangements, skin toxicity, decreased reproductive capacity, and bone marrow damage, to name just a few of the minor effects.
Unfortunately, many journalists fail to conduct necessary steps to cover scientific stories effectively; therefore, they often either downplay the effects of an epidemic or create hype and hysteria. “It is not their fault that they are ignorant”, states Dr. David Rhodes, scientific researcher for UK Med Archives. “It is just that they don’t know better.” MH has been trying to shed some light as to why some journalists have failed to tell the truth about this subject, resulting in more public health hazards. “It was very evident with the latest bit of rubbish that that Forbes journalist came out with that he was an amateur scientist. He made a mockery about fungal disease. I couldn’t believe that that magazine published it. Our entire society laughed at his relaxed approach towards this issue in lieu upon what your country is experiencing right now.
In our country, we don’t find that very often—you either find a professional reporter who does his job correctly or a scientist, but this makes me mad when I see (the Americans) making innocent people getting sick due to bad reporters. They don’t often mean ill will towards giving off the wrong idea, it’s just that they shouldn’t be talking about things they know nothing about and this often makes people suffer.” We probed further. “I have never seen it more than in the United States. Either you have a lot of incompetent reporters or a lot of opinions. Either way, it makes no sense.”
New Types of Candida Little Help
Since the 1980s, about fifteen types of Candida from Africa have emerged that many physicians are unskilled at treating. They still use old-fashioned remedies from the 1950?s, originated to treat only Candida Albicans. The medical science behind fungal therapy is sorely lacking, if not at least fifty years behind, their viral and bacterial counterparts. This has left the medical community, for fear of shame, in a defensive mode with their largest benefactor, the pharmaceutical industry. This is when it is time to bring in the clowns, strictly a metaphor, for drug company puppeteers like WebMD to propagate misinformation about illnesses that don’t even exist, such as so called ‘toxic mold illness’. In a way, this provides a scapegoat for the drug industry to circumvent their frustration for their failure to research possible preventive and treatable pharmaceuticals for many of the newer and more advanced strains of fungi that the drug companies have failed to address. Aside from that, there is much more profit from associated illnesses and residual effects of fungi, so why address an unidentified human health crisis when you can make billions from an unaddressed fungal pathogen?
The Newest Threat
Same-sex breeding between two, supposedly less harmful yeast strains might have generated an outbreak of disease among otherwise healthy people and animals on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Howard Hughes Medical Institute geneticists at Duke University Medical Center have reported.
The newest threat is a fungus called Cryptococcus gattii. This fungus was normally restricted to the tropics and subtropics. The researchers said their findings provide important additional insight into the origin of the Vancouver Island outbreak, which began in 1999. Moreover, the evidence that sex played an important role in the pathogen’s expansion may provide a useful model for the evolution of infectious diseases and parasites more generally, they said. The team reported its findings October 9, 2005, in an advanced online publication of Nature. The work was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. After extensive genetic analysis of fungal samples, the researchers suggest that mating between two less harmful fungal strains of the same sex or “mating type” produced the more virulent form. That strain has now taken hold and appears to be spreading — perhaps driven by unique climatic conditions in the Vancouver area, they said.
“While the number of people infected so far does not approach that of many other infectious diseases, this fungus is invading the central nervous systems of people who have no other apparent risk factors except having taken a walk in the park on Vancouver Island,” said Joseph Heitman, M.D., Ph.D. “A year after infection, some of these people still have not fully recovered.” This is very similar to many of the other genres of indoor molds proven to cause permanent neurological, psychological, immunological, and pathological damage. Perhaps, one more mold may be added to the list hazardous indoor molds in the future, but for now, it appears to be happy in this Canadian locale. “The fungus appears to have become entrenched in the Vancouver Island area,” he added. “It is unlikely to disappear, and all indications are that it is spreading. Our findings suggest that sex played a role in the expanded geographic range for this pathogen.” Since it was first documented in 1999, C. gattii has infected at least 100 people on Vancouver Island and the Canadian mainland and led to four deaths. The fungus, which lives in trees and soil, has also infected a variety of domestic and marine animals, including dogs, cats, llamas and porpoises.
