Isolation, Identification and Molecular Typing of Cryptococcus neoformans from Pigeon Droppings and Other Environmental Sources in Tripoli, Libya

Mycopathologia. 2016 Aug;181(7-8):603-8. doi: 10.1007/s11046-016-9996-4. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

Abstract

Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii are the major cause of fungal meningitis, a potentially lethal mycosis. Since pigeon excreta and other environmental sources can be considered a significant environmental reservoir of this species in urban areas, 100 samples of pigeon excreta and 420 samples from Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Olea europaea (olive tree) around the city of Tripoli, Libya, were collected. C. neoformans was isolated and identified using standard biochemical assays from 46 samples: 34 from pigeon droppings, 3 from Eucalyptus trees and 9 from olive trees. Molecular typing revealed that all isolates from pigeon droppings belonged to molecular type VNI (C. neoformans var. grubii) and mating type αA, whereas those from trees included also the molecular type VNII and VNIII (AD hybrids). The present study reports, for the first time, information about the distribution of species, mating types and molecular types of C. neoformans/C. gattii species complex in Libya.

Keywords: Cryptococcus neoformans; Hybrids; Libya; Mating type; Molecular type; Serotype.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Columbidae
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / classification*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / genetics
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / isolation & purification*
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal
  • Genotype*
  • Libya
  • Molecular Typing*
  • Mycological Typing Techniques*