Projecting global occurrence of Cryptococcus gattii

Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Jan;16(1):14-20. doi: 10.3201/eid1601.090369.


Cryptococcus gattii and C. neoformans cause pulmonary and systemic cryptococcosis. Recently, C. gattii was recognized as a distinct pathogen of humans and animals. We analyzed information from 400 publications (1948-2008) to examine whether the fungus occurs globally. Known distribution of C. gattii is possibly limited because specialized reagents for differentiation from C. neoformans are not readily available and not always used, and environmental surveys are patchy. However, autochthonous reports of C. gattii cryptococcosis have now been recognized from tropical and temperate regions. An ongoing outbreak in western Canada strengthens the case that the range of the pathogen has expanded. A few studies have highlighted differences in cryptococcosis between C. gattii and C. neoformans. More than 50 tree species have yielded C. gattii especially from decayed hollows suggesting a possible ecologic niche. This pathogen merits more attention so its environmental occurrence and role in cryptococcosis can be accurately determined.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cryptococcosis / diagnosis
  • Cryptococcosis / epidemiology*
  • Cryptococcosis / microbiology
  • Cryptococcus gattii* / classification
  • Cryptococcus neoformans
  • Disease Reservoirs / microbiology
  • Forecasting
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Serotyping
  • Trees / microbiology