Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/14482
Deciphering the Association among Pathogenicity, Production and Polymorphisms of Capsule/Melanin in Clinical Isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii VNI
J Fungi (Basel). 2022 Feb 28;8(3):245.
Background: Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that can cause meningitis in immunocompromised individuals. The objective of this work was to study the relationship between the phenotypes and genotypes of isolates of clinical origin from different cities in Colombia. Methods: Genome classification of 29 clinical isolates of C. neoformans var. grubii was performed using multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and genomic sequencing was used to genotype protein-coding genes. Pathogenicity was assessed in a larval model, and melanin production and capsule size were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Results: Eleven MLST sequence types (STs) were found, the most frequent being ST69 (n = 9), ST2, ST93, and ST377 (each with n = 4). In the 29 isolates, different levels of pigmentation, capsule size and pathogenicity were observed. Isolates classified as highly pathogenic showed a tendency to exhibit larger increases in capsule size. In the analysis of polymorphisms, 48 non-synonymous variants located in the predicted functional domains of 39 genes were found to be associated with capsule size change, melanin, or pathogenicity. Conclusions: No clear patterns were found in the analysis of the phenotype and genotype of Cryptococcus. However, the data suggest that the increase in capsule size is a key variable for the differentiation of pathogenic isolates, regardless of the method used for its induction.