In vitro susceptibility of the yeast pathogen cryptococcus to fluconazole and other azoles varies with molecular genotype.
ABSTRACT: Cryptococcosis is primarily caused by Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. These two pathogenic species each divide into four distinct molecular genotypes. In this study, we examined whether genotype influenced susceptibility to antifungal drugs used to treat cryptococcosis using the broth microdilution method described by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. C. gattii isolates belonging to molecular genotype VGII had significantly higher MIC values for flucytosine and all azole antifungal agents tested, particularly fluconazole, than isolates of other C. gattii genotypes. In an extended analysis of fluconazole susceptibility, VGII isolates from the north and west of Australia required higher drug levels for inhibition than those from Vancouver Island, Canada. Within C. neoformans, genotype VNII had significantly lower geometric mean MICs for fluconazole than genotype VNI. These results indicate that cryptococcal species, molecular genotype, and region of origin may be important when deciding treatment options for cryptococcosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Infection, even outbreak, caused by Cryptococcus gattii (C. gattii) has been reported in Canada and the United States, but there were sparsely-reported cases of C. gattii in China. Our interest in occurrence, clinical manifestation, laboratory identification and molecular characterization of Chinese C. gattii strains leads us to this research. RESULTS:Out of 254 clinical isolates, initially identified as Cryptococcus neoformans (C. neoformans), eight strains were re-identified as C. gattii. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) showed genotype VGI accounted for the most (6 / 8), the other two strains were genotype VGII (VGIIa and VGIIb respectively) with 3 specific spectra of molecular weight about 4342, 8686, 9611?Da by MALDI-TOF MS. The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of Fluconazole with Yeast one was 2~4 times higher than that with ATB fungus 3 and MICs of antifungal agents against VGII strains were higher than against VGI strains. Comparative proteome analysis showed that 329 and 180 proteins were highly expressed by C. gattii VGI and VGII respectively. The enrichment of differentially expressed proteins was directed to Golgi complex. CONCLUSIONS:Infection by C. gattii in China occurred sparsely. Genotype VGI was predominant but VGII was more resistant to antifungal agents. There was significant difference in protein expression profile between isolates of VGI and VGII C. gattii.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Among members of Cryptococcus neoformans- Cryptococcus gattii species complex, C. neoformans is distributed worldwide whereas C. gattii is considered to be more prevalent in the subtropics and tropics including Taiwan. This nationwide study was undertaken to determine the distribution of genotypes, clinical characteristics and outcomes of 219 patients with proven cryptococcosis at 20 hospitals representative of all geographic areas in Taiwan during 1997-2010.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>Of 219 isolates analyzed, C. neoformans accounted for 210 isolates (95.9%); nine isolates were C. gattii (4.1%). The predominant genotype was VNI (206 isolates). The other genotypes included VNII (4 isolates), VGI (3 isolates) and VGII (6 isolates). Antifungal minimal inhibition concentrations higher than epidemiologic cutoff values (ECVs) were found in nine VNI isolates (7 for amphotericin B). HIV infection was the most common underlying condition (54/219, 24.6%). Among HIV-negative patients, liver diseases (HBV carrier or cirrhosis) were common (30.2%) and 15.4% did not have any underlying condition. Meningoencephalitis was the most common presentation (58.9%), followed by pulmonary infection (19.6%) and "others" (predominantly cryptococcemia) (18.7%). The independent risk factors for 10-week mortality, by multivariate analysis, were cirrhosis of liver (P = 0.014) and CSF cryptococcal antigen titer ? 512 (P = 0.020). All except one of 54 HIV-infected patients were infected by VNI genotype (98.1%). Of the 13 isolates of genotypes other than VNI, 12 (92.3%) were isolated from HIV-negative patients. HIV-infected patients compared to HIV-negative patients were more likely to have meningoencephalitis and serum cryptococcal antigen ? 1:512. Patients infected with C. gattii compared to C. neoformans were younger, more likely to have meningoencephalitis (100% vs. 57%), reside in Central Taiwan (56% vs. 31%), and higher 10-week crude mortality (44.4% vs. 22.2%).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Cryptococcus neoformans in Taiwan, more prevalent than C. gatii, has a predominant VNI genotype. Isolates with antifungal MIC higher than ECVs were rare.
