Serotypes of Cryptococcus neoformans isolated from patients prior to and during the AIDS era in Thailand.Mycopathologia. 1996; 135(2):75-8.M
One hundred and eighty-seven strains of Cryptococcus neoformans isolated from patients in Thailand were characterized by biochemical varieties relating to serogroups. Canavanine-glycine-bromothymol blue (CGB) agar was used for differentiating the varieties of C. neoformans. Slide agglutination tests were performed with Crypto Check (Iatron, Inc., Tokyo) to determine their serotypes. Fifty-five percent (10 out of 18) of the pre-AIDS isolates were serotype B, 28% were serotype A, 5% were serotype D, and an unexpected 11% (2 out of 18) were serotype C. These are the first to be recorded in Asia. In contrast, among the 169 clinical isolates obtained between January 1993 and March 1995 (AIDS epidemic), serotype A was outstandingly predominant--93% (157 out of 169), serotype B was relatively low (3.6%) and both serotypes D and AD were 1.8%. The pattern of serotypes of the 59 isolates from known HIV-positive patients was closely similar to the total isolates during the AIDS epidemic. In determining the varieties of C. neoformans by CGB, only 1 of the 187 isolates gave a false reaction. On the basis of our findings, we believe that in the pre-AIDS era either C. neoformans var. gattii serotype B or serotype C were the common causative agents of cryptococcosis in Thailand. The advent of AIDS changed the pattern of serotypes with serotype A becoming predominant as has been reported world wide.