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Eukaryot Cell. 2005 Oct;4(10):1629-38.

Comparative gene genealogies indicate that two clonal lineages of Cryptococcus gattii in British Columbia resemble strains from other geographical areas.

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School of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, University of British Columbia, 301-2185 East Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.


Cryptococcus gattii has recently emerged as a pathogen of humans and animals in the temperate climate of Vancouver Island, British Columbia (B.C.). The majority (approximately 95%) of the isolates from the island belong to the VGII molecular type, and the remainder belong to the VGI molecular type. The goals of this study were to compare patterns of molecular variation among C. gattii isolates from B.C. with those from different areas of the world and to investigate the population structure using a comparative gene genealogy approach. Our results indicate that the C. gattii population in B.C. comprises at least two divergent lineages, corresponding to previously identified VGI and VGII molecular types. The genealogical analysis of strains suggested a predominantly clonal population structure among B.C. isolates, while there was evidence for sexual recombination between different molecular types on a global scale. We found no geographic pattern of strain relationships, and nucleotide sequence comparisons revealed that genotypes among isolates from B.C. were also present among isolates from other areas of the world, indicating extensive strain dispersal. The nucleotide sequence diversity among isolates from B.C. was similar to that among isolates from other areas of the world.

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