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Spotlight: Cryptococcus neoformans

Two new papers describe insights into how the pathogen interacts with the body’s macrophages, those big eaters of the immune system that should (but often don’t) gobble up C. neoformans before it can do real harm. In chronic C. neoformans infections, the pathogen is often found inside macrophage phagosomes where it may be living as a facultative intercellular pathogen. Getting to the bottom of how the fungus gets in and out of macrophages could help in the development of new therapies for the infection.

First: a discovery about how C. neoformans escapes from macrophages through a process called non-lytic exocytosis. Nicola et al. noted that scientists have observed neoformans escaping from intact macrophages in vitro, but no one knew how important this mode of escape might be in the body.

Next up is a paper by Alanio et al. that examines how differences in C. neoformans clinical isolates impact the outcome of infection.

Click on the “source” link above to read more on mBio’s blog, mBiosphere…

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