REVIEW ARTICLE


Recent Advances in the Ecoepidemiology, Virulence and Diagnosis of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii Species Complexes



Kebabonye Kenosi1, Jongman Mosimanegape2, *, Loeto Daniel2, Kasvosve Ishmael1
1 School of Health Allied Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Botswana, Private Bag 0022, Gaborone, Botswana
2 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana, Private Bag 0022, Gaborone, Botswana


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Creative Commons License
© 2023 Kenosi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana, Private Bag 0022, Gaborone, Botswana; E-mail: jongmanm@ub.ac.bw


Abstract

Emerging environmental pathogenic fungal infections, including cryptococcosis, continue to pose a significant threat to humans with compromised immunity and, to some extent, healthy ones. Cryptococcus neoformans was originally identified as the main etiological agent of human cryptococcosis, but recent studies have also identified the occurrence of opportunistic infections caused by Cryptococcus gattii. These two saprophytic facultative yeasts present a paradox as they can infect humans without requiring a host for replication or survival, a phenomenon termed readymade virulence. Many cryptococcal virulence traits appear to have dual effects that provide survival advantages in both animal hosts and the environment. Several molecular techniques have been developed to provide in-depth knowledge of these species complexes. This review will focus on the description of the Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii (CnCg) species complexes and associated cryptococcal pathogenesis, ecological niches, and virulence factors employed by the pathogens to cause disease.

Keywords: Cryptococcus gattii , Cryptococcus neoformans , Detection, Ecological niche, Virulence, Pathogens.