Rapid identification of Sporothrix species by T3B fingerprinting.
ABSTRACT: This article describes PCR fingerprinting using the universal primer T3B to distinguish among species of the Sporothrix complex, S. brasiliensis, S. globosa, S. mexicana, and S. schenckii. This methodology generated distinct banding patterns, allowing the correct identification of all 35 clinical isolates at the species level, confirmed by partial calmodulin (CAL) gene sequence analyses. This methodology is simple, reliable, rapid, and cheap, making it an ideal routine identification system for clinical mycology laboratories.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Sporotrichosis is a chronic (sub)cutaneous infection caused by thermodimorphic fungi in the order, Ophiostomatales. These fungi are characterized by major differences in routes of transmission, host predilections, species virulence, and susceptibilities to antifungals. Sporothrix species emerge in the form of outbreaks. Large zoonoses and sapronoses are ongoing in Brazil and China, respectively. Current diagnostic methods based on morphology and physiology are inaccurate due to closely related phenotypes with overlapping components between pathogenic and non-pathogenic Sporothrix. There is a critical need for new diagnostic tools that are specific, sensitive, and cost-effective.<h4>Methodology</h4>We developed a panel of novel markers, based on calmodulin (CAL) gene sequences, for the large-scale diagnosis and epidemiology of clinically relevant members of the Sporothrix genus, and its relative, Ophiostoma. We identified specific PCR-based markers for S. brasiliensis, S. schenckii, S. globosa, S. mexicana, S. pallida, and O. stenoceras. We employed a murine model of disseminated sporotrichosis to optimize a PCR assay for detecting Sporothrix in clinical specimens.<h4>Results</h4>Primer-BLAST searches revealed candidate sequences that were conserved within a single species. Species-specific primers showed no significant homology with human, mouse, or microorganisms outside the Sporothrix genus. The detection limit was 10-100 fg of DNA in a single round of PCR for identifying S. brasiliensis, S. schenckii, S. globosa, S. mexicana, and S. pallida. A simple, direct PCR assay, with conidia as a source of DNA, was effective for rapid, low-cost genotyping. Samples from a murine model of disseminated sporotrichosis confirmed the feasibility of detecting S. brasiliensis and S. schenckii DNA in spleen, liver, lungs, heart, brain, kidney, tail, and feces of infected animals.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This PCR-based method could successfully detect and identify a single species in samples from cultures and from clinical specimens. The method proved to be simple, high throughput, sensitive, and accurate for diagnosing sporotrichosis.
Project description:Sporothrix schenckii is the species responsible for sporotrichosis, a fungal infection caused by the traumatic implantation of this dimorphic fungus. Recent molecular studies have demonstrated that this species constitutes a complex of numerous phylogenetic species. Since the delineation of such species could be of extreme importance from a clinical point of view, we have studied a total of 127 isolates, most of which were received as S. schenckii, including the available type strains of species currently considered synonyms, and also some close morphological species. We have phenotypically characterized all these isolates using different culture media, growth rates at different temperatures, and numerous nutritional tests and compared their calmodulin gene sequences. The molecular analysis revealed that Sporothrix albicans, S. inflata, and S. schenckii var. luriei are species that are clearly different from S. schenckii. The combination of these phenetic and genetic approaches allowed us to propose the new species Sporothrix brasiliensis, S. globosa, and S. mexicana. The key phenotypic features for recognizing these species are the morphology of the sessile pigmented conidia, growth at 30, 35, and 37 degrees C, and the assimilation of sucrose, raffinose, and ribitol.
Project description:Sporotrichosis is a widespread subcutaneous mycosis caused by the dimorphic fungi now known as the Sporothrix schenckii complex. This complex is comprised of at least six species, including Sporothrix albicans, Sporothrix brasiliensis, Sporothrix globosa, Sporothrix luriei, Sporothrix mexicana and S. schenckii. Cases of sporotrichosis have significantly increased in Brazil over the past decade, especially in the state of Rio de Janeiro (RJ), where an epidemic among cat owners has been observed. The zoonotic transmission from cats to humans suggests a common source of infection and indicates that animals can act as vectors. We performed a molecular characterisation of samples collected during the first outbreak of familial sporotrichosis caused by S. brasiliensis in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. These results represent the first description of such an outbreak outside the endemic area of zoonotic sporotrichosis in RJ.
