A method was devised for easy detection of intra-strain variability of the human pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans. Cultivation of strains on a medium containing Phloxin B resulted in different coloured colonies. Generally, colonies were either pink or red; however there were also several colony-colour segregant in which both colours could be observed. A number of these segregants were isolated and analysed. Virulence factors such as the cell and capsule sizes were measured; further temperature sensitivity, growth rates, mating-types and melanin production were also studied. Segregants were examined by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting and electrophoretic karyotyping by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (CHEF). They showed both phenotypic and genotypic differences. The main differences appeared in phenotypic characters and RAPD patterns; while the chromosomal patterns remained unchanged. Reversion frequency analysis revealed that the reason for this segregation could be due to phenotypic switching. The physiological reason for the colour changes was also investigated and was attributed to the differential ability of the cells to accumulate Phloxin B either into their capsules or into their cells. The method described here is potentially applicable for the detection of strain heterogeneity in both basic and clinical microbiology laboratories.
"The lack of tissue reaction to the typical encapsulated form of C. neoformans is associated with the existence of the capsule material. The capsule is a very important virulence factor in the pathogenicity of C. neoformans, which can alter leukocyte migration, phagocytosis and killing by the immune effector cells10, 11). The loss of capsule material elicits an intense inflammatory response that includes early suppuration, phagocytosis and granuloma formation4, 12). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary infection by capsule-deficient Cryptococcus neoformans (CDCN) is a very rare form of pneumonia and it is seldom seen in the immunocompetent host. The authors experienced a case of pulmonary cryptococcosis by CDCN in 25-year-old woman who was without any significant underlying disease. The diagnosis was made from the percutaneous lung biopsy and special tissue staining, including Fontana-Masson silver (FMS) staining. Fungal culture confirmed the diagnosis afterward. Her clinical and radiologic features improved under treatment with fluconazol. It's known that CDCN is not so readily confirmed because fungal culture does not always result in growth of the organism and the empirical fungal stain is not helpful for the differentiation between CDCN and the other infections that are caused by the nonencapsulated yeast-like organisms. In this report, we emphasize the diagnostic value of performing FMS staining for differentiating a CDCN infection from the other confusing nonencapsulated yeast-like organisms.
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine 04/2006; 21(1):83-7. DOI:10.3904/kjim.2006.21.1.83 · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Valproic acid (VPA) inhibited the growth of yeast in a dose-dependent manner with complete inhibition attained at 100 mM. When cells were exposed to 25 mM VPA, the wild-type died showing apoptotic markers, while yca1Delta deleted of YCA1 encoding yeast caspase 1 survived. On the other hand, when cells were exposed to 50 mM VPA, both the wild-type and yca1Delta died showing morphological features similar to those of the autophagic death of cdc28 which was also independent of YCA1. Thus, these results suggested that yeast cells die via YCA1-dependent apoptosis when their proliferative activity is mildly impaired.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We compared the clinical manifestations, laboratory and radiologic findings, and outcomes of eight patients with proven pulmonary cryptococcosis (PC) caused by capsule-deficient Cryptococcus neoformans with those of six patients with PC caused by capsule-intact Cr. neoformans. The presentations and outcomes did not differ significantly between the groups.
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