Genetic Diversity and Dispersal of Aspergillus fumigatus in Arctic Soils Academic Article uri icon

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  • Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprophytic mold and an opportunistic pathogen with a broad geographic and ecological distribution. A. fumigatus is the most common etiological agent of aspergillosis, affecting over 8,000,000 individuals worldwide. Due to the rising number of infections and increasing reports of resistance to antifungal therapy, there is an urgent need to understand A. fumigatus populations from local to global levels. However, many geographic locations and ecological niches remain understudied, including soil environments from arctic regions. In this study, we isolated 32 and 52 A. fumigatus strains from soils in Iceland and the Northwest Territories of Canada (NWT), respectively. These isolates were genotyped at nine microsatellite loci and the genotypes were compared with each other and with those in other parts of the world. Though significantly differentiated from each other, our analyses revealed that A. fumigatus populations from Iceland and NWT contained evidence for both clonal and sexual reproductions, and shared many alleles with each other and with those collected from across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Interestingly, we found one triazole-resistant strain containing the TR34 /L98H mutation in the cyp51A gene from NWT. This strain is closely related to a triazole-resistant genotype broadly distributed in India. Together, our results suggest that the northern soil populations of A. fumigatus are significantly influenced by those from other geographic regions.


  • Korfanty, Gregory A
  • Dixon, Mykaelah
  • Jia, Haoran
  • Yoell, Heather
  • Xu, Jianping

publication date

  • December 22, 2021

published in