Spread of Cryptococcus gattii in British Columbia, Canada, and detection in the Pacific Northwest, USA

Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Jan;13(1):42-50. doi: 10.3201/eid1301.060827.


Cryptococcus gattii, emergent on Vancouver Island, British Columbia (BC), Canada, in 1999, was detected during 2003-2005 in 3 persons and 8 animals that did not travel to Vancouver Island during the incubation period; positive environmental samples were detected in areas outside Vancouver Island. All clinical and environmental isolates found in BC were genotypically consistent with Vancouver Island strains. In addition, local acquisition was detected in 3 cats in Washington and 2 persons in Oregon. The molecular profiles of Oregon isolates differed from those found in BC and Washington. Although some microclimates of the Pacific Northwest are similar to those on Vancouver Island, C. gattii concentrations in off-island environments were typically lower, and human cases without Vancouver Island contact have not continued to occur. This suggests that C. gattii may not be permanently colonized in off-island locations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Air Microbiology
  • Animal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Animal Diseases / microbiology
  • Animals
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Camelids, New World / microbiology
  • Cats
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging
  • Cryptococcosis / epidemiology*
  • Cryptococcosis / microbiology*
  • Cryptococcosis / veterinary
  • Cryptococcus / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Ferrets / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Northwestern United States / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Soil Microbiology