Author(s): EnacheAngoulvant A, Chandenier J, Symoens F, Lacube P, Bolognini J,
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Abstract Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that causes life-threatening infections primarily in immunocompromised hosts. Based on the genetic characteristics and serologic properties of capsular polysaccharides, three varieties and five serotypes have been defined: C. neoformans var. neoformans (serotype D), C. neoformans var. grubii (serotype A), hybrid serotype AD, and C. neoformans var. gattii (serotypes B and C). Epidemiologic features, such as geographic distribution and ecologic niche, and clinical characteristics have been shown to be associated with serotypes. At the present time, serotyping is based on agglutination tests with either commercial or "homemade" antisera or on immunofluorescence assays using a monoclonal antibody directed against the capsule polysaccharide. In this paper, we describe two molecular methods (PCR-restriction enzyme analysis and length polymorphism analysis) for C. neoformans serotype identification. Both are based on the sequence characteristics of a fragment of the CAP59 gene required for capsule biosynthesis. Testing of 72 C. neoformans strains including representatives of the five serotypes demonstrated the reliability of these methods.
This article was published in J Clin Microbiol
and referenced in Fungal Genomics & Biology