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First Isolation, Antifungal Susceptibility, and Molecular Characterization of Cryptococcus neoformans from the Environment in Croatia

1
Department of Molecular Microbiology, National Institute of Public Health, Prishtina 10 000, Kosovo
2
Laboratorio di Micologia Medica, Dipartimento Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano 20133, Italy
3
Department for Parasitology and Mycology, Croatian Institute for Public Health, Zagreb 10 000, Croatia
4
Department of Clinical and Molecular Microbiology, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Zagreb 10 000, Croatia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2019, 5(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof5040099
Received: 22 August 2019 / Revised: 2 October 2019 / Accepted: 10 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Diagnostics of Fungal Infections)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of Cryptococcus neoformans species complex isolates from environmental sources in Croatia and to determine their molecular types and antifungal susceptibility. Swab samples of tree hollows and bird excreta in the soil beneath trees were collected. Samples included 472 (92.73%) samples obtained from tree hollows and 37 (7.27%) samples from bird excreta. Four C. neoformans species complex isolates were recovered from tree hollow swabs along the Mediterranean coast, while there were no isolates recovered from bird excreta or from the continental area. Three isolates were identified as molecular types VNI and one as VNIV. All tested antifungals showed high in vitro activity against the four isolates. This is the first report proving the presence of C. neoformans species complex in the environment of Croatia. The results of the study suggest a major risk of exposure for inhabitants living along the Croatian coast and that both VNI and VNIV molecular types can be expected in clinical cases of cryptococcosis. Susceptibility to antifungals confirmed that no resistance should be expected in patients with cryptococcosis at the present time.
Keywords: Cryptococcus neoformans; environment; molecular types; antifungal susceptibility Cryptococcus neoformans; environment; molecular types; antifungal susceptibility
MDPI and ACS Style

Pllana-Hajdari, D.; Cogliati, M.; Čičmak, L.; Pleško, S.; Mlinarić-Missoni, E.; Mareković, I. First Isolation, Antifungal Susceptibility, and Molecular Characterization of Cryptococcus neoformans from the Environment in Croatia. J. Fungi 2019, 5, 99.

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