Cryptococcus neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii Species Complex in Southern Italy: An Overview on the Environmental Diffusion of Serotypes, Genotypes and Mating-Types
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Given the lack of comprehensive molecular epidemiology studies in Reggio Calabria and Messina, Italy, we decided to perform an extensive environmental sampling to describe the current molecular epidemiology of C. neoformans/C. gattii species complex in southern Italy. In this study, we report the occurrence of serotypes, genotypes and mating-types of isolates of the C. neoformans/C. gattii species complex recovered from environmental sources. In addition, a number of environmental C. neoformans var. grubii strains, isolated in 1997 by our laboratory, were also retrospectively examined in order to compare their genotypes with those recently found and to infer the possible epidemiological changes in our country. One hundred and twenty-two isolates were identified as being C. neoformans, whereas only one was found to belong to C. gattii serotype B, genotype VGI and mating-type alpha. Our data revealed that all environmental isolates of C. neoformans recovered here as well as those previously isolated in 1997 belong to serotype A and genotype VNI and posses a mating-type alpha allele.