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Infect Immun. 1997 Aug;65(8):3080-5.

Genetic diversity among clinical and environmental isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus.

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Laboratoire des Aspergillus, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


To determine if cases of invasive aspergillosis (IA) were caused by strains of Aspergillus fumigatus with unique characteristics, strains from immunosuppressed patients with IA were compared to strains obtained from sputa of patients with cystic fibrosis and to strains from the environment. An extremely high genomic diversity was observed among the 879 strains typed by Southern blotting with a retrotransposon-like element from A. fumigatus (C. Neuvéglise, J. Sarfati, J. P. Latgé, and S. Paris, Nucleic Acids Res. 24:1428-1434, 1996). Analysis of Southern blot hybridization patterns showed the absence of clustering between environmental isolates and clinical isolates from patients with IA or cystic fibrosis. In addition, strains could not be clustered depending on their geographical location. This study implies that practically any strain of A. fumigatus is potentially pathogenic and can provoke a case of IA when it encounters a favorable environment in an immunosuppressed host.

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