Ultrastructural and chemotaxonomic analysis of a xylanolytic strain ofCryptococcus adeliensisisolated from sheep droppings in Spain

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Cryptococcus adeliensis was initially described as a psycrophilic species containing a single strain CBS 8351T isolated from decayed algae in Terre Adelie (Antartida). Later, a second strain of this species was isolated from an immunosuppressed patient affected by leukaemia in Germany and recently several strains from this species have been found in human patients and pigeon droppings of the same country. In this study, we isolated from sheep droppings in Spain a xylanolytic strain named LEVX01 that was phenotypically related to the strain CBS 8351T and showed a 100% similarity in the D1/D2 domain and 5.8S-ITS region sequences with respect to the remaining described strains of C. adeliensis. These findings suggest that this species has a wide geographical distribution and that the animal faeces are a common habitat for C. adeliensis. The chemotaxonomic analyses showed the absence of detectable amounts of xylose in the cell walls of the strains LEVX01 and CBS8351T in contrast to other Cryptococcus species. Interestingly, the ultrastructural study showed the presence of fimbriae in these two strains that could be involved in the attachment to the host cells and, as occurs in Candida albicans, they could also be a pathogenicity factor for the man.

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