Project description:Cryptococcosis, a potentially fatal mycosis, is caused by members of the <i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i> and <i>Cryptococcus gattii</i> species complexes. In Latin America, cryptococcal meningitis is still an important health threat with a significant clinical burden. Analysis of publicly available molecular data from 5686 clinical, environmental, and veterinary cryptococcal isolates from member countries of the Latin American Cryptococcal Study Group showed that, as worldwide, <i>C. neoformans</i> molecular type VNI is the most common cause of cryptococcosis (76.01%) in HIV-infected people, followed by <i>C. gattii</i> molecular type VGII (12.37%), affecting mostly otherwise healthy hosts. These two molecular types also predominate in the environment (68.60% for VNI and 20.70% for VGII). Among the scarce number of veterinary cases, VGII is the predominant molecular type (73.68%). Multilocus sequence typing analysis showed that, in Latin America, the <i>C. neoformans</i> population is less diverse than the <i>C. gattii</i> population (<i>D</i> of 0.7104 vs. 0.9755). Analysis of antifungal susceptibility data showed the presence of non-wild-type VNI, VGI, VGII, and VGIII isolates in the region. Overall, the data presented herein summarize the progress that has been made towards the molecular epidemiology of cryptococcal isolates in Latin America, contributing to the characterization of the genetic diversity and antifungal susceptibility of these globally spreading pathogenic yeasts.
Project description:Cryptococcosis by Cryptococcus gattii is endemic in Colombia, affecting mostly immunocompetent hosts. Since antifungal susceptibility differs between molecular types of cryptococcal isolates, as reported elsewhere, the aim of this study was to determine if 42 Colombian clinical isolates, VGI, VGII and VGIII, differ in the susceptibility to commonly used antifungals, using Sensititre plates. Among the molecular types, six non-wild type isolates to fluconazole, voriconazole, and 5-flucytosine, were identified. Besides, VGI and VGII were less susceptible to 5-flucytosine and azoles, respectively, than other molecular types. These findings support the applicability of practicing susceptibility testing, which could better guide treatment in cryptococcosis.<h4>Lay summary</h4>Cryptococcosis gattii affects immunocompetent people. For a correct treatment, antifungal susceptibility testing is essential. This study shows differences in the susceptibility to commonly used antimycotics among genotypes of Colombian clinical C. gattii isolates, some of which are non-wild-type.
Project description:<i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i> and <i>Cryptococcus gattii</i> are the main pathogenic species of invasive cryptococcosis among the <i>Cryptococcus</i> species. Taxonomic studies have shown that these two taxa have different genotypes or molecular types with biological and ecoepidemiological peculiarities. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has been proposed as an alternative method for labor-intensive methods for <i>C. neoformans</i> and <i>C. gattii</i> genotype differentiation. However, Vitek MS, one of the commercial MALDI-TOF MS instruments, has not been yet been evaluated for this purpose. Thus, we constructed an in-house database with reference strains belonging to the different <i>C. neoformans</i> (VNI, VNII, VNIII, and VNIV) and <i>C. gattii</i> (VGI, VGII, VGIII, and VGIV) major molecular types by using the software Saramis Premium (bioMérieux, Marcy-l'Etoile, France). Then, this new database was evaluated for discrimination of the different genotypes. Our in-house database provided correct identification for all <i>C. neoformans</i> and <i>C. gattii</i> genotypes; however, due to the intergenotypic mass spectral similarities, a careful postanalytic evaluation is necessary to provide correct genotype identification.
