Working Groups Genotyping of Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii


Established: January 2007
Founding Coordinator: Dr June Kwon-Chun (NIH/NAID, Bethesda, USA)
Current Coordinator: Massimo Cogliati
Lab. Micologia Medica
Dip. Scienze Biomediche per la Salute
Università degli Studi di Milano
Via Pascal 36, 20133 Milano, Italy
Phone: +39 0250315144-145
Fax: +39 0250315146
Previous coordinators: June Kwon-Chung (2007-2009)
Wieland Meyer (2009-2012)


  • The working group is open to everybody who is interested on genotyping, molecular epidemiology and population genetics of the C. neoformans/C. gattii species complex. For membership please contact Massimo Cogliati (
  • Dr. June Kwon-Chung, NIH/NAID, Bethesda, USA
  • Prof. Wieland Meyer, University of Sydney, Westmead, Australia
  • Dr. Luciana Trilles, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Prof. Anastasia Litvintseva, CDC, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Prof. Thomas Mitchell, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA
  • Dr. Ferry Hagen, CBS-KNAW, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Teun Boekhout, CBS-KNAW, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Massimo Cogliati, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy
  • Dr. Shawn Lockhart, CDC, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Dr. Françoise Dromer, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
  • Dr. Marie Desnos-Ollivier, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
  • Prof. Kirsten Nielsen,University of Minnesota, MN, USA
  • Prof. Ariya Chindamporn, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Dr. Popchai Ngamskulrungroj, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Prof. Elizabeth Castaneda, Instituto de Salud, Bogota, Colombia
  • Dr. Patrica Escandon, Instituto de Salud, Bogota, Colombia
  • Dr. Carolina Firacative, University of Sydney, Westmead, Australia
  • Dr. Mara Diaz, RSMAS/University of Miami, Key Biscayne, FL, USA
  • Prof. Salvatore Oliveri, Università degli Studi di Catania, Catania, Italy
  • Prof. Simona Nardoni, Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie
Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • Prof. Giuseppe Criseo, University of Messina, Messina, Italy

  • Prof. Cristina Macci, National Research Council (CNR), Pisa, Italy
  • Prof. Ludovico Dipineto, University of Napoli Federico II, Napoli, Italy
  • Dr. Luigi Vezzulli, Università di Genova, Genova, Italy
  • Prof. Antonio Scopa, Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Potenza, Italy
  • Prof. Vincenzo Pasquale, Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, Napoli, Italy)
  • Prof. Antonella De Donno, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy
  • Prof. Maria Teresa Montagna, Università degli Studi di Bari, Bari, Italy
  • Dr. Stephane Ranque, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France
  • Prof. Michele Mallié, Unité Mixte Internationale - Recherches Translationnelles sur l'infection à VIH et les Maladies Infectieuses,
  • Montpellier, France
  • Dr. Sebastien Bertout, Unité Mixte Internationale - Recherches Translationnelles sur l'infection à VIH et les Maladies
  • Infectieuses, Montpellier, France
  • Dr. Maria Francisca Colom, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Alicante, Spain
  • Prof. Kathrin Tintelnot , Robert-Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany
  • Prof. Maria Da Luz Martins, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Prof. Joao Jose Inacio Silva, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, Lisbon
  • Prof. Ana Cristina Sampaio, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
  • Prof. Mehemet Macit Ilkit, University of Çukurova, Adana, Turkey
  • Prof. Cagri Ergin, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey
  • Prof. Nilgün Çerikçioğlu, Marmara University,School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Prof. Okan Tore, Uludag University, Bursa, Turkey
  • Prof. Itzhack Polacheck, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Prof. Emilija Mlinaric-Missoni, Croatian National Institute of Public Health, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Prof. Aristea Velegraki, Medical School National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • Dr. Serdar Susever, Cyprus Near East University, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Prof. Edmond Puca, University Hospital Center “Mother Teresa”, Tirana, Albania
  • Prof. Mohamed S. Ellabib, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Lybia
  • Prof. James Kronstad, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Prof. Karen H. Bartlett, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada


The objectives of the working group are:

  1. to standardize genotyping within the C. neoformans/C. gattii species complex;
  2. to establish the global molecular epidemiology of this species complex;
  3. finding biological characteristics that can represent the differences among genotypes.


