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J Clin Microbiol. 2003 Aug;41(8):3765-76.

Optimization and validation of multilocus sequence typing for Candida albicans.

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  • 1Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, United Kingdom.


Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was applied to 75 Candida albicans isolates, including 2 that were expected to be identical, 48 that came from diverse geographical and clinical sources, and 15 that were sequential isolates from two patients. DNA fragments ( approximately 500 bp) of eight genes encoding housekeeping functions were sequenced, including four that have been described before for C. albicans MLST, and four new gene fragments, AAT1a, AAT1b, MPI, and ZWF1. In total, 87 polymorphic sites were found among 50 notionally different isolates, giving 46 unique sequence types, underlining the power of MLST to differentiate isolates for epidemiological studies. Additional typing information was obtained by detecting variations in size at the transcribed spacer region of the 25S rRNA gene and tests for homozygosity at the mating type-like (MTL) locus. The stability of MLST was confirmed in two sets of consecutive isolates from two patients. In each set the isolates were identical or varied by a single nucleotide. Reference strain SC5314 and a derived mutant, CAF2, gave identical MLST types. Heterozygous polymorphisms were found in at least one isolate for all but 16 (18.4%) of the variable nucleotides, and 35 (41%) of the 87 individual sequence changes generated nonsynonymous amino acids. Cloning and restriction digestion of a gene fragment containing heterozygous polymorphisms indicated that the heterozygosity was genuine and not the result of sequencing errors. Our data validate and extend previous MLST results for C. albicans, and we propose an optimized system based on sequencing eight gene fragments for routine MLST with this species.

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