Phospholipase activity in Cryptococcus neoformans
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Phospholipases have only been detected in a few fungi and yeasts, in particular in Candida albicans. Secreted phospholipases are considered by some researchers to be a potential factor of virulence and pathogenicity in C. albicans. Twenty-three Cryptococcus neoformans strains were tested in order to observe phospholipase production. Twenty-two of the 23 strains tested were able to produce phospholipases, and the ratio diameter of the colony to total diameter of the colony plus zone of precipitation (Pz) ranged between 0.271 and 0.949. C. neoformans, just like C. albicans, can be divided on the basis of the Pz into different strains according to their virulence and pathogenicity. There also appeared to be a correlation between the phospholipase production and the size of the capsule in the strains isolated from AIDS patients. For this reason, further studies on C. neoformans phospholipase activity would be useful in evaluating the virulence of different strains.
Key wordsCryptococcus neoformans phospolipase virulence AIDS
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