In the previous post in this series, I promised to talk about some different types of the cryptococcal organism, including their clinical significance. But before I point out the types, let’s recapitulate quickly the conventions of scientific naming of biological organisms, a.k.a. binomial nomenclature, a system in which living organisms (bacteria, plants, animals, and so forth) are identified with a set of two names, a generic name (indicating its Genus) and a specific name (indicating the species). Simply put, Genus (always written with an initial capital) refers to a particular group with a family of organisms, and species (always written in lowercase) refers to specific members within that group, who share genetic similarity to the point of being capable of interbreeding amongst themselves and producing fertile offsprings. This definition of species is, however, slightly foggy because under different circumstances, both natural and artificial, members of different species within the same genus have been able to mate. Be that as it may, in this discussion, we shall use the names of different cryptococcal species to indicate different organisms under the genus Cryptococcus. It is possible to identify (and discriminate between) these organisms in the laboratory using a variety of techniques, biochemical and molecular biological.

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