Genetic analysis of the endemic fungal pathogens Coccidioides posadasii and Coccidioides immitis in Mexico

Luna-Isaac JA, Muñiz-Salazar R, Baptista-Rosas RC, Enríquez-Paredes LM, Castañón-Olivares LR, Contreras-Pérez C, Bazán-Mora E, González GM, González-Martínez MR
Source: Medical Mycology
Publication Date: (2014)
Issue: 52(2): 156-66
Research Area:
Basic Research
Molecular Biology
Culture Media:
Coccidioidomycosis (CM) is a mycotic disease that affects mammals, including humans. Official data relative to CM in Mexico has not been collected since 1995, thus its prevalence remains unknown. The objectives of this study were to identify the predominant Coccidioides species in Mexico, infer their current geographical distribution and explore the correlation between species and clinical presentation. We collected 154 strains, which were cultured, inactivated, and processed for DNA extraction. Nine microsatellite loci, the Ag2/PRA gene and Umeyama Region were amplified from each isolate. To infer the current geographical distribution of Coccidioides spp. and to establish a correlation between genotype and clinical presentation, we evaluated genetic population structure under the following grouping criteria: putative origin and clinical presentation records. Microsatellite analysis showed that 82% of the isolates corresponded to C. posadasii and 18% were C. immitis. The species identification results obtained using Umeyama region, Ag2/PRA, and microsatellites of five of the isolates were inconsistent with the data collected for the remaining isolates. C. posadasii strains were found primarily in the northeastern region and C. immitis in the northwestern region. However, there was no relationship between clinical presentation and Coccidioides species. The molecular markers used in this study proved to have a high power of resolution to identify the Coccidioides species recovered in culture. While we found C. posadasii to be the most abundant species in Mexico, more detailed clinical records are needed in order to obtain more accurate information about the infections in specific geographical locations.