Prevalence of the VNIc genotype of Cryptococcus neoformans in non-HIV-associated cryptococcosis in the Republic of Korea

Young Hwa Choi, Popchai Ngamskulrungroj, Ashok Varma, Edward Sionov, Soo Myung Hwang, Fabian Carriconde, Wieland Meyer, Anastasia P. Litvintseva, Wee Gyo Lee, Jong Hee Shin, Eui Chong Kim, Kyung Won Lee, Tae Yeal Choi, Yeong Seon Lee, Kyung J. Kwon-Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


PCR fingerprinting and multilocus sequence typing were applied to determine the major molecular types of the Cryptococcus neoformansCryptococcus gattii species complex in the Republic of Korea. Of the 78 strains isolated from patients diagnosed with cryptococcosis between 1990 and 2008, 96% were C. neoformans serotype A, mating type MATα and molecular type VNI. The remaining 4% were C. gattii, serotype B, mating type MATα and either molecular type VGIIb or VGIII. Of the 62 strains with known HIV status, only 14 (22.6%) were isolated from HIV-positive patients and belonged to molecular type VNI. Remarkably, 93% of the C. neoformans isolates had identical PCR fingerprint profiles with the VNIc genotype that has been identified recently as the major genotype among C. neoformans strains in China. Most strains (81.8%) of the VNIc genotype were associated with non-HIV patients compared with strains of the non-VNIc genotype (20%) (P=0.009). Unlike the Chinese strains, a majority (60%) of the non-HIV patients infected with strains of the VNIc genotype in the Republic of Korea had serious underlying conditions, with cancer and liver disease being the most common. This study affirms VNIc to be the most prevalent genotype of C. neoformans isolated from non-HIV patients with cryptococcosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-778
Number of pages10
JournalFEMS Yeast Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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