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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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Citation and License

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

Published: 16 September 2011



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.


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.


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