Cryptococcus gattii Database
Cryptococcus species are human pathogens which have been diverging over the past 40 million years into three distinct varieties and four serotypes: the predominantly opportunistic pathogens C. neoformans var. neoformans (serotype D) and C. neoformans var. grubii (serotype A) and the primary pathogen C. gattii (serotypes B and C). C. neoformans is the leading cause of infectious meningitis with high incidence in AIDS patients. C. gattii is notable in causing infections of immunocompetent individuals. C. gattii isolate R265 caused an outbreak on Vancouver Island in Canada that involved more than 50 infections in otherwise healthy human patients, with at least four fatalities (Fyfe, Black et al. 2002). The outbreak isolate R265 has a VGII molecular genotype by PCR fingerprinting, which differs from the VGI molecular genotype of strain WM276 (J. Kronstad, personal communication). This database includes the R265 genome sequenced by the Broad Institute and the WM276 genome contributed by the University of British Columbia.
The R265 genome project is part of the Broad Fungal Genome Initiative. A genome assembly was produced from 6X sequence coverage for Cryptococcus gattii isolate R265, the causal agent of an outbreak on Vancouver Island in Canada. Drs. Joseph Heitman and James Fraser at Duke University Medical Center provided the genomic DNA for this sequencing project.
As part of a NHGRI white paper, we sequenced additional isolates of C. gattii and improved the R265 assembly. These new assemblies include representatives of the four major lineages of C. gattii: VGI, VGII, VGIII, and VGIV. Our collaborators on this project include Yuan Chen, who provided the genomic DNA for these isolates, and Joseph Heitman, both at Duke University Medical Center.