Multiple gene genealogical analyses suggest divergence and recent clonal dispersal in the opportunistic human pathogen Candida guilliermondii
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Candida guilliermondii is a haploid opportunistic pathogen accounting for about 2 % of human blood yeast infections. Recent analyses using multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and karyotyping suggest that strains from human sources traditionally designated C. guilliermondii in fact include at least two species, C. guilliermondii and Candida fermentati. However, the patterns of molecular variation within and between these two species remain largely unknown. In this study, DNA fragments were sequenced from five genes for each of 37 strains collected from Canada, China, the Philippines and Tanzania. The analyses identified significant sequence differences between C. guilliermondii and C. fermentati. The five gene genealogies showed no apparent incongruence, suggesting a predominantly clonal reproductive structure for both species in nature. Indeed, two large clones of C. guilliermondii were identified, with one from Ontario, Canada, and the other from China. Interestingly, the results indicate that strains currently designated C. guilliermondii may contain additional divergent lineages. On the practical side, the results revealed several diagnostic molecular markers that can be used in clinical microbiology laboratories to distinguish C. guilliermondii and C. fermentati. The multiple gene genealogical analyses conducted here revealed significant divergence and clonal dispersal in this important pathogenic yeast complex.
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