Tag Archives: fungus

A New Natural Pesticide To Kill Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease Shows Promise

Scientists in Connecticut, where Lyme Disease all started back in the mid 1970′s, have been working with a European biotech company to make a non-synthetic pesticide based upon a strain of fungus which kills the ticks and not the environment around them.

Lyme causing ticks

Ticks that are causing epidemic Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is one of the most rapidly emerging infectious diseases according to the CDC and 2012 is expected to the be worst year for Lyme Disease cases.

Scientists are hoping this new pesticide will be available in 2 years. The name of it is ”F52 strain of Metarhizium Anisopliae fungus.”  It uses no synthetic chemicals, relying instead on a strain of fungus that occurs naturally in soil, and that targets pretty much little else other than the black-legged tick.

The Maine Medical Center’s Vector-Borne Disease Lab in South Portland, a non-profit research institute dedicated to studying and controlling lyme disease and other emerging tick-borne diseases wants to start testing this product out as soon as possible as Maine is having a rapid increase of Lyme Disease.

Scientists say even if your backyard is fully sprayed with pesticide, you should still cover up when walking in the woods, and check yourself for ticks. The best way is to wear light colored clothing so you have a chance to see the black legged ticks.

Most ticks can be found here on you:

  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around all head and body hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist

You should also try to prevent deer from entering your yard. Deer are the main food source for adult ticks. Keep deer away from your home by removing plants that attract deer and constructing physical barriers that may help discourage deer from entering your yard and bringing ticks with them.

Have you noticed more ticks this year than last year in your area?

Can Cutaneous Mucormycosis Happen Again?

By Ken Buben, President, FancyScrubs.com

The CDC reported yesterday that the deadly fungus that manifested itself after the May 22 Joplin tornado has not been seen after a tornado before, but it could show up again.

Tornado Fungus

rare fungas after tornado's

There were 13 confirmed cases and 5 deaths from this rare fungus after the Joplin tornado.  The CDC report said early diagnosis, surgical removal of the affected tissue and anti-fungal medication were used effectively to treat the fungus. The infection spread quickly and turned those infected with black tissue and caused mold to grow inside their wounds.

The infection develops in two ways: when the fungal spores are inhaled or when a tree branch or other object carrying the fungus pierces the flesh. The fungus blocks off blood vessels to the infected area, causing tissue to turn red and begin oozing. Eventually it becomes black. Treatment is intravenous medications or surgical removal of the tissues themselves.

What exactly is Cutaneous Mucormycosis?

An infectious disease caused by fungus from the order Mucorales which is normally found in the soil and in decaying plant matter. Transmission is usually through the inhalation of spores. It is generally harmless to healthy individuals but can cause infection in patients who are immunocompromised or who have a serious chronic illness such as uncontrolled diabetes. Symptoms and severity can vary considerable depending on the part of the body the infection occurs in – gastrointestinal tract, skin, lungs, central nervous system, eye orbit and the paranasal sinuses. Cutaneous mucormycosis is very rare and involves infection of the skin.

Healthcare workers should be prepared after a tornado or other natural disasters to watch for patients with symptoms of this deadly fungus, especially those with diabetes or chronic illnesses.  The symptom of this rare fungus is a painful patch of skin.