Project description:The Cryptococcus species complex contains two sibling taxa, Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. Both species are basidiomycetous yeasts and major pathogens of humans and other mammals. Genotyping methods have identified major haploid molecular types of C. neoformans (VNI, VNII, VNB and VNIV) and of C. gattii (VGI, VGII, VGIII and VGIV). To investigate the phylogenetic relationships among these haploid genotypes, we selected 73 strains from 2000 globally collected isolates investigated in our previous typing studies, representing each of these genotypes and carried out multigene sequence analyses using four genetically unlinked nuclear loci, ACT1, IDE, PLB1 and URA5. The separate or combined sequence analyses of all four loci revealed seven clades with significant support for each molecular type. However, three strains of each species revealed some incongruence between the original molecular type and the sequence-based type obtained here. The topology of the individual gene trees was identical for each clade of C. neoformans but incongruent for the clades of C. gattii indicating recent recombination events within C. gattii. There was strong evidence of recombination in the global VGII population. Both parsimony and likelihood analyses supported three major clades of C. neoformans (VNI/VNB, VNII and VNIV) and four major clades of C. gattii (VGI, VGII, VGIII and VGIV). The sequence variation between VGI, VGIII and VGIV was similar to that between VNI/VNB and VNII. MATa was for the first time identified for VGIV. The VNIV and VGII clades are basal to the C. neoformans or the C. gattii clade, respectively. Divergence times among the seven haploid monophyletic lineages in the Cryptococcus species complex were estimated by applying the hypothesis of the molecular clock. The genetic variation found among all of these haploid monophyletic lineages indicates that they warrant varietal status.
Project description:Cryptococcosis is considered endemic in Amazonas state, occurring more frequently in individuals with AIDS, who are predominantly infected by Cryptococcus neoformans molecular type VNI. Infections by Cryptococcus gattii VGII predominate in immunocompetent hosts from the American continent and are associated with outbreaks in North America, particularly the subtypes VGIIa and VGIIb, which are also present in the Brazilian Amazon region. Despite few environmental studies, several aspects of the molecular epidemiology of this disease in Amazonas remain unclear, including the limited use of multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to evaluate the genetic population structure of clinical isolates, mainly C. neoformans. Therefore, we used MLST to identify the sequence types of 38 clinical isolates of C. neoformans VNI and C. gattii VGII and used phylogenetic analysis to evaluate their genetic relationship to global isolates. Records of 30 patients were analyzed to describe the current scenario of cryptococcosis in the region and their associations with the different subtypes. Broth microdilution was also performed to determine the susceptibility profile to the antifungals amphotericin B, fluconazole and itraconazole. MLST identified that patients with HIV (n = 26) were exclusively affected by VNI strains with ST93, and among the VGII strains (n = 4), three STs (ST5, ST172 and the new ST445) were identified. An in-hospital lethality of 54% was observed in the HIV group, and there were no significant differences in the clinical aspects of the disease between the HIV and non-HIV groups of patients. In addition, all isolates were susceptible to the antifungals tested. Therefore, in Amazonas state, VNI isolates are a genetically monotypic group, with ST93 being highly important in HIV individuals.
Project description:Cryptococcus gattii is a pathogenic yeast that together with Cryptococcus neoformans causes cryptococcosis in humans and animals. High numbers of viable C. gattii propagules can be obtained from certain species of Australian Eucalyptus camaldulensis trees, and an epidemiological link between Eucalyptus colonization and human exposure has been proposed. However, the highest prevalence of C. gattii cryptococcosis occurs in Papua New Guinea and in regions of Australia where the eucalypt species implicated to date are not endemic. This study investigated the population structure of three geographically distinct clinical and veterinary populations of C. gattii from Australia and Papua New Guinea. All populations that consisted of a genotype found frequently in Australia (VGI) were strongly clonal and were highly differentiated from one another. Two populations of the less common VGII genotype from Sydney and the Northern Territory had population structures inferring recombination. In addition, there was some evidence of reduced genetic differentiation between these geographically remote regions. In a companion study presented in this issue, VGII isolates were overwhelmingly more fertile than those of the VGI genotype, giving biological support to the indirect assessment of sexual exchange. It appears that the VGI genotype propagates clonally on eucalypts in Australia and on an unknown substrate in Papua New Guinea, with infection initiated by an unidentified infectious propagule. VGII isolates are completing their life cycles and may be dispersed via sexually produced basidiospores, which are also likely to initiate respiratory infection.
