Genetic diversity ofHistoplasma capsulatumstrains isolated from Argentina based on nucleotide sequence variations in the internal transcribed spacer regions of rDNA

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SummaryThe internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of rDNA genes of 49 Histoplasma capsulatum (48 from clinical samples and one from soil) isolates were examined. Nucleotide sequence heterogeneity within this region was useful for phylogenetic classification of H. capsulatum and species identification. Thus, in 45 of 49 isolates we observed higher percentages of identity in the nucleotide sequences of ITS regions when the isolates studied herein were compared with those reported in our country in the South America B clade. Phylogenetic analyses of rDNA sequences corresponding to the 537 bp of the ITS region obtained from H. capsulatum isolates assigned South America type B clade (45 isolates), North America type 1 and Asia clade (2 isolates each one). H. capsulatum strains isolated from soil and from patients living in Argentina (45 of 49) clustered together with the H. capsulatum isolates of the South America B clade. The high level of genetic similarity among our isolates suggests that almost one genetic population is present in the microenvironment. Isolates described as H. capsulatum var. capsulatum or var. farciminosum (2 isolates) did not form a monophyletic group and were found in the Asia clade. Subsequent studies are needed to properly identify these isolates.

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