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Virulence factors and antifungal susceptibility of environmental samples of Cryptococcus neoformans

Grant number: 14/03339-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2014
Effective date (End): May 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Cristiane Yumi Koga Ito
Grantee:Priscila Vega Andrade
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia (ICT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José dos Campos. São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil


Cryptococcosis is an invasive fungal infection caused by encapsulated yeasts of Cryptococcus genus and they are related with important taxes of morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients. Columba livia pigeons are considered transitory reservoirs and asymptomatic carriers of Cryptococcus spp., and may represent a risk for environment and public health. No previous studies on the prevalence of this genus in pigeon droppings in the city of São José dos Campos were detected. The aim of this project is to evaluate the presence of Cryptococcus spp. in environmental samples collected in public places of the city. For this purpose, 60-100 samples of pigeon droppings will be collected and procedures of isolation and identification of Cryptococcus species will be held by using API 20 C AUX. Besides, isolates will be evaluated regarding growth at 37°C and production of melanin, polysaccharide capsule, phospholipase and proteinase. The capacity of capsular increase will be measured. The susceptibility to the antifungals fluconazole, 5-flucytosine and amphotericin B will be evaluated according to CLSI methodology. Data obtained will be evaluated by descriptive statistics and analysis of normal distribution. According to these preliminary analyses, the most suitable comparative statistic tests will be selected. The level of significance will be set at 5%.

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