Comparative analyses of clinical and environmental populations of Cryptococcus neoformans in Botswana.
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Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (Cng) is the most common cause of fungal meningitis, and its prevalence is highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Patients become infected by inhaling airborne spores or desiccated yeast cells from the environment, where the fungus thrives in avian droppings, trees and soil. To investigate the prevalence and population structure of Cng in southern Africa, we analysed isolates from 77 environmental samples and 64 patients. We detected significant genetic diversity among isolates and strong evidence of geographic structure at the local level. High proportions of isolates with the rare MATa allele were observed in both clinical and environmental isolates; however, the mating-type alleles were unevenly distributed among different subpopulations. Nearly equal proportions of the MATa and MATα mating types were observed among all clinical isolates and in one environmental subpopulation from the eastern part of Botswana. As previously reported, there was evidence of both clonality and recombination in different geographic areas. These results provide a foundation for subsequent genomewide association studies to identify genes and genotypes linked to pathogenicity in humans.
Genes, Mating Type, Fungal
Molecular Sequence Data
Multilocus Sequence Typing
Sequence Analysis, DNA
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1111/mec.13260
Publication InfoChen, Y; Fang, C; Frazzitta, AE; Haverkamp, MR; Litvintseva, AP; Mitchell, Thomas Greenfield; ... Wang, L (2015). Comparative analyses of clinical and environmental populations of Cryptococcus neoformans in Botswana. Mol Ecol, 24(14). pp. 3559-3571. 10.1111/mec.13260. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/11053.
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Associate Professor Emeritus in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Among patients with AIDS, leukemia or other cancers, organ or bone marrow transplants, and similar immunocompromising risk factors, the incidence of opportunistic mycoses and the number of different fungal pathogens are increasing dramatically. For many of these fungi, the definition of a species and the recognition of pathogen are highly problematic. Conventional methods of identification are based on morphological and physiological characteristics and are often time-consuming, difficult
James B. Duke Professor of Medicine
Research in my laboratory focuses around several aspects of medical mycology. We are investigating antifungal agents (new and old) in animal models of candida and cryptococcal infections. We have examined clinical correlation of in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing and with in vivo outcome. Our basic science project examines the molecular pathogenesis of cryptococcal infections. We have developed a molecular foundation for C. neoformans, including transformation systems, gene disr
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