Cryptococcus gattii and C. neoformans are pathogenic yeasts that cause meningoencephalitis. C. gattii has four molecular types: VGI, VGII, VGIII, and VGIV. Furthermore, three genotypes have been reported for VGII, and a high pathogenicity of the VGIIa genotype has been proposed. The VGIIa strain has been isolated from a patient in Japan, but little is known about the characteristics of the polysaccharides in this strain. In this study we examined the induction of interleukin-8（IL-8）transcriptional activation and compared the nuclear magnetic resonance（NMR）spectra of extracellular polymeric substances（EPSs）, mainly polysaccharides, from the VGIIa, VGIIb, and VGIIc genotypes. The induction of IL-8 by C. gattii EPSs was weaker than that by C. neoformans EPSs. The anomeric proton signals in the NMR spectra of EPSs obtained from VGII isolates were similar, and the polysaccharides were mainly mannose, xylose, galactose, and glucuronic acid. These results suggest that the extracellular polysaccharides from the VGIIa strain isolated in Japan are almost the same as those from other VGII strains.
Background: Dermatophytosis usually causes a skin problem, which requires both clinical findings and laboratory investigations for diagnosis. Whereas, fungal culture is considered as the gold standard procedure, it is more difficult to perform compared to potassium hydroxide（KOH）examination. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of KOH and fungal culture examinations from skin-scraping specimens, which were kept in transparent adhesive tapes at different time intervals. Methods: Skin-scraping specimens were collected from clinically suspected cases by conventional technique using scalpel blades and kept using transparent adhesive tapes. KOH（10%）preparation and fungal cultures were then performed by highly experienced technicians at different time intervals: day 0（the day of specimen collection, which was set as the standard reference point）, day 3 or 4, day 7, day 14, and day 28. Thereafter, the yield for detection of fungal elements by KOH examination and positive fungal cultures from specimens stored in adhesive tape was determined at different time intervals and compared to the results from the standard reference point. Results: The sensitivity of KOH exami-nations from 162 patients at different time intervals showed no significant difference when compared to the standard reference point at day 0. In contrast, the sensitivity of fungal culture progressively decreased as the storage period was prolonged. Conclusions: KOH examination of skin-scrapings from the adhesive tape storage technique yield good results even when specimens have been kept up to one month. On the other hand, the sensitivity of fungal cultures gradually declines as storage time is extended.