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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Global population structure of Aspergillus terreus inferred by ISSR typing reveals geographical subclustering

Carolyn OS Neal1, Aaron O Richardson2, Steven F Hurst1, Anna Maria Tortorano3, Maria Anna Viviani3, David A Stevens4 and S Arunmozhi Balajee1*

Author Affiliations

1 Mycotic Diseases Branch, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA, 30329, USA

2 Department of Plant Biology, The University of Georgia at Athens, 2502 Miller Plant Sciences, Athens, GA 30602, USA

3 Dipartimento di Sanità Publica-Microbiologia-Virologia, Università degli Studi di Milano via Pascal 36, 20133 Milano, Italy

4 Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Stanford University Medical School, 751 So. Bascom Av., San Jose, CA 95128, USA

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BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:203  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-203

Published: 16 September 2011

Abstract

Background

Aspergillus terreus causes invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised individuals and can be the leading cause of IA in certain medical centers. We examined a large isolate collection (n = 117) for the presence of cryptic A. terreus species and employed a genome scanning method, Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) PCR to determine A. terreus population structure.

Results

Comparative sequence analyses of the calmodulin locus revealed the presence of the recently recognized species A. alabamensis (n = 4) in this collection. Maximum parsimony, Neighbor joining, and Bayesian clustering of the ISSR data from the 113 sequence-confirmed A. terreus isolates demonstrated that one clade was composed exclusively of isolates from Europe and another clade was enriched for isolates from the US.

Conclusions

This study provides evidence of a population structure linked to geographical origin in A. terreus.