In a recent issue of PLOS Pathogens, the team of Alexandre Alanio of the National reference center for invasive Mycoses and Antifungals describe how macrophages participate in the dissemination of the deadly fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.
Macrophages were already known to serve as reservoir for the dormant yeast. The present study highlight their role in reactivating a subset of dormant yeasts and in their spreading in the host.
Authors show that C. neoformans maintain macrophages in a non-activated, non-inflammatory state which release some extracellular vesicles that promote the excretion of reactivated C. neoformans cells by non-lytic exocytosis. This study contributes to the understanding of the pathophysiology of cryptococcosis and potentially other latent infections