1887

Abstract

Phenotypic switching has been described in serotype A and D strains of . It occurs during chronic infection and is associated with differential gene expression and changes in virulence. The switch involves changes in the polysaccharide capsule and cell wall that affect the yeast's ability to resist phagocytosis. In addition, the phenotypic switch variants elicit qualitatively different inflammatory responses in the host. In animal models of chronic cryptococosis, the immune response of the host ultimately determines which of the switch variants are selected and maintained. The importance of phenotypic switching is further underscored by several findings that are relevant in the setting of human disease. These include the ability of the mucoid colony variant of RC-2 (RC-2 MC) but not the smooth variant (RC-2 SM) to promote increased intracerebral pressure in a rat model of cryptococcal meningitis. Furthermore, chemotherapeutic and immunological antifungal interventions can promote the selection of the RC-2 MC variant during chronic murine infection.

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2006-01-01
2019-10-16
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