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Med Mycol J. 2018;59(4):E63-E70. doi: 10.3314/mmj.18-00007.

Heterogeneity in Pathogenicity-related Properties and Stress Tolerance in Aspergillus fumigatus Clinical Isolates.

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Medical Mycology Research Center, Chiba University.
Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba.
Molecular Chirality Research Center, Chiba University.
Graduate School of Science and Technology, Nara Institute of Science and Technology.


Stress responses and pathogenicity have been extensively studied in Aspergillus fumigatus, the main causative pathogen of life-threatening aspergillosis. The heterogeneity in this pathogen's biology has recently attracted increasing attention. In the present work, we used 16 clinically isolated strains to investigate several properties relevant to the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus, namely, gliotoxin production, elastase activity, hypoxia growth, adaptation to iron-limiting conditions, and growth upon nitrosative, oxidative, and high osmotic stresses. The range of phenotypes was diverse across the strains, with gliotoxin production and elastase activity being negatively correlated at an intermediate index (R=-0.4717). Notably, there were strains that showed extraordinary high production of gliotoxin or elastase activity and hypersensitivity to nitrosative or oxidative stresses. Clustering analysis showed that the 7 potentially pathogenicity-related phenotypes were not correlated with the genetic sub-group or pathotype. These results contribute to the growing awareness of the genetic and phenotypic diversity in A. fumigatus isolates.


Aspergillus fumigatus; clinical isolates; elastase activity; gliotoxin production; phenotypic relatedness

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