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Microbiology. 1999 Sep;145 ( Pt 9):2405-2413. doi: 10.1099/00221287-145-9-2405.

Evidence for a general-purpose genotype in Candida albicans, highly prevalent in multiple geographical regions, patient types and types of infection.

Author information

Institute of Molecular BioSciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand1.
Public Health Laboratory, Countess of Chester Health Park, Chester , UK2.
Department of Oral Sciences and Orthodontics, University of Otago , New Zealand3.
Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia , Malaysia4.
Microbiology Division, Wellington Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand5.
Microbiology Department, Auckland Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand6.
Microbiology Unit, Canterbury Health Laboratories, Christchurch , New Zealand7.
Medlab South Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand8.
Corporacion para Investigaciones Biologicas, Medellin, Colombia 9.
Department of Pathology, CWM Hospital, Suva, Fiji 10.


Epidemiological studies, using the probe Ca3, have shown that in a given patient population a single cluster of genetically related Candida albicans isolates usually predominates. The authors have investigated whether these local clusters are part of a single group, geographically widespread and highly prevalent as an aetiological agent of various types of candidiasis. An unrooted neighbour-joining tree of 266 infection-causing C. albicans isolates (each from a different individual) from 12 geographical regions in 6 countries was created, based on genetic distances generated by Ca3 fingerprinting. Thirty-seven per cent of all isolates formed a single genetically homogeneous cluster (cluster A). The remainder of isolates were genetically diverse. Using the maximum branch length within cluster A as a cut-off, they could be divided into 37 groups, whose prevalence ranged between 0.3% and 9%. Strains from cluster A were highly prevalent in all but one geographical region, with a mean prevalence across all regions of 41%. When isolates were separated into groups based on patient characteristics or type of infection, strains from cluster A had a prevalence exceeding 27% in each group, and their mean prevalence was 43% across all patient characteristics. These data provide evidence that cluster A constitutes a general-purpose genotype, which is geographically widespread and acts as a predominant aetiological agent of all forms of candidiasis in all categories of patients surveyed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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