Fungi in the Environment

What fungus plays an important role in human organ transplantation?

The fungus Tolypocladium inflatum is the source of cyclosporin, a medication that suppresses the immune reactions that cause organ transplant rejections. Cyclosporin does not cause the undesirable side effects that other immune-suppressing medications do. This remarkable drug became available in 1979, making it possible to resume organ transplants, which had essentially been abandoned. As a result of cyclosporin, successful organ transplants are almost commonplace today.


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