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PLoS One. 2011 Jan 17;6(1):e16086. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016086.

High resolution genotyping of clinical Aspergillus flavus isolates from India using microsatellites.

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Mycology Division, Department of Medical Microbiology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.



Worldwide, Aspergillus flavus is the second leading cause of allergic, invasive and colonizing fungal diseases in humans. However, it is the most common species causing fungal rhinosinusitis and eye infections in tropical countries. Despite the growing challenges due to A. flavus, the molecular epidemiology of this fungus has not been well studied. We evaluated the use of microsatellites for high resolution genotyping of A. flavus from India and a possible connection between clinical presentation and genotype of the involved isolate.


A panel of nine microsatellite markers were selected from the genome of A. flavus NRRL 3357. These markers were used to type 162 clinical isolates of A. flavus. All nine markers proved to be polymorphic displaying up to 33 alleles per marker. Thirteen isolates proved to be a mixture of different genotypes. Among the 149 pure isolates, 124 different genotypes could be recognized. The discriminatory power (D) for the individual markers ranged from 0.657 to 0.954. The D value of the panel of nine markers combined was 0.997. The multiplex multicolor approach was instrumental in rapid typing of a large number of isolates. There was no correlation between genotype and the clinical presentation of the infection.


There is a large genotypic diversity in clinical A. flavus isolates from India. The presence of more than one genotype in clinical samples illustrates the possibility that persons may be colonized by multiple genotypes and that any isolate from a clinical specimen is not necessarily the one actually causing infection. Microsatellites are excellent typing targets for discriminating between A. flavus isolates from various origins.

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