Pathogenicity of Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii in an immunocompetent mouse model

J. M. Torres-Rodríguez, Y. Morera, T. Baró, J. M. Corominas, E. Castañeda

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The pathogenicity of two different genomic profiles of Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii serotype B isolated from goats that died from cryptococcal pneumonia was assessed in an experimental model of immunocompetent mice. One strain of each randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) profile (GR52 and GR56) and three reference C. neoformans isolates representing serotypes B, D and C were used. BALB/c male mice were inoculated by the intraperitoneal route with each strain. After 4 weeks of follow-up, the animals were sacrificed and autopsy specimens of testes, liver, spleen, kidney, lungs and brain were cultured and stained for histopathology. Although spontaneous mortality was only 2% (one animal), all mice except for those inoculated with serotype C showed positive cultures in almost one organ. The strain GR52 isolated from goat showed the highest rate of positive cultures (80%) followed by serotype D (77%). Serotype B reference strain and second goat strain GR56 were both isolated from 70% of samples. Serotype C was recovered in only 33% of organs, and never from brain or lung specimens. GR52 grew abundantly from all lung cultures, and yeast cells with large capsules were seen in histopathology inside the alveoli, peribronchial vessels and interalveolar spaces. They appeared to elicit no inflammatory response. We conclude that intraperitoneally inoculated C. neoformans var. gattii shows high virulence in this immunocompetent mouse model. Strain GR52 was highest in pathogenicity and had marked lung tropism. In contrast, the serotype C reference strain showed the lowest pathogenicity and seemed not to spread outside the abdominal viscera.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-63
JournalMedical Mycology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003


  • Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii
  • Epidemiology
  • Immunocompetent mouse model
  • Pathogenicity


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