Cryptococcosis: Emergence of Cryptococcus gattii in Animals and Zoonotic Potential

  • Karuna Singh
  • Macit Ilkit
  • Tahereh Shokohi
  • Ali Tolooe
  • Richard Malik
  • Seyedmojtaba SeyedmousaviEmail author


Cryptococcosis is one of the most serious fungal diseases of animals worldwide, affecting a wide variety of mammals (including humans) and, occasionally, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The disease is caused by pathogenic members of the encapsulated, melanin-forming, basidiomycetous yeast genus Cryptococcus, namely, Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii species complexes. These two species have different ecological niches across climate zones: C. neoformans has been isolated primarily from soil and avian excrement, whereas C. gattii is mainly associated with decaying wood and other plant materials, particularly in and around various species of trees. Cryptococcosis, which appears to be acquired by the inhalation of yeasts from environmental niches and penetration into the sinonasal cavity (animals) or pulmonary alveoli (humans) of the host, followed by hematogenous dissemination (humans) or penetration of the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bones (many animals), often manifests as skin and soft tissue infections, rhinosinusitis, pneumonia, and meningoencephalitis. Animals and people may become infected via the same environmental source; however, no convincing mammal-to-mammal transmission has been documented to date. This chapter highlights the diseases and complications that Cryptococcus species may cause in invertebrates, cold- and warm-blooded animals, marine mammals, and nonhuman primates. The potential role of animal hosts as sentinels of human cryptococcosis is discussed.


Cryptococcosis Cryptococcus neoformans Cryptococcus gattii Emergence Animals Zoonotic potential 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karuna Singh
    • 1
  • Macit Ilkit
    • 2
  • Tahereh Shokohi
    • 3
  • Ali Tolooe
    • 4
  • Richard Malik
    • 5
  • Seyedmojtaba Seyedmousavi
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyMahila Mahavidyalaya, Banaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Division of Mycology, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ÇukurovaAdanaTurkey
  3. 3.Invasive Fungi Research Center (IFRC), and Department of Medical Mycology and ParasitologySchool of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran
  4. 4.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyCenter of Expertise in Microbiology, Infection Biology and Antimicrobial PharmacologyTehranIran
  5. 5.Centre for Veterinary EducationUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  6. 6.Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology (LCIM)National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH)BethesdaUSA

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