What Makes Cryptococcus Neoformans a Pathogen?

Emerg Infect Dis. Jan-Mar 1998;4(1):71-83. doi: 10.3201/eid0401.980109.

Abstract

Life-threatening infections caused by the encapsulated fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans have been increasing steadily over the past 10 years because of the onset of AIDS and the expanded use of immunosuppressive drugs. Intricate host-organism interactions make the full understanding of pathogenicity and virulence of C. neoformans difficult. We discuss the current knowledge of the characteristics C. neoformans must possess to enter the host and establish progressive disease: basic growth requirements and virulence factors, such as the polysaccharide capsule; shed products of the organism; melanin production; mannitol secretion; superoxide dismutase; proteases; and phospholipases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / immunology
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / pathogenicity*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / physiology
  • Humans
  • Virulence