Project description:Molecular types of the Cryptococcus neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii species complex that infect dogs and cats differ regionally and with host species. Antifungal drug susceptibility can vary with molecular type, but the susceptibility of Cryptococcus isolates from dogs and cats is largely unknown. Cryptococcus isolates from 15 dogs and 27 cats were typed using URA5 restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (RFLP), PCR fingerprinting, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Susceptibility was determined using a microdilution assay (Sensititre YeastOne; Trek Diagnostic Systems). MICs were compared among groups. The 42 isolates studied comprised molecular types VGI (7%), VGIIa (7%), VGIIb (5%), VGIIc (5%), VGIII (38%), VGIV (2%), VNI (33%), and VNII (2%), as determined by URA5 RFLP. The VGIV isolate was more closely related to VGIII according to MLST. All VGIII isolates were from cats. All sequence types identified from veterinary isolates clustered with isolates from humans. VGIII isolates showed considerable genetic diversity compared with other Cryptococcus molecular types and could be divided into two major subgroups. Compared with C. neoformans MICs, C. gattii MICs were lower for flucytosine, and VGIII MICs were lower for flucytosine and itraconazole. For all drugs except itraconazole, C. gattii isolates exhibited a wider range of MICs than C. neoformans. MICs varied with Cryptococcus species and molecular type in dogs and cats, and MICs of VGIII isolates were most variable and may reflect phylogenetic diversity in this group. Because sequence types of dogs and cats reflect those infecting humans, these observations may also have implications for treatment of human cryptococcosis.
Project description:The high morbidity and mortality of cryptococcal meningitis is due to the limited range of therapeutic options: only three classes of antifungal drugs are available (polyenes [amphotericin B], azoles [fluconazole], and pyrimidine analogues [flucytosine]). Fluconazole is the most widely used antifungal drug in sub-Saharan Africa, where cryptococcal meningitis is a major cause of death in patients infected with HIV. In this study, we found that exposure to fluconazole, even for short times (48 h) at subinhibitory concentrations, drove rapid adaptation of Cryptococcus neoformans serotype A strain H99 via the acquisition of different aneuploid chromosomes. These aneuploidies conferred heteroresistance to fluconazole. Importantly, most of the adaptors were cross-tolerant to flucytosine. Some of the aneuploid adaptors were not heteroresistant to fluconazole but were tolerant to amphotericin B. Thus, exposure to one antifungal drug class can promote adaptation to two antifungal drug classes, highlighting the plasticity of the C. neoformans genome and raising concerns about the rapid reduction in the range of treatment options for cryptococcal infections. <b>IMPORTANCE</b> Cryptococcosis is a globally distributed invasive fungal infection caused by infections with Cryptococcus neoformans or Cryptococcus gattii. Only three classes of therapeutic drugs are clinically available for treating cryptococcosis: polyenes (amphotericin B), azoles (fluconazole), and pyrimidine analogues (flucytosine). Fluconazole is the primary drug available in resource-limited countries. Aneuploidy is a genomic state due to the gain or loss of chromosomes. We found that C. neoformans rapidly adapted to fluconazole by acquiring diverse aneuploidies and that specific aneuploidies enabled improved growth of isolates susceptible (tolerance) to amphotericin B and/or cross-tolerance to both fluconazole and flucytosine. Therefore, aneuploidy is an underlying mechanism of drug tolerance that not only arises rapidly during growth in fluconazole but can also confer tolerance to other antifungal drugs without prior exposure to those drugs. Resistant isolates have high MICs, and all cells grow similarly in medium with the drug, while tolerant isolates test as susceptible and grow slowly at drug concentrations above the MIC.