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Prevalence of Cryptococcus gattii and Cryptococcus neoformans

in environmental samples from San Jos de Ccuta, Norte de


Santander, Colombia.
Escandn P1, Crdenas D 2, Parra-Giraldo CM3, Galvis F2, Angarita A2
1 Grupo de Microbiologa, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogot, Colombia.
2Grupo BIOGEN, Universidad de Santander, Ccuta, Colombia.
3 Unidad de Protemica y Micosis Humanas, Grupo Enfermedades Infecciosas,

Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogot, Colombia.

INTRODUCTION RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS


Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii, live in the Prevalence of Cryptococcus was 0.71% (4 isolates). Three isolates
environment throughout the world, and represent the primary were identified by both biochemical and proteomic approaches
cause of cryptococcosis, a life threatening disease1,2, especially in as C. neoformans corresponding to VNI (images 1-3), and one
immunocompromised patients3,4 being much higher the isolate as C: gattii corresponding to VGII (image 4).
prevalence of C.neoformans with habitat in bird excreta5. This is
the most common in the US, while C.gattii has been found around
eucalyptus in tropical and subtropical regions of Australia,
California, Central America, South America and on Vancouver
Island, British Columbia, during a recent outbreak of
cryptococcosis in immunocompetent individuals6. Foto de cada fuente de
The study of environmental and clinical isolates of Cryptococcus as
human pathogens is an important contribution to the positividad (los 4 positivos,
epidemiology and ecology of the fungus (Ref).
Previous works by the Colombian Cryptococcosis study group have
reported the city of Ccuta as an endemic zone by C. gattii, where
con el nombre de cada
VGII and VGIII molecular types were the most prevalent in clinical
cases of cryptococcosis (refs INAS)
imagen y el nmero de 1 a
4)
OBJETIVE
The purpose of this research was to isolate C. gattii and C.
neoformans from different environmental samples in public parks
of the city of San Jos de Ccuta.

MATERIALS AND METHODS The study of environmental sources of the fungus is of great
importance, especially in those areas where cryptococcosis
Cross-sectional correlational study. cases have a significant prevalence among
immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients.
A total of 562 environmental samples were taken in public parks: Longitudinal sampling of ecological niches where the fungus
Simn Bolivar, Mercedes brego, Arcoiris and surroundings areas has been previously recovered reveals its persistence in
of the General Santander Stadium.
niches where Cryptococcus finds favorable conditions to
We performed a pre-sampling mapping; for each individual tree,
samples of bark, fruits and soil were collected in plastic bags (10g
survive. This type of studies is mandatory to be performed in
approximately) and processed using the phosphate buffering areas where the disease affects continuously an extensive
technique (PBS) supplemented with cloramphenicol and amikacin. proportion of the population, and should be performed
routinely by public health authorities (references).
Afterwards, the samples were cultured on Guizotia abyssinica agar,
incubated at 27 C for 20 days and observed daily. All creamy,
elevated colonies with regular borders and brown pigment REFERENCES
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isolates causing infections in HIV/AIDS patients in Southern California: identification of the local
bromothymol blue agar). Additionally, we performed identification environmental source as arboreal. PLoS Pathog. 2014;10(8):e1004285.
by mass spectrometry using MALDI TOF MS Microflex BRUKER. 3. Gaona-Flores VA. Central nervous system and Cryptococcus neoformans. North American journal of
medical sciences. 2013;5(8):492.
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and analyzed by an in-house library, which allowed identifying up Cryptococcus gattii, the etiologic agents of cryptococcosis. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med.
2014;4(7):a019760.
to the molecular variety level. 5. Chowdhary A, Randhawa HS, Prakash A, Meis JF. Environmental prevalence of Cryptococcus neoformans
and Cryptococcus gattii in India: an update. Critical reviews in microbiology. 2012;38(1):1-16.
6. May R, Stone N, Wiesner D, Bicanic T, Nielsen K. Cryptococcus: from environmental saprophyte to global
pathogen. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2016; 14:106-117