C. gattii is closely related to the more widespread infectious yeast, Cryptococcus neoformans. The potentially life-threatening C. neoformans invades the central nervous system to cause disease. Although many claim that this other yeast most commonly affects immune-compromised patients such as organ transplant recipients and cancer patients, there are whatsoever no documented studies to support this data. Moreover, this mold has been supposedly found in both healthy and ‘immuno-compromised’ individuals. Therefore, C. neoformans and C. gattii both infect individuals with apparently normal immunity, so don’t be fooled by any data that states otherwise unless it cites a particular study. Symptoms include persistent headaches, coughing and night sweats. In rare cases, C. gattii causes cryptococcal disease, pneumonia, meningitis or death.
While C. neoformans is found worldwide in association with pigeon droppings, the rarer C. gattii is normally restricted to tropical and subtropical areas, often in association with Eucalyptus trees. “It is suspected that the infectious propagules of Cryptococcus are airborne spores,” Heitman said. “Such spores are produced during sexual reproduction, though mating of the fungus has never been observed in nature.” In plants and animals, sexual identity is governed by sex chromosomes, Heitman explained. In fungi, however, sexual identity is determined by so-called “mating type loci,” genes arranged contiguously, but which typically do not span an entire chromosome. Cryptococcus exists in two mating types, “a” and “alpha,” determined by a single genetic region, or locus. Earlier studies by the Duke team found that most Vancouver Island outbreak isolates are sexually fertile, but all are of one “sex,” a trend that would seem to preclude the normal sexual cycle. A recent laboratory study led by Heitman’s group suggested a possible explanation: the related yeast C. neoformans can undergo same-sex mating between two alpha partners. Among clinical and environmental isolates of the fungus from British Columbia, the researchers identified two forms: an extremely virulent major strain, which accounted for 95 percent of all samples, and a less virulent and less common strain, which made up the other five percent. By comparing select gene sequences that spanned the genomes of the Vancouver Island fungi to samples collected from around the world, the team traced the rarer type to identical isolates in Australia. The major form matched a sample taken from an infected person in Seattle 30 years ago and another collected from a Eucalyptus tree in San Francisco in 1992.
What’s more, the Canadian strains shared approximately half of their genetic makeup, suggesting that the two might be related. Further analysis confirmed this initial finding, suggesting that the two C. gattii strains in Vancouver Island are either siblings or that one is the parent and the other the progeny. “Given that the minor outbreak form also exists in multiple locations in Australia, while the major outbreak form has only been found in the Pacific Northwest, we favor the hypothesis that the minor type represents one of two parental strains that gave rise to the major outbreak isolate,” said study author James Fraser PhD., also of Duke. “The second parent strain remains to be discovered.”
Additional examination of the mating type locus provided evidence that the major outbreak isolate may have resulted from same-sex mating, Heitman added. In a traditional sexual cycle, all alpha progeny inherit identical alpha genes from their alpha parent. However, the mating type locus of the two strains from Vancouver Island – both of the alpha mating type — differed at numerous sites, they found. “Sex within the same mating-type may confer an evolutionary advantage when the opposite mating type is unavailable,” Heitman said. “Other human pathogens or parasites may harbor cryptic same-sex cycles that contribute to produce progeny with altered virulence, geographic or host range or other advantageous characteristics.”
In hopes of nurturing humanity, it would be in the best interest for everyone involved (healthwise) that the media and governmental agencies will speak candidly and honestly about this new health concern as the public requires the truth. They can no longer be fed lies or half-baked rumors about fungal myths from fifty-year old studies. The technology is out there, but it should not be up to an environmentalist or arm chair researcher to uncover these facts. It is far worse if they go to medical marionette websites such as WebMd to read fictional trash written for readers with 1st grade gullabilities. We hope the facts speak for the truth, and in turn, the true professionals will speak out with reasonable advice for us all. Now, that is something we can all appreciate for once, like a proverbial breath of fresh air.