University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Think Blasto!

“Think Blasto!” is dedicated to the discussion and dissemination of all things related to blastomycosis.

Blastomycosis is an illness caused by a microscopic fungus called Blastomyces. Blastomyces can cause infection in healthy people, immunocompromised people, and animals alike. Blastomyces lives outdoors in soil and can occur in many places throughout the world, but just like good cheese and cold winters, Wisconsin is the premier place to find it. 

So whether you’re here because you want to know more about blastomycosis, its treatment, its relationship to dogs, or why you should avoid beaver dams, you’ll find your answers and more at “Think Blasto!”

Image
Blasto yeast and mold

Images of Blastomyces dermatitidis taken by Dr. Gregory Gauthier; previously published in Feigin and Cherry’s Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 8th edition.
 

Above, on left, mold; on right, yeast

Hosts

Dr. Gauthier is a board-certified infectious diseases specialist in the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. His clinical interests include invasive fungal infections, vector-borne diseases, global health, and medical education. He has nearly two decades of experience in basic science and clinical research on blastomycosis.

Dr. McBride is a board-certified infectious diseases specialist in the Department of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Podcast Episodes

I have a weakened immune system, am I at risk for blastomycosis?

In this podcast, we discuss blastomycosis in persons who have weakened immune systems, which is also known as immunocompromise. This includes patients who have received solid organ transplants, are on chemotherapy to treat cancer, are being treated immunosuppressive medications or on high-dose steroids to treat autoimmune diseases.

 

Caveat: this episode was recorded during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. To follow social distancing guidelines, this recording was done in different locations which has resulted in slight discrepancies in voicing.

Blastomycosis is no blast!

In this episode of Think Blasto! we learn a bit more about where blastomycosis occurs and about its symptoms. Caveat: this episode was recorded during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. To follow social distancing guidelines, this recording was done in different locations which has resulted in slight discrepancies in voicing.

Can a fungus really cause pneumonia?

In this episode of Think Blasto! we will focus on what blastomycosis is, what looks like, where it lives, how it is acquired, and who is at risk for infection.

 

You can listen to episodes through our website or subscribe to Think Blasto! through Podbean.

Participants

Think Blasto! is a collaborative effort among physicians, veterinarians, and scientists at:

  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
    • School of Medicine and Public Health and its Native American Center for Health Professions
    • School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Marshfield Clinic
  • Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene
  • Oneida Community Health Center

This podcast is the initial effort of the WiBlast Consortium, which brings together health and laboratory professionals in Wisconsin with expertise on blastomycosis. 

We thank our collaborators and their respective institutions listed above.

Funding Acknowledgement

We thank the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, for funding this project via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity CoAg: Mycotics – Detecting and Preventing Fungal Infections project.