Importance of Resolving Fungal Nomenclature: the Case of Multiple Pathogenic Species in the Cryptococcus Genus

Brunella Posteraro, Maurizio Sanguinetti, Ferry Hagen, H. Thorsten Lumbsch, Valentina Arsic Arsenijevic, Hamid Badali, Sebastien Bertout, R. Blake Billmyre, M. Rosa Bragulat, F. Javier Cabañes, Mauricio Carbia, Arunaloke Chakrabarti, Sudha Chaturvedi, Vishnu Chaturvedi, Min Chen, Anuradha Chowdhary, Maria-Francisca Colom, Oliver A. Cornely, Pedro W. Crous, Maria S. CuétaraMara R. Diaz, Ana Espinel-Ingroff, Hamed Fakhim, Rama Falk, Wenjie Fang, Patricia F. Herkert, Consuelo Ferrer Rodríguez, James A. Fraser, Josepa Gené, Josep Guarro, Alexander Idnurm, María-Teresa Illnait-Zaragozi, Ziauddin Khan, Kantarawee Khayhan, Anna Kolecka, Cletus P. Kurtzman, Katrien Lagrou, Wanqing Liao, Carlos Linares, Jacques F. Meis, Kirsten Nielsen, Tinashe K. Nyazika, Weihua Pan, Marina Pekmezovic, Itzhack Polacheck, Flavio De Queiroz Telles Filho, Orazio Romeo, Manuel Sánchez, Ana Sampaio, Pojana Sriburee, Takashi Sugita, Saad J. Taj-Aldeen, Masako Takashima, John W. Taylor, Bart Theelen, Rok Tomazin, Paul E. Verweij, Retno Wahyuningsih, Ping Wang, Teun Boekhout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)


Cryptococcosis is a major fungal disease caused by members of the Cryptococcus gattii and Cryptococcus neoformans species complexes. After more than 15 years of molecular genetic and phenotypic studies and much debate, a proposal for a taxonomic revision was made. The two varieties within C. neoformans were raised to species level, and the same was done for five genotypes within C. gattii. In a recent perspective (K. J. Kwon-Chung et al., mSphere 2:e00357-16, 2017,, it was argued that this taxonomic proposal was premature and without consensus in the community. Although the authors of the perspective recognized the existence of genetic diversity, they preferred the use of the informal nomenclature "C. neoformans species complex" and "C. gattii species complex." Here we highlight the advantage of recognizing these seven species, as ignoring these species will impede deciphering further biologically and clinically relevant differences between them, which may in turn delay future clinical advances. KEYWORDS:
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e00238-17-N/A
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Cryptococcus
  • cryptococcosis
  • diagnostics
  • species delimitation
  • taxonomy


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