Molecular typing of pathogenic fungi
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In this Round Table, the application of several methods of molecular typing were discussed in reference to four important pathogenic fungi: Coccidioides immitis, Histoplasma capsulatum, Candida albicans and Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Among the different methods the following were discussed: restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP), single nucleotide polymorphisms, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-RFLP and microsatellites. By means of these methods, several important biological questions related to speciation, mode of reproduction and population genetics could be approached. The basic information obtained from this approach has implications in the understanding of these pathogenic fungi in relation to their behavior and the development of pathogenic features, such as resistance to antimicrobials and virulence factors used for colonization of mammalian hosts. The knowledge obtained from these studies could also be used for the development of innovative diagnostic methods, as well as for novel therapeutic approaches and production of vaccines.