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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2016 Feb;14(2):106-17. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro.2015.6. Epub 2015 Dec 21.

Cryptococcus: from environmental saprophyte to global pathogen.

Author information

1
Institute of Microbiology and Infection and School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.
2
Institute of Infection and Immunity, St Georges, University of London, London SW17 0RE, UK.
3
Department of Microbiology and Center for Infectious Diseases, Microbiology, and Translational Research, University of Minnesota, Minnesota 55455, USA.

Abstract

Cryptococcosis is a globally distributed invasive fungal infection that is caused by species within the genus Cryptococcus which presents substantial therapeutic challenges. Although natural human-to-human transmission has never been observed, recent work has identified multiple virulence mechanisms that enable cryptococci to infect, disseminate within and ultimately kill their human host. In this Review, we describe these recent discoveries that illustrate the intricacy of host-pathogen interactions and reveal new details about the host immune responses that either help to protect against disease or increase host susceptibility. In addition, we discuss how this improved understanding of both the host and the pathogen informs potential new avenues for therapeutic development.

PMID:
26685750
PMCID:
PMC5019959
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro.2015.6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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