Evidence for a general-purpose genotype in Candida albicans, highly prevalent in multiple geographical regions, patient types and types of infection

Jan Schmid, Scott Herd, Paul R. Hunter, Richard D. Cannon, M. Salleh M. Yasin, Shamin Samad, Mary Carr, Dinah Parr, Wendy McKinney, Mona Schousboe, Ben Harris, Rosemary Ikram, Mike Harris, Angela Restrepo, Guillermo Hoyos, Kumar P. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Epidemiological studies, using the probe Ca3, have shown that in a given patient population a single cluster of genetically related Candida albicans isolates usually predominates. The authors have investigated whether these local clusters are part of a single group, geographically widespread and highly prevalent as an aetiological agent of various types of candidiasis. An unrooted neighbour-joining tree of 266 infection-causing C. albicans isolates (each from a different individual) from 12 geographical regions in 6 countries was created, based on genetic distances generated by Ca3 fingerprinting. Thirty-seven per cent of all isolates formed a single genetically homogeneous cluster (cluster A). The remainder of isolates were genetically diverse. Using the maximum branch length within cluster A as a cut-off, they could be divided into 37 groups, whose prevalence ranged between 0·3% and 9%. Strains from cluster A were highly prevalent in all but one geographical region, with a mean prevalence across all regions of 41%. When isolates were separated into groups based on patient characteristics or type of infection, strains from cluster A had a prevalence exceeding 27% in each group, and their mean prevalence was 43% across all patient characteristics. These data provide evidence that cluster A constitutes a general-purpose genotype, which is geographically widespread and acts as a predominant aetiological agent of all forms of candidiasis in all categories of patients surveyed.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999

Cite this