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Virulence

Fungal serotype-specific differences in bacterial-yeast interactions.


PMID 26132337

Abstract

Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn) causes meningoencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals. This encapsulated fungus can be found interacting with environmental microbes in soil contaminated with pigeon excrement. Cn survival within polymicrobial and other challenging communities has been shown to affect the evolution of its virulence factors. We compared the survival of 10 serotype A and D strains after interaction with the soil bacterium, Acinetobacter baumannii (Ab). Although co-incubation with Ab stimulated virulence factors production by strains of both cryptococcal serotypes, on average, serotype A strains displayed significantly higher survival rate, number of metabolically active cells within biofilms, and capsular polysaccharide production and release than serotype D strains. Our findings suggest that interactions of Cn with other microorganisms influence the fungus' regulation and production of virulence factors, important elements needed for the successful colonization of the human host.