We evaluated multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MEE) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) for their usefulness in subtyping 344 Cryptococcus neoformans clinical isolates obtained from four U.S. metropolitan areas in 1992 to 1994. MEE and RAPD with five primers both discriminated between the two varieties of C. neoformans. MEE divided C. neoformans var. neoformans isolates into 15 enzyme electrophoretic subtypes (ETs) arranged in three complexes. The predominant ET 1 complex contained 10 ETs, with isolates from 70% of patients in 1 ET. RAPD with five primers further sorted this predominant ET into 19 subtypes, with 60% of isolates sorting into three RAPD types. The ET 8 MEE complex, containing three ETs, could not be divided further by RAPD. The ET 7 complex (two ETs) included isolates from all serotype AD patients. Although both MEE and RAPD identified isolates of C neoformans var. gattii, neither distinguished between serotypes B and C. These results showed that the two C neoformans varieties could be identified by MEE or RAPD profile as well as by biochemical methods. RAPD improved the discriminatory power of MEE for isolates within the ET I complex but with other ETs offered little additional sensitivity over MEE and was less sensitive than MEE with isolates of C. neoformans var. gattii. This information will be useful in identifying particular environmental sources of disease-causing exposures, in seeking clusters of cases, and in determining whether an infecting strain changes over time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)