Investigation of Cryptococcus Colonization and Mating Genotype in Environmental Samples Çevresel Örneklerde Cryptococcus Kolonizasyonunun ve Eşey Genotipinin Araştırılması


Creative Commons License

Alkaya D., KAPLAN E., Ergın Ç., İlkıt M., Dögen A.

Mikrobiyoloji Bulteni, vol.58, no.1, pp.39-48, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 58 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.20249904
  • Journal Name: Mikrobiyoloji Bulteni
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.39-48
  • Keywords: Cryptococcus, environmental colonization, mating genotype, trees
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No

Abstract

Cryptococcus species are fungal pathogens that pose a serious threat to human life and can cause meningoencephalitis in immunocompromised and healthy individuals. It was estimated that approximately 112000 people die every year due to cryptococcal-related infections all over the world, especially in immunocompromised individuals. Cryptococcus species can be found in soil, bat dung, pigeon droppings, and various tree species in addition to humans. Despite the majority of Cryptococcus species being haploid opportunistic human pathogens, it is known that the ability to undergo sexual reproduction plays a significant role in the expansion of species distribution and the increase in virulence. In Cryptococcus species, sexual reproduction is governed by the mating genotype gene region called the MAT locus. Pathogenic Cryptococcus species have two mating types (MATa and MATot), defined by the presence of one of two alternative alleles at a single MAT locus. In this study, various tree species (eucalyptus, olive and carob) in a total of seven regions in Mersin (Gülnar, Göksu, Narlıkuyu, Ayaş, Kızkalesi, and Tarsus) and Hatay provinces were examined to detect Cryptococcus species. The aim of this study was to determine the environmental distribution and sexual genotypes of Cryptococcus species in these regions. In the present study, samples were collected from a total of 750 trees, including olive, eucalyptus, and carob trees. The samples were incubated on Staib agar medium containing 0.1% biphenyl and 0.5% chloramphenicol. Colonies that formed brown pigment were identified as Cneoformans using conventional and molecular methods. The sexual genotypes were determined by comparing the lengths of the STE20 gene from the isolates compared with those of reference Cneoformans strains. Growth was observed in 97 (12.9%) of 750 samples collected from eucalyptus (n= 236), olive (n= 303) and carob (n= 211) trees. All 97 isolates were determined to be C.neoformans var. grubii. The highest positivity was found in Narlıkuyu (78.2%), and from carob (9.4%) and olive (3.5%) trees. Cryptococcus species was not detected in any of the samples derived from eucalyptus trees. Based on the lengths of the STE20 gene, it was determined that all Cneoformans var. grubii isolates were in the MAT Aa genotype. The data obtained regarding the environmental distribution of Cryptococcus species and the distribution of genes involved in sexual reproduction are believed to provide valuable guidance in terms of the potential clinical implications of environmental Cryptococcus hotspots and regional species characteristics in our country.