Antifungal drug susceptibility and phylogenetic diversity among Cryptococcus isolates from dogs and cats in North America

Lisa M. Singer, Wieland Meyer, Carolina Firacative, George R. Thompson, Eileen Samitz, Jane E. Sykes

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Molecular types of the Cryptococcus neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii species complex that infect dogs and cats differ regionally and with host species. Antifungal drug susceptibility can vary with molecular type, but the susceptibility of Cryptococcus isolates from dogs and cats is largely unknown. Cryptococcus isolates from 15 dogs and 27 cats were typed using URA5 restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (RFLP), PCR fingerprinting, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Susceptibility was determined using a microdilution assay (Sensititre YeastOne; Trek Diagnostic Systems). MICs were compared among groups. The 42 isolates studied comprised molecular types VGI (7%), VGIIa (7%), VGIIb (5%), VGIIc (5%), VGIII (38%), VGIV (2%), VNI (33%), and VNII (2%), as determined by URA5 RFLP. The VGIV isolate was more closely related to VGIII according to MLST. All VGIII isolates were from cats. All sequence types identified from veterinary isolates clustered with isolates from humans. VGIII isolates showed considerable genetic diversity compared with other Cryptococcus molecular types and could be divided into two major subgroups. Compared with C. neoformans MICs, C. gattii MICs were lower for flucytosine, and VGIII MICs were lower for flucytosine and itraconazole. For all drugs except itraconazole, C. gattii isolates exhibited a wider range of MICs than C. neoformans. MICs varied with Cryptococcus species and molecular type in dogs and cats, and MICs of VGIII isolates were most variable and may reflect phylogenetic diversity in this group. Because sequence types of dogs and cats reflect those infecting humans, these observations may also have implications for treatment of human cryptococcosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2061-2070
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)


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