Molecular characterization of Cryptococcus gattii genotype AFLP6/VGII isolated from woody debris of divi-divi (Caesalpinia coriaria), Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean


The basidiomycetous yeast Cryptococcus gattii is an emerging and primary pathogen. There is a lack of information about its environmental spread outside outbreak regions in Mediterranean Europe, North and South America. Environmental sampling for C. gattii and molecular characterization of the obtained isolates will provide an insight into the global spread of the various genotypes.

Woody debris of native divi-divi (Caesalpinia coriaria) trees were sampled across Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean. Colonies suspected for Cryptococcus species were subjected to standard mycology investigations and identification by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. Isolates identified as C. gattii were subjected to amplified fragment length polymorphism genotyping, mating-type analysis and multi-locus sequence typing.

Ten colonies of C. gattii were cultured from different trunk hollows of the same divi-divi tree. Molecular characterization showed that all isolates were genotype AFLP6/VGII and mating-type α. Multi-locus sequence typing revealed that all isolates were genetically indistinguishable from each other.

C. gattii is present in the environment of Bonaire, which suggests that this yeast is likely to be present in the environment of other Caribbean islands.

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