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Sterol compositions and susceptibilities to amphotericin B of environmental Cryptococcus neoformans isolates are changed by murine passage.

  • B Currie
  • H Sanati
  • A S Ibrahim
  • J E Edwards
  • A Casadevall
  • M A Ghannoum
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1995
  • Ecology
  • Geography


Previous studies have shown that sequential isolates from patients with persistent Cryptococcus neoformans meningoencephalitis can vary in sterol composition and susceptibility to antifungal drugs. To investigate the potential of host factors as mediators of this phenomenon, we compared fungal susceptibilities of environmental and clinical isolates from a limited geographic area. Clinical isolates were less susceptible to amphotericin B than environmental isolates. Five environmental isolates were passaged through BALB/c murine hosts; the passaged isolates had changes in sterol composition and reduced amphotericin B susceptibilities relative to those of the parent isolates. In contrast, murine passage of these isolates did not alter their susceptibilities to fluconazole. The results confirm that changes in sterol composition and antifungal susceptibility can occur in vivo as a result of host factors and suggest that human infection can result in selection of variants with reduced susceptibilities to amphotericin B.

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