, Volume 171, Issue 6, pp 423-430
Date: 21 Jan 2011

Environmental Isolation of Cryptococcus gattii Serotype B, VGI/MATα Strains in Southern Italy

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Abstract

Until recently, Cryptococcus gattii was believed to be endemic in tropical and subtropical regions. To date, it has unexpectedly emerged as primary pathogen in temperate climate indicating that it has evolved and adapted to new environmental conditions including those existing in the Mediterranean area. Earlier attempts to isolate C. gattii from our environment were unsuccessful but this time, 18 years after the last environmental screening for C. neoformans, we isolated C. gattii from Eucalyptus camaldulensis in Reggio Calabria, Italy. The strains were serotype B, mating type α and were assigned to the molecular type VGI. In this study, we reported the first real environmental isolation of C. gattii in southern Italy that emphasized the observed global expansion of this yeast.