Autochthonous and dormant Cryptococcus gattii infections in Europe

Ferry Hagen, M Francisca Colom, Daniëlle Swinne, Kathrin Tintelnot, Roberta Iatta, Maria Teresa Montagna, Josep M Torres-Rodriguez, Massimo Cogliati, Aristea Velegraki, Arjan Burggraaf, Alwin Kamermans, Johanna M Sweere, Jacques F Meis, Corné H W Klaassen, Teun Boekhout

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Until recently, Cryptococcus gattii infections occurred mainly in tropical and subtropical climate zones. However, during the past decade, C. gattii infections in humans and animals in Europe have increased. To determine whether the infections in Europe were acquired from an autochthonous source or associated with travel, we used multilocus sequence typing to compare 100 isolates from Europe (57 from 40 human patients, 22 from the environment, and 21 from animals) with 191 isolates from around the world. Of the 57 human patient isolates, 47 (83%) were obtained since 1995. Among the 40 patients, 24 (60%) probably acquired the C. gattii infection outside Europe; the remaining 16 (40%) probably acquired the infection within Europe. Human patient isolates from Mediterranean Europe clustered into a distinct genotype with animal and environmental isolates. These results indicate that reactivation of dormant C. gattii infections can occur many years after the infectious agent was acquired elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1618-24
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology
  • Cryptococcosis/epidemiology
  • Cryptococcus gattii/classification
  • Europe/epidemiology
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Phylogeny
  • Travel

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