Molecular epidemiology of clinical and environmental isolates of the Cryptococcus neoformans species complex reveals a high genetic diversity and the presence of the molecular type VGII mating type a in Colombia

FEMS Yeast Res. 2006 Jun;6(4):625-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2006.00055.x.


The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological relationships of clinical and environmental isolates of the Cryptococcus neoformans species complex in Colombia. The current study reflects data from 1987 to 2004. In Colombia serotypes A and B are most frequently recovered from patients and the environment. Of the 178 clinical isolates studied, 91.1% were of serotype A, 8.4% serotype B and 0.5% serotype C. Of the 247 environmental isolates, 44.2% were of serotype A, 42.6% serotype B and 13.2% serotype C. No serotype D isolates were isolated. Serotype AD has not been recovered in Colombia. PCR fingerprinting with the primers M13, (GACA)4 and (GTG)5 and URA5 gene restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis grouped the majority of clinical serotype A and environmental serotype B isolates into the molecular types VNI (98.1%) and VGII (100%), respectively. Mating type alpha was determined in 99.3% of serotype A isolates, but 96.6% of serotype B isolates were of mating type a. Similar profiles between clinical and environmental isolates suggest that the patients may have acquired the infection from the environment. The data presented form part of the Colombian contribution to the ongoing global survey of the C. neoformans species complex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Birds / microbiology
  • Colombia / epidemiology
  • Cryptococcosis / epidemiology*
  • Cryptococcosis / microbiology
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / classification*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / genetics*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / isolation & purification
  • DNA Fingerprinting / methods
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Epidemiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Serotyping
  • Trees / microbiology