Soluble Polysaccharides of Cryptococcus neoformans

  • Robert Cherniak
Part of the Current Topics in Medical Mycology book series (CT MYCOLOGY, volume 2)

Abstract

The cell envelope of Cryptococcus neoformans is composed of a rigid wall constituted mainly of complex glucans (37); an acidic heteropolysaccharide principal antigen composed of mannose, xylose, and glucuronic acid; and at least two minor polysaccharide antigens (55). The relationship of the principal capsular antigens of C. neoformans to pathogenicity has been demonstrated, and it is considered to be a major virulence factor (12, 30, 39). The cryptococcal capsule is antiphagocytic (11,13,22,41,42, 52) and enables the yeast to avoid immune surveillance, cross the blood-brain barrier, and proliferate in the central nervous system by a mechanism reminiscent of bacterial agents of meningitis (57). The capsular polysaccharide persists in body fluids and invokes tolerance (1, 43, 51). Cryptococcal meningitis has been encountered relatively infrequently, but with the increased occurrence of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a concomitant increase in cryptococcosis has resulted (16).

Keywords

Cellulose Carbohydrate Fractionation Mane Meningitis 

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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

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  • Robert Cherniak

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