The origin and maintenance of virulence for the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans

Microbes Infect. 2003 Jun;5(7):667-75. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(03)00092-3.


The origin of virulence in environmental fungi that have no requirement for animal hosts in their life cycle is enigmatic. Cryptococcus neoformans is a human pathogenic fungus with virulence factors for mammalian pathogenesis that also contribute to environmental survival. C. neoformans virulence may originate from selection pressures imposed by environmental predators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cryptococcosis / immunology
  • Cryptococcosis / microbiology*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / enzymology
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / genetics
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / pathogenicity*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Virulence
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism


  • Virulence Factors