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The Spectrum of Interactions between Cryptococcus neoformans and Bacteria
Open AccessArticle

Clonal Dispersal of Cryptococcus gattii VGII in an Endemic Region of Cryptococcosis in Colombia

Studies in Translational Microbiology and Emerging Diseases (MICROS) Research Group, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidad del Rosario, Bogota 111221, Colombia
Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Westmead Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, The University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital (Research and Education Network), Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
Microbiology Group, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogota 11321, Colombia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2019, 5(2), 32;
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
This study characterized the genotype and phenotype of Cryptococcus gattii VGII isolates from Cucuta, an endemic region of cryptococcal disease in Colombia, and compared these traits with those from representative isolates from the Vancouver Island outbreak (VGIIa and VGIIb). Genetic diversity was assessed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis. Phenotypic characteristics, including growth capacity under different temperature and humidity conditions, macroscopic and microscopic morphology, phenotypic switching, mating type, and activity of extracellular enzymes were studied. Virulence was studied in vivo in a mouse model. MLST analysis showed that the isolates from Cucuta were highly clonal, with ST25 being the most common genotype. Phenotypically, isolates from Cucuta showed large cell and capsular sizes, and shared phenotypic traits and enzymatic activities among them. The mating type a prevailed among the isolates, which were fertile and of considerable virulence in the animal model. This study highlights the need for a continuous surveillance of C. gattii in Colombia, especially in endemic areas like Cucuta, where the highest number of cryptococcosis cases due to this species is reported. This will allow the early detection of potentially highly virulent strains that spread clonally, and can help prevent the occurrence of outbreaks in Colombia and elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cryptococcus gattii; genotype; MLST; virulence factors; phenotype Cryptococcus gattii; genotype; MLST; virulence factors; phenotype
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Firacative, C.; Torres, G.; Meyer, W.; Escandón, P. Clonal Dispersal of Cryptococcus gattii VGII in an Endemic Region of Cryptococcosis in Colombia. J. Fungi 2019, 5, 32.

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