Cryptococcus: from environmental saprophyte to global pathogen

Robin C May, Neil R H Stone, Darin L Wiesner, Tihana Bicanic, Kirsten Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)
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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-117
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number2
Early online date21 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Antifungal agents
  • Fungal host response
  • Fungal immune evasion
  • Fungal pathogenesis


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