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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2010 Aug;13(4):437-42. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2010.05.003.

Dueling in the lung: how Cryptococcus spores race the host for survival.

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Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Many human fungal pathogens infect people when they are inhaled as spores. Despite the serious impact of fungal spores on human health, little is known about their basic properties or how they interact with the host. This is particularly true for Cryptococcus neoformans, a human fungal pathogen that causes more than 600,000 deaths annually. Spores of C. neoformans have not been well characterized previously because of technical challenges in isolating them; however, recent advances in spore isolation have lead to the first direct analyses of spores. Novel insights into the spore-host interaction, specifically how spores interact with alveolar macrophages, have provided a new model of cryptococcosis that could have broad implications for human fungal pathogenesis.

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