Cryptococcus species are fungal pathogens that are a leading cause of mortality. Initial inoculation is through the pulmonary route and, if disseminated, results in severe invasive infection including meningoencephalitis. Macrophages are the dominant phagocytic cell that interacts with Cryptococcus. Emerging theories suggest that Cryptococcus microevolution in macrophages is linked to survival and virulence within the host. In addition, Cryptococcus elaborates virulence factors as well as usurps host machinery to establish macrophage activation states that are permissive to intracellular survival and replication. In this review, we provide an update of the recent findings pertaining to macrophage interaction with Cryptococcus and focus on new avenues for biomedical research.
Keywords: Cryptococcus; carbohydrate; fungi; glycosylation; innate immunity; macrophage; phagosome.