Project description:Species included in the Sporothrix schenckii complex are temperature-dependent with dimorphic growth and cause sporotrichosis that is characterized by chronic and fatal lymphocutaneous lesions. The putative species included in the Sporothrix complex are S. brasiliensis, S. globosa, S. mexicana, S. pallida, S. schenckii, and S. lurei. S. globosa is the causal agent of sporotrichosis in China, and its pathogenicity appears to be closely related to the dimorphic transition, i.e. from the mycelial to the yeast phase, it adapts to changing environmental conditions. To determine the molecular mechanisms of the switching process that mediates the dimorphic transition of S. globosa, suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to prepare a complementary DNA (cDNA) subtraction library from the yeast and mycelial phases. Bioinformatics analysis was performed to profile the relationship between differently expressed genes and the dimorphic transition. Two genes that were expressed at higher levels by the yeast form were selected, and their differential expression levels were verified using a quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). It is believed that these differently expressed genes are involved in the pathogenesis of S. globosa infection in China.
Project description:Pathology to vertebrate hosts has emerged repeatedly in the order Ophiostomatales. Occasional infections have been observed in Sporothrix mexicana at a low level of virulence, while the main pathogenic species cluster in a derived clade around S. schenckii s.str. In this paper, phylogeny and epidemiology of the members of this clade were investigated for 99 clinical and 36 environmental strains using four genetic loci, viz. rDNA ITS and partial CAL, TEF1, and TEF3; data are compared with amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genotyping. The four main species of the pathogenic clade were recognised. The species proved to show high degrees of endemicity, which enabled interpretation of literature data where live material or genetic information is lacking. The clade of four species comprised nine subclusters, which often had limited geographic distribution and were separate from each other in all partitions, suggesting low degrees of interbreeding between populations. In contrast, S. globosa exhibited consistent global distribution of identical AFLP types, suggesting another type of dispersal. Sporothrix brasiliensis is known to be involved in an expanding zoonosis and transmitted by cats, whereas S. globosa infections originated from putrid plant material, causing a sapronosis. Sporothrix schenckii s.str., the most variable species within the clade, also had a plant origin, with ecological similarities to that of S. globosa. A hypothesis was put forward that highly specific conditions in the plant material are required to promote the growth of Sporothrix. Fermented, self-heated plant debris may stimulate the thermodependent yeast-like invasive form of the fungus, which facilitates repeated infection of mammals.
Project description:Sporothrix globosa is a thermo-dimorphic fungus belonging to a pathogenic clade that also includes Sporothrix schenckii, which causes human and animal sporotrichosis. Here, we present the first genome assemblies of two S. globosa strains providing data for future comparative genomic studies in pathogenic Sporothrix species.
Project description:In this study, we investigated the molecular phylogeny of 64 clinical isolates which were identified as Sporothrix schenckii sensu lato by morphological identification. All of the strains were isolates from patients from several provinces in China. The phylogeny was inferred by DNA sequence analyses based on datasets of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and a combined ITS and partial ?-tubulin region. Reference sequences were retrieved from GenBank. Results showed that all of the isolates were clustered in a distinct clade with a type of Sporothrix globosa. Our analysis showed that S. globosa is the causal agent of the tested sporotrichosis in China, rather than S. schenckii that was generally believed to be the case. The existence of S. schenckii in China remains to be confirmed. This study improved our understanding of the distribution of the species in S. schenckii complex.
