HIV/AIDS-associated cryptococcosis in Portugal spanning the pre- to post-HAART era: A retrospective assessment at the genotypic level based on URA5-RFLP

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Abstract

Cryptococcosis caused by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic mycosis, infecting mainly immunodepressed individuals. Molecular epidemiology studies of cryptococcosis in Europe are limited. This paper presents a retrospective study of cryptococcosis in 105 cryptococcal isolates from two hospitals in Lisbon, Portugal, among HIV/AIDS patients, from 1991 to 2007. Among these patients, the number of cases of cryptococcosis increased from 5.1 to 6.9 cases per year from the preto post-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era. As expected, the median age of the patients increased, from 32 (mean: 33 ± 8) to 39 (mean: 41 ± 10) years, and the ratio of male to female patients remained high (7.7 and 7.6, respectively). Strain genotyping based on restriction fragment length polymorphism of the orotidine monophosphate pyrophosphorylase (URA5-RFLP) gene showed that, in general, the relative frequencies of the genotypes VNI-IV are similar to those from other European countries. These frequencies were, respectively, for the pre- and post- HAART periods: 41.7 and 43.5% for VNI; 2.8 and 17.4% for VNII; 38.9 and 30.4% for VNIII; 16.7 and 7.2% for VNIV and 0 and 1.4% for VGII. Some apparent although statistically insignificant differences among these values were observed between both periods. The genotypic frequencies were not also statistically different according to the patients’ gender or age range. Of note are the high proportion of VNIII isolates (common in Europe) and the high increase in the frequency of the VNII genotype in the post-HAART. Ultimately, these results may have implications in disease therapy, management and control.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA009
Pages (from-to)449-457
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Microbiology
Volume71
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

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