Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 113 num. 7 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Introns in <em>Cryptococcus</em>]]> In Cryptococcus neoformans, nearly all genes are interrupted by small introns. In recent years, genome annotation and genetic analysis have illuminated the major roles these introns play in the biology of this pathogenic yeast. Introns are necessary for gene expression and alternative splicing can regulate gene expression in response to environmental cues. In addition, recent studies have revealed that C. neoformans introns help to prevent transposon dissemination and protect genome integrity. These characteristics of cryptococcal introns are probably not unique to Cryptococcus, and this yeast likely can be considered as a model for intron-related studies in fungi. <![CDATA[Advances in <em>Cryptococcus</em> genomics: insights into the evolution of pathogenesis]]> Cryptococcus species are the causative agents of cryptococcal meningitis, a significant source of mortality in immunocompromised individuals. Initial work on the molecular epidemiology of this fungal pathogen utilized genotyping approaches to describe the genetic diversity and biogeography of two species, Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. Whole genome sequencing of representatives of both species resulted in reference assemblies enabling a wide array of downstream studies and genomic resources. With the increasing availability of whole genome sequencing, both species have now had hundreds of individual isolates sequenced, providing fine-scale insight into the evolution and diversification of Cryptococcus and allowing for the first genome-wide association studies to identify genetic variants associated with human virulence. Sequencing has also begun to examine the microevolution of isolates during prolonged infection and to identify variants specific to outbreak lineages, highlighting the potential role of hyper-mutation in evolving within short time scales. We can anticipate that further advances in sequencing technology and sequencing microbial genomes at scale, including metagenomics approaches, will continue to refine our view of how the evolution of Cryptococcus drives its success as a pathogen. <![CDATA[The war on cryptococcosis: A Review of the antifungal arsenal]]> Cryptococcal meningitis is the most common central nervous system infection in the world today. It occurs primarily, but not exclusively, in immunocompromised individuals and despite substantial improvement in management of clinical events like AIDS, the numbers of cases of cryptococcosis remain very high. Unfortunately, despite several antifungal agents available for treatment, morbidity and mortality rates remain high with this fungal infection. In this Review, we will describe the treatments and strategies for success, identify the failures, and provide insights into the future developments / improvements for management. This sugar-coated yeast can play havoc within the human brain. Our goals must be to either prevent or diagnose disease early and treat aggressively with all our clinical tools when disease is detected.