Phenotypic and Molecular Identification of Sporothrix Isolates from an Epidemic Area of Sporotrichosis in Brazil
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Sporotrichosis has significantly increased in Brazil in the last decade, particularly in the state of Rio de Janeiro, with the occurrence of an epidemic related to zoonotic transmission from cats to humans. Recently, four new phylogenetic species were incorporated into the Sporothrix species complex based on the phenotypic and molecular characteristics, and a new species name (Sporothrix brasiliensis) was proposed for some of the Sporothrix isolates from this epidemic. This study describes the characterization of 246 isolates obtained from patients attending the Laboratory of Infectious Dermatology, IPEC-FIOCRUZ, between 1998 and 2008, together with one environmental sample. Two hundred and six of the isolates (83.4%) were characterized as S. brasiliensis, 15 (6.0%) as S. schenckii, and one (0.5%) as S. mexicana. Twenty-five isolates (10.1%) could not be identified according to their phenotype and were classified as Sporothrix spp. The calmodulin gene was sequenced to confirm the identity of these isolates. The molecular analysis demonstrated that 24 of the isolates were S. brasiliensis, with the remainder being a S. globosa isolate. The isolate characterized phenotypically as S. mexicana was clustered on the S. schenckii clade. The correlation between molecular data and phenotypic characteristics described in this study is fundamental to the identification of the Sporothrix complex.
KeywordsSporothrix species complex Sporotrichosis Rio de Janeiro Calmodulin gene Identification Taxonomy
Financial support for this work was provided by FAPERJ (Grant Proc. E-26/111.619/2008). R.M.Z.O. is in part supported by CNPq 350338/2000-0. We thank Andrew J. Hamilton for help in preparing this manuscript. Automated sequencing was done using the Genomic Platform-DNA Sequencing Platform at Fundacão Oswaldo Cruz—PDTIS/FIOCRUZ (RPT01A), Brazil.
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