Enhancement of HIV-1 Infection by the Capsular Polysaccharide of Cryptococcus Neoformans

Lancet. 1992 Jan 4;339(8784):21-3. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(92)90142-p.


Patients with AIDS who become infected with Cryptococcus neoformans have a poor prognosis. We speculated that the presence of cryptococcal capsular polysaccharide may enhance HIV-1 infection. In an in-vitro study, the presence of cryptococcal polysaccharide significantly increased (p less than 0.05) production of p24 antigen after infection of H9 cells with HIV-1-infected H9 cells. We also found similar results when lymphocytes from an HIV-1-infected patient were co-cultured with mononuclear cells from an uninfected individual. Our findings suggest a new pathogenic role for the capsular polysaccharide--namely, the capacity to enhance HIV-1 infectivity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / microbiology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cryptococcosis / microbiology*
  • HIV Core Protein p24 / biosynthesis*
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / growth & development
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Prognosis
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Virus Activation / drug effects*


  • HIV Core Protein p24
  • Polysaccharides
  • cryptococcal polysaccharide
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase