Detection of Coccidioides posadasii from xerophytic environments in Venezuela reveals risk of naturally acquired coccidioidomycosis infections article

Primavera Alvarado, Marcus De Melo Teixeira, Lela Andrews, Alexis Fernandez, Gerardo Santander, Adina Doyle, Magaly Perez, Francisco Yegres, Bridget Marie Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

A wide range of mammals are susceptible to infection by the fungal species Coccidioides immitis and C. posadasii. In humans, 60% of infections are asymptomatic; however, certain patients may develop a severe and deep systemic mycosis called coccidioidomycosis. Genetic analysis suggests that the majority of clinical isolates recovered from South America are C. posadasii; however, little is known about the prevalence, species distribution, and ecological factors that favor the occurrence of this pathogen in those areas. By using a combined quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)-based approach and mycobiome amplicon sequencing, we provide evidence that at least two genotypes of C. posadasii are found in the xerophytic environment in Venezuela. We detected a 3806-fold range in the amount of Coccidioides DNA when comparing among the sampled locations, which indicates that human exposure risk is variable, and is one critical factor for disease manifestation. We identified fungal communities that are correlated with a higher prevalence of C. posadasii, suggesting that a combination of specific microbes and a xeric microenvironment may favor the growth of Coccidioides in certain locations. Moreover, we discuss the use of a combinatorial approach, using both qPCR and deep-sequencing methods to assess and monitor fungal pathogen burden at outbreak sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalEmerging Microbes and Infections
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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