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We previously observed a substantial burden of cryptococcal meningitis in Vietnam atypically arising in individuals who are uninfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This disease was associated with a single genotype of Cryptococcus neoformans (sequence type [ST]5), which was significantly less common in HIV-infected individuals. Aiming to compare the phenotypic characteristics of ST5 and non-ST5 C. neoformans, we selected 30 representative Vietnamese isolates and compared their in vitro pathogenic potential and in vivo virulence. ST5 and non-ST5 organisms exhibited comparable characteristics with respect to in vitro virulence markers including melanin production, replication at 37°C, and growth in cerebrospinal fluid. However, the ST5 isolates had significantly increased variability in cellular and capsular sizing compared with non-ST5 organisms (P 

Original publication





Medical mycology

Publication Date





1149 - 1161


Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Wellcome Trust Asia Africa Programme, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


Lung, Animals, Humans, Mice, Cryptococcus neoformans, AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections, Meningitis, Cryptococcal, Cytokines, Colony Count, Microbial, Virulence, Immunocompetence, Genotype, Phenotype, Vietnam, Female, Male, Fungal Capsules