Tuesday, January 13, 2015

International mycology conference and the DNA discussion continues

Koalas are cute, but many suffer from cryptococcosis. This particular koala had neurological disease due to crypto.
Have you ever experienced, seen, treated or been fascinated by fungal diseases? 

If you are a veterinarian, doctor, scientist, wildlife carer or student with an interest in infectious diseases and/or fungi, the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology is holding its three-yearly conference in Melbourne from May 4-8.

Australia is world-renowned for its contributions to international mycology, including the study of cryptococcosis in humans and animals. We see fungal infections commonly in companion animal practice, including malassezia (a yeast) and dermatophytes (ringworm) species. Mycotoxins in human and animal food are a largely ignored global health issue and will be discussed, as will fungal problems faced by our overseas colleagues including blastomycosis, systemic mycoses and animals as sentinel species of fungal disease.

If you’re keen to speak on the topic there are limited places left on the program, but you will need to be quick. Abstracts are due on January 16.

There are four themes running through the conference:
  • Clinical aspects of medical mycology
  • Basic science aspects of medical mycology
  • Translational aspects of medical mycology – antifungals, therapeutic dose monitoring, diagnostics
  • One health

I am shouting out the conference as the mycologists are “fungis” to be with. Get it? Fun guys! But seriously, this conference represents a gathering of some of the most important researchers in this field, working where human and animal health collide.

To see the program, submit an abstract or register, visit http://www.isham2015.com.au/  Early bird registration closes March 30.

A scanned pic of Templeton, a ridgie x shepherd according to his DNA test.
Since publishing the result of Phil’s DNA test, I’ve been contacted by others about surprising dog DNA test results to determine breed status. Many owners are surprised that the test is so accurate. But others aren’t so sure.

SAT reader Caroline sent me this image of a Templeton, a dog whose owners wondered what he might be. They might have been suspecting the DNA signature of a Chihuahua to pop up somewhere, but according to the test, Templeton (pictured fully grown) is a Ridgeback crossed with a German Shepherd. Interesting!