MLST database:

Genetic diversity of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii, and its epidemiological implications

Cryptococcus neoformans, the agent of cryptococcosis, had been considered a homogeneous species until 1949 when the existence of four serotypes was revealed based on the antigenic properties of its polysaccharide capsule. Such heterogeneity of the species, however, remained obscure until the two morphologically distinct teleomorphs of C. neoformans were discovered during the mid 1970s. The teleomorph Filobasidiella neoformans was found to be produced by strains of serotype A and D while F. bacillispora was found to be produced by strains of serotype B and C. Ensuing studies revealed numerous differences between the anamorphs of the two Filobasidiella species with regards to their ecology, epidemiology, pathobiology, biochemistry and genetics. Presently, the etiologic agent of cryptococcosis is classified into two species, C. neoformans (serotypes A and D) and C. gattii (serotypes B and C). Intra-specific genetic diversity has also been revealed as more genotyping methods have been applied for each serotype. As a result, the number of scientifically valid species within C. neoformans has become a controversial issue because of the differing opinions among taxonomists as to the appropriate definition of a species. There are several research groups focusing on the molecular determination of the number of genetically diverse sub-groups within each serotype. The molecular methods employed by each group to construct phylogenetic trees vary: DNA fingerprinting based on minisatellite-specific primer M13 and/or RFLP, use of IGSI-5.8-IGSII sequence, RAPD and multilocus sequencing. Different methods have resulted in different numbers of sub-groups. Interestingly, an association between geographic origin and certain genotypes has been observed, implying epidemiological significance of certain genotypes. However, due to the lack of a cross reference consensus between the results obtained by different genotyping method, there is no concordance on a universally acceptable genotyping method for this important human pathogen.

Selected Publications

Meyer W, Aanensen DM, Boekhout T, Cogliati M, Diaz MR, Esposto MC, Fisher M, Gilgado F, Hagen F, Kaocharoen S, Litvintseva AP, Mitchell TG, Simwami SP, Trilles L, Viviani MA, Kwon- Chung KJ. (2009). Consensus multi-locus sequence typing scheme for Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. Journal of Medical Mycology 47(6): 561-570.

Choi YH, Ngamskulrungroj P, Varma A, Sionov E, Hwang SM, Carriconde F, Meyer W, Litvintseva AP, Lee WG, Shin JH, Kim EC, Lee KW, Choi TY, Lee YS, Kwon-Chung KJ. (2010). Prevalence of the VNIc genotype of Cryptococcus neoformans in non-HIV associated cryptococcosis in the Republic of Korea. FEMS Yeast Research 10: 769-778.

Meyer W, Gilgado F, Ngamskulrungroj P, Trilles L, Hagen F, Castañeda E, Boekhout T. (2011). Population genetics of Cryptococcus. p. 327-357. In Heitman J, Kozel T, Kwon-Chung J, Perfect J, Casadevall. Cryptococcus: from human pathogen to model yeast. ASM Press, Washington DC.

Carriconde F, Gilgado F, Arthur I, Ellis D, Malik R, van de Wiele N, Robert V, Currie BJ, Meyer W. (2011). Clonality and α-a recombination in the Australian Cryptococcus gattii VGII population- an emerging outbreak in Australia. PLoS ONE 6(2):e16936.

Litvintseva AP, Carbone I, Rossouw J, Thakur R, Govender NP, et al. (2011). Evidence that the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii may have evolved in Africa. PLoS ONE 6(5): e19688.

Simwami SP, Khayhan K, Henk DA, Aanensen DM, Boekhout T, et al. (2011). Low Diversity Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii multilocus sequence types from Thailand are consistent with an ancestral African origin. PLoS Pathog 7(4): e1001343.

Litvintseva AP, Mitchell TG. (2012). Population genetic analyses reveal the African origin and strain variation of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii. PLoS Pathog 8(2): e1002495.

Firacative C, Trilles L, Meyer W. (2012). MALDI-TOF MS confirms the existence and enables the rapid identification of cryptic species in the Cryptococcus neoformans/C. gattii species complex. PLoS ONE 2011, 7(5):e37566

Umeyama T, Ohno H, Minamoto F, Takagi T, Tanamachi C, Tanabe K, Kaneko Y, Yamagoe S, Kishi K, Fujii T, Takemura H, Watanabe H, Miyazaki Y. (2013). Determination of epidemiology of clinically isolated Cryptococcus neoformans strains in Japan by multilocus sequence typing. Jpn J Infect Dis. 66(1):51-5.

Cogliati M, Zamfirova RR, Tortorano AM, Viviani MA. (2013). Molecular epidemiology of Italian clinical Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii isolates. Med Mycol. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23286351.

Wiesner DL, Moskalenko O, Corcoran JM, McDonald T, Rolfes MA, Meya DB, Kajumbula H, Kambugu A, Bohjanen PR, Knight JF, Boulware DR, Nielsen K. (2012). Cryptococcal genotype influences immunologic response and human clinical outcome after meningitis. MBio. Sep 25;3(5):e00196.

Mihara T, Izumikawa K, Kakeya H, Ngamskulrungroj P, Umeyama T, Takazono T, Tashiro M, Nakamura S, Imamura Y, Miyazaki T, Ohno H, Yamamoto Y, Yanagihara K, Miyzaki Y, Kohno S. (2013). Multilocus sequence typing of Cryptococcus neoformans in non-HIV associated cryptococcosis in Nagasaki, Japan. Med Mycol. 51(3):252-60.