Cryptococcus neoformans is an important fungal pathogen, causing life-threatening pneumonia and meningoencephalitis. Brain dissemination of C. neoformans is thought to be a consequence of an active infection in the lung which then extravasates to other sites. Brain invasion results from dissemination via the bloodstream, either by free yeast cells in bloodstream or Trojan horse transport within mononuclear phagocytes. We assessed brain dissemination in three mouse models of infection: intravenous, intratracheal, and intranasal. All three modes of infection resulted in dissemination of C. neoformans to the brain in under 3 hours. Further, C. neoformans was detected in the entirety of the upper respiratory tract and the ear canals of mice. In recent years, intranasal infection has become a popular mechanism to induce pulmonary infection because it avoids surgery but our findings show that instillation of C. neoformans produces cryptococcal nasal infection. These findings imply that immunological studies using intranasal infection should assume the initial sites of infection of infection are brain, lung and upper respiratory tract, including the nasal airways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)