, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 321-325

The ecology of Cryptococcus neoformans

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Abstract

Environmental isolations have established that Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii serotype B appears to have a specific ecological association with Eucalyptus camaldulensis. The global distribution of the tree appears to correspond to the epidemiologic distribution of cryptococcosis caused by C. neoformans var. gattii. The epidemiology of cryptococcosis can primarily be explained by exposure to an infective aerosolized inoculum, such as basidiospores released from specific host plants and/or desiccated blastoconidia (yeast cells) disseminated from accumulations of dried pigeon dung. The ecology of C. neoformans still remains largely unresolved, studies on the host-parasite interaction between serotype B and E. camaldulensis are still in progress, and extensive environmental searches are now underway to determine the natural habitats of serotypes A, C and D.