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Mycoses. 2008 Nov;51(6):463-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2008.01538.x. Epub 2008 Sep 12.

Molecular typing of Aspergillus species.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Aspergillus species are widely distributed fungi that release large amounts of airborne conidia, which are dispersed in the environment. Several Aspergillus species have been described as human pathogens. Molecular techniques have been developed to investigate the epidemiological relation between environmental and clinical isolates. Several typing methods have been described for Aspergillus species, most of them with reference to Aspergillus fumigatus. Here, we summarise all the different available molecular typing techniques for Aspergillus. The performance of these techniques is evaluated with respect to their practical feasibility, and their interpretation and discriminatory power assessed. For A. fumigatus isolates, a large extent of genetic variability is demonstrated and therefore fingerprinting techniques with high discriminatory power and high reproducibility are required for this species. Afut1-restriction fragment length polymorphism and microsatellite typing showed the highest discriminatory power. In addition, the microsatellites show excellent reproducibility. Other typing techniques are still useful for smaller epidemiological problems and for less well-equipped laboratories.

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