Genetic variability inMicrosporum canisisolated from cats, dogs and humans in Brazil*

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Dermatophytosis caused by Microsporum canis is a heterogeneous disease with variable clinical manifestations. M. canis is a zoophilic dermatophyte and the most frequent fungi isolated from dogs, cats and children in Brazil. The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic variability of M. canis isolates from different animal species using two microsatellite markers, namely, McGT(13) and McGT(17), and to correlate the results with the clinical and epidemiological patient data in Brazil. The study included a global set of 102 M. canis strains, including 37 symptomatic cats, 35 asymptomatic cats, 19 human patients with tinea, 9 asymptomatic dogs and 2 symptomatic dogs. A total of 14 genotypes were identified, and 6 large populations were distinguished. There was no correlation between these multilocus genotypes and the clinical and epidemiological data, including the source, symptomatology, clinical picture, breed, age, sex, living conditions and geographic location. These results demonstrate that the use of microsatellite polymorphisms is a reliable method for the differentiation of M. canis strains. However, we were unable to demonstrate a shared clinical and epidemiological pattern among the same genotype samples.

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