Switching of colony morphology and adhesion activity of Trichosporon asahii clinical isolates

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Trichosporon asahii is a pathogenic yeast that causes trichosporonosis, a deep-seated infection, in immunocompromised hosts. Pathogenic factors involved in this infection have not been investigated in detail, but morphological phenotype switching is thought to be important for T. asahii pathogenesis. Therefore, we analyzed adhesion, which may be a key early step in T. asahii infection, after morphological phenotype switching. T. asahii clinical isolates show several colony morphologies. In this study, colonies showing white-farinose (W), off-white-smooth (O), off-white-rugose (OR), smooth (S), and yellowish-white (Y) morphologies were obtained from three isolates and compared in an adhesion assay performed in cell culture dishes. At least one type of colony morphology from each clinical isolate adhered strongly to the culture dish surface, although the colony type that displayed strong adherence varied among the strains. Thus, morphological phenotype switching altered the adhesion of T. asahii strains.

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