Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are yeasts that cause meningoencephalitis, but that differ in host range and geographical distribution. Cryptococcus neoformans occurs world-wide and mostly infects immunocompromised patients, whereas C. gattii occurs mainly in (sub)tropical regions and infects healthy individuals. Anomalous C. neoformans strains were isolated from patients. These strains were found to be monokaryotic, and diploid or aneuploid. Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) and sequence analyses indicated that AFLP genotypes 2 (C. neoformans) and 4 (C. gattii) were present. The strains were serologically BD. Mating- and serotype-specific PCR reactions showed that the strains were MATa-serotype D/MATalpha-serotype B. This study is the first to describe naturally occurring hybrids between C. neoformans and C. gattii.
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