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Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 65; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040065

Nutritional Requirements and Their Importance for Virulence of Pathogenic Cryptococcus Species

1
Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease, Medical School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
2
The Bateson Centre, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
3
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Nutrition Assimilation Strategies and Pathogenicity)
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Abstract

Cryptococcus sp. are basidiomycete yeasts which can be found widely, free-living in the environment. Interactions with natural predators, such as amoebae in the soil, are thought to have promoted the development of adaptations enabling the organism to survive inside human macrophages. Infection with Cryptococcus in humans occurs following inhalation of desiccated yeast cells or spore particles and may result in fatal meningoencephalitis. Human disease is caused almost exclusively by the Cryptococcus neoformans species complex, which predominantly infects immunocompromised patients, and the Cryptococcus gattii species complex, which is capable of infecting immunocompetent individuals. The nutritional requirements of Cryptococcus are critical for its virulence in animals. Cryptococcus has evolved a broad range of nutrient acquisition strategies, many if not most of which also appear to contribute to its virulence, enabling infection of animal hosts. In this review, we summarise the current understanding of nutritional requirements and acquisition in Cryptococcus and offer perspectives to its evolution as a significant pathogen of humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cryptococcus neoformans; Cryptococcus gattii; basidiomycete; fungal pathogens; evolution of virulence; host pathogen interactions; nutrition acquisition; nutritional restriction Cryptococcus neoformans; Cryptococcus gattii; basidiomycete; fungal pathogens; evolution of virulence; host pathogen interactions; nutrition acquisition; nutritional restriction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Watkins, R.A.; King, J.S.; Johnston, S.A. Nutritional Requirements and Their Importance for Virulence of Pathogenic Cryptococcus Species. Microorganisms 2017, 5, 65.

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