Isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans from a Chesnut Tree (Castanea sativa), Denizli, Turkey

ŞENGÜL M., KUTLU M., DÖĞEN A., Aksoy L., GONCA S., Ilkit M. M. , ...More

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.53, no.1, pp.61-69, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.67583
  • Title of Journal : MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI
  • Page Numbers: pp.61-69


Cryptococcus neoformans is a basidiomycetous encapsulated yeast that can cause life-threatening infections in immunosuppressed humans and animals. C. neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii infections are considered to be acquired via inhalation of aerosolized particles from the environment. Avian guano, decaying tree hollows and soil are known as environmental niches. In recent years, colonization of the woody structures of different trees such as Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Tamarix hispida, Platanus orientalis and Punica granatum has been reported in the environmental study of the western Anatolian region. Based on the results of previous studies, our country may have intensive Cryptococcus colonization niches in the western regions. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of the colonization of C.neoformans niche in chestnut (Castanea spp.) trees on higher altitudes.. In the study, the colonization of C.neoformans was screened on chestnut trees (Castanea spp.) in Aydin-Odemis-Denizli geographical area. This area consists of mountainous terrain between the fertile plain formed by two major rivers.This region is one of the widespreading areas of chestnut farming in Anatolia. Two hundred and fourteen chestnut trees that had deep fissures or trunk hollows were screened during mid-summer 2017. A swabbing technique was used, and all samples were cultured on Staib agar medium containing biphenyl and antibiotics. Cultures were checked for ten days for suspicious brown colonies. Suspicious yeast colonies were tested for the identification of pathogenic Cryptococcus by conventional methods and canavanine-glycine-bromothymol agar reactions. ITS 1-4 primers were used for strain PCR tests. We determined the mating type and serotypes by PCR analysis of the STE20 genes using STE20 (Aa), STE20 (A alpha), STE20 (Da), and STE20 (D alpha) primers. V8 agar medium was used for mating cultivation. Only one (0.47%) strain of C. neoformans was isolated from 214 screened trees. This strain was confirmed by ITS 1-4 sequencing. The serotype A MAT alpha mating type was observed. Basidium, basidiospores and clamp connections in hyphal structure were noted with MAT alpha mating on V8 agar medium. In this study, the first C.neoformans isolate from a chestnut tree (Castanea sativa) was determined from Denizli region. Further studies of distribution of human pathogenic Cryptococcus will be helpful to determine the risk areas for the living organisms in our region.