"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Cats and dogs are in danger from the brand new fungus.

A brand new fungal infection could spell disaster for LOLcats and beloved dogs. Researchers have found a fungus that infects cats, dogs and humans with nasty results.

Vanessa Barrs and her colleagues on the University of Sydney have discovered a mold that has already killed several cats, a dog and a person.

The world of

Various members of the mold group occur widely. Many of them cause serious diseases in humans and animals, which will be fatal if left untreated. is essentially the most well-known member of this group. Its role in causing disease is well documented.

Spores of those molds are airborne. If inhaled by individuals with a weakened immune system, they'll overcome the body's defenses and start to grow contained in the nasal passages, sinuses and lungs. These molds may also spread through the blood to the brain and other organs.

A disease brought on by some molds known as aspergillosis. In humans, this could take the shape of an allergic response, or the mold can invade and destroy lung tissue. Spores may also settle in air-filled pockets throughout the lungs and grow into fungal balls, often seen in wild birds. In domestic cats and dogs, this mold invades the nasal cavity and sinuses, causing a condition called fungal rhinosinusitis. Often, it extends its thread-like projections, called hyphae, behind the attention and into the brain.

Aspergillosis will be treated with modern antifungals. However, disease brought on by other members of the species, and should not at all times be at risk of modern drugs. This is a public health concern.

Nasty surprise

Aspergillus fumigatus as seen under a scanning electron microscope.
Koichi Makimura

Barz's study was recently published within the journal PLoS One Quite a lot of cats are seen in Australia and the UK, including purebreds (akin to Russian Blue, Cornish Rex, Himalayan Persian, Chinchilla Persian, Ragdoll, and Exotic Shorthair) and domestic crossbreeds (shorthair and longhair). . He appeared healthy, but had chronic sniffles and sneezes. On examination he was found to be affected by rhinosinusitis as a consequence of which . Many of them had a fungal ball growing behind the attention, which pushed the eyeball outward. Many were in severe pain beyond hope of recovery and needed to be euthanized.

The study also involved a dog from Australia and a person from Portugal, each of whom had weakened immune systems. The dog's body was attacked causing pain, fever and abnormal heart sounds. In men, it was growing in the liner of the lungs. Both fell ailing.

This mold differs from many others within the group because, as Barrs found, it was capable of grow at 45˚C, a comparatively hot temperature. Barrs compared the genetic signatures recovered from his victims to other molds obtained from human infections. These signatures clearly implicate this template in human and animal diseases. Studying genetic signatures is an excellent method to track the spread of microbes.

Common azole or polyene antifungal drugs didn't kill the mold, nevertheless it responded to the newer echinocandin antifungals. Barrs and his colleagues are watching to combat this mold.

For a newly discovered microbe that causes disease, that's excellent news. In the fight against microbial pathogens, knowledge is power.