: From Human Pathogen to Model Yeast

Editors: Joseph Heitman1, Thomas R. Kozel2, Kyung J. Kwon-Chung3, John R. Perfect4, Arturo Casadevall5
Affiliations: 1: Duke University, Jose Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710; 2: University of Nevada, School of Medicine, Reno, NV 89557-0320; 3: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD 20892; 4: Duke University, Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710; 5: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Hardcover, Electronic
Publication Year: 2011

Category: Clinical Microbiology; Fungi and Fungal Pathogenesis

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Since its first clinical appearance in an 1890s case report, has dramatically advanced as a human fungal pathogen: it now infects approximately 1 million individuals per year, resulting in more than 600,000 annual mortalities, including one-third of all AIDS-associated deaths.

Featuring more than 100 expert authors from around the world, this book offers the full range of scientific and clinical perspectives needed to create this unique, comprehensive overview of . It covers both the and species, examining in detail the life cycle, pathophysiology, molecular biology, genetics, genomics, epidemiology, immunology, and clinical management of this encapsulated yeast. Among the 44 chapters, readers will find several in-depth discussions of the outbreak that began on Vancouver Island in 1999 and then spread into the mainland of Canada and the United States, causing infections in both humans and animals.

This book’s detailed, thorough reviews of all the latest advances and progress in the field set a new standard for publications dedicated to a single fungal pathogen. While the book is dedicated to , it does draw analogies to other pathogenic fungi and, more broadly, to other microbial pathogens. Moreover, this volume demonstrates why has become a model system for the study and understanding of fungal pathogenesis. As a result, molecular biologists, microbiologists, public health officials, epidemiologists, and infectious disease clinicians will all find this clearly written, carefully referenced, and all-inclusive book to be a highly valuable resource.

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image of <span class="jp-italic">Cryptococcus</span>

The Mycological Society of America - Inoculum

04 June 2013

Cryptococcus: From Human Pathogen to Model Yeast

The yeast-forming basidiomycete genus, Cryptococcus, has emerged as a significant model for both fungal genetics and pathogenicity. A long history of research compounded with numerous laboratory resources, as well as two sequenced genomes, have yielded a great deal of information of this enigmatic fungus. The new book Cryptococcus: From Human Pathogen to Model Yeast, edited by Heitman, Kozel, Kwon-Chung, Perfect, and Casadevall, features contributions from 123 authors and summarizes a vast amount of data as well as synthesizes disparate concepts on the biology of Cryptococcus. If you consider Casadevall &amp; Perfect's 1998 tome Cryptococcus neoformans&#160; as the groundwork for this book, then these 646 pages are evidence for the explosive advance of knowledge on Cryptococcus that has accrued over the last 12 years.

Cryptococcus species, arguably the most important fungal pathogen of mammals, are common in immunocompromised hosts; HIV-associated cryptococcosis alone infects more than 1 million people per year. For example, Cryptococcus has been confirmed in laboratories in Sub-Saharan African countries to be responsible for anywhere from 10 to 70% of fatal meningitis cases over the last two decades. A well-publicized outbreak of a particularly virulent strain of C. gattii&#160;was determined to be the causative agent of more than 200 cases of human meningitis in non-immunocompromised individuals within the Pacific Northwest over the last decade. A concerted global consortium of medical mycology researchers-the majority of whom are authors of chapters in this book-have provided the foundation for establishing Cryptococcus as the model system for understanding fungal pathogenesis in both a medical and veterinary setting.

Species of Cryptococcus entered my personal radar when they kept returning up in plant-associated environmental samples. Wanting to get up to speed with natural history, population genetics, and methods for typing Cryptococcal diversity, this book was an obvious entry point for me. Chapters here are dedicated to identification from environmental niches - such as the description of avian - or plant-associated vectors - as well as population biology to phylogeography, and species complexes to hybridization.

Copiously illustrated throughout, notable figures include those documenting Cryptococcus morphology, cell and molecular biological networks, secondary metabolite chemistry, and gene and genome structure. Chapters devoted to phylogeography and species complexes have detailed phylogenetic trees and distribution maps. Additionally, this wouldn't be a clinical textbook if it didn't include a series of color and monochrome plates of human and animal infections that remind you why you have-or haven't-studied medical mycology.

Mycologists aren't the only ones who will find this resource useful. Geared toward a wide array of specialists, this book is equally applicable to the interests of clinicians and physicians, microbiologists and immunologists, diseases ecologists and epidemiologists, and, to a lesser extent, public health and policy administrators. The book succeeds in connecting and interpreting basic research science and applying this knowledge in a clinical context.

The book consists of a whopping 44 chapters separated into seven sections. These sections are devoted to general biology: genetics and genomics; virulence; environmental interactions and population biology; immune host responses; pathogenesis; and diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Each of the sections consist of five to eight chapters and each informative chapter stands on its own - concise enough to allow for discrete chunks of reading without overwhelming the reader. In fact, I would argue that the book's greatest strength is cohesive breadth blended with factual depth. My only criticism -and this is an extremely minor one-is that the book as a whole indicates a lack of vision from the authors or editors, but reflects their desire to take into consideration the complete state of knowledge relating to Cryptococcus and its biology. As a result, the contributors have not only provided a truly fascinating and utterly comprehensive collection of everything Cryptococcus, but have set the bar high for the best treatise on fungal biology at the genus level. I would consider this book essential for anyone working directly with Cryptococcus-or wanting to get up to speed-and for mycologists looking for a framework to fully grasp the biology of an important model fungus.

The Mycological Society of America - Inoculum

Page 22, Inoculum, 63 (2), April 2012

Reviewer: Joshua R. Herr, Department of Forest Resources, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Review Date: April 2012

Doody Enterprises

04 June 2013


This is the first book to extensively review the current research and information on the yeast Cryptococcus, which has been recognized as a pathogen for many years.


It is intended as a comprehensive review of all aspects of the yeast from the genome arrangement, environmental niche, and pathogenic potential. This book will become the standard source for information on Cryptococcus.


This book is authored by eminent scientists who have spent many years studying Cryptococcus. This makes the book useful to students and scientists who study yeast pathogens, but it also will be useful to clinicians who are treating patients infected with this pathogen.


This yeast has been studied for many years and much has been discovered about the biology, clinical disease resulting from it, and treatment options. The book is divided into seven sections that provide detailed studies of the environmental niche of the yeast, genome differences between strains, regulation of proteins, and the pathology of disease. The killing of Cryptococcus requires a specific T lymphocyte response and a vigorous cellular immune response is protective. The yeast causes infections as intracellular pathogens in patients with compromised cellular immunity.

Patients become infected with the yeast from the environment, and it can survive in pigeon guano as well as decaying wood. Chapters describe how the yeast responds to these very different environments, including the gene expression profiles and the proteins involved in survival. The book includes high-quality figures of the yeast wall, maps where the yeast is found in the environment, and pictures of both intracellular and extracellular yeast cells.


This excellent book covers all major research areas of cryptococcal genetics, growth, pathogenicity, and ecological niches.

Weighted Numerical Score: 88 - 3 Stars

Doody Enterprises

Reviewer: Rebecca T. Horvat, PhD, D (ABMM)(University of Kansas Medical Center)

Review Date: February 2011

©Doody’s Review Service

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