Project description:Sporothrix schenckii, previously assumed to be the sole agent of human and animal sporotrichosis, is in fact a species complex. Recently recognized taxa include S. brasiliensis, S. globosa, S. mexicana, and S. luriei, in addition to S. schenckii sensu stricto. Over the last decades, large epidemics of sporotrichosis occurred in Brazil due to zoonotic transmission, and cats were pointed out as key susceptible hosts. In order to understand the eco-epidemiology of feline sporotrichosis and its role in human sporotrichosis a survey was conducted among symptomatic cats. Prevalence and phylogenetic relationships among feline Sporothrix species were investigated by reconstructing their phylogenetic origin using the calmodulin (CAL) and the translation elongation factor-1 alpha (EF1?) loci in strains originated from Rio de Janeiro (RJ, n = 15), Rio Grande do Sul (RS, n = 10), Paraná (PR, n = 4), São Paulo (SP, n =3) and Minas Gerais (MG, n = 1). Our results showed that S. brasiliensis is highly prevalent among cats (96.9%) with sporotrichosis, while S. schenckii was identified only once. The genotype of Sporothrix from cats was found identical to S. brasiliensis from human sources confirming that the disease is transmitted by cats. Sporothrix brasiliensis presented low genetic diversity compared to its sister taxon S. schenckii. No evidence of recombination in S. brasiliensis was found by split decomposition or PHI-test analysis, suggesting that S. brasiliensis is a clonal species. Strains recovered in states SP, MG and PR share the genotype of the RJ outbreak, different from the RS clone. The occurrence of separate genotypes among strains indicated that the Brazilian S. brasiliensis epidemic has at least two distinct sources. We suggest that cats represent a major host and the main source of cat and human S. brasiliensis infections in Brazil.
Project description:Sporotrichosis is a cutaneous and subcutaneous fungal disease of humans and other mammals, known to be caused by the Sporothrix schenckii species complex, which comprises four species of clinical importance: S. brasiliensis, S. globosa, S. luriei, and S. schenckii sensu stricto. Of them, S. globosa and S. schenckii s. str. show global distribution and differences in global frequency as causal agents of the disease. In the Americas, only three species are present: S. schenckii s. str., S. brasiliensis (so far, only reported in Brazil), and S. globosa. In Venezuela, since the first case of sporotrichosis reported in 1935, S. schenckii have been considered its unique etiological agent. In the present work, the presence of more than one species in the country was evaluated.By phenotypic key features and molecular phylogeny analyses, we re-examined 30 isolates from diverse Venezuelan regions belonging to the fungi collection of Instituto de Biomedicina, Caracas, Venezuela, and national reference center for skin diseases. All isolates were collected between 1973 and 2013, and maintained in distilled water.Sporotrichosis in Venezuela is mainly caused by S. schenckii s. str. (70%). However, a significant proportion (30%) of sporotrichosis cases in the country can be attributable to S. globosa. A correlation between intraspecific genotypes and clinical presentation is proposed.Our data suggest that sporotrichosis various clinical forms might be related to genetic diversity of isolates, and possibly, to diverse virulence profiles previously reported in the S. schenckii species complex. Sporothrix globosa was found to be the causative agent of 30% of sporotrichosis for the Venezuelan cases re-examined, the highest frequency of this species so far reported in the Americas. The high genetic variability presented by S. schenckii s. str. indicates that species distinction based on phenotypic key features could be a challenging and uncertain task; molecular identification should be always employed.
Project description:The pathogenic clade of the Sporothrix genus comprises the etiological agents of sporotrichosis, a worldwide emergent disease. Despite the growing understanding of their successful pathogen traits, there is little information on genome sizes and ploidy within the genus. Therefore, in this work, we evaluated the ploidy of four species of the Sporothrix genus, specifically Sporothrix brasiliensis, Sporothrix schenckii, Sporothrix globosa, and Sporothrix pallida. Through cell cycle analysis of the yeast-phase cells, we showed that the DNA content of G0/G1 cells was similar to the genome size determined by whole genome sequencing. Moreover, ploidy of S. schenckii, S. brasiliensis, and S. pallida that was determined by allele composition using next-generation sequencing (NGS) data is consistent with monomorphic positions at each allele. These data show that the analyzed strains of Sporothrix are haploid, or at least aneuploid, thereby laying the foundation for the development of a molecular toolbox for Sporothrix spp.