Journal Article

Molecular Epidemiology of <i>Blastomyces dermatitidis</i>

Michael J. McCullough, Arthur F. DiSalvo, Karl V. Clemons, Pilsang Park and David A. Stevens

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 30, issue 2, pages 328-335
Published in print February 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online February 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Molecular Epidemiology of Blastomyces dermatitidis

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The inhalation of conidia of Blastomyces dermatitidis, a fungus found in soil, causes disease in humans and animals. We studied the genetic diversity of this pathogen by extracting DNA yeasts and analyzing them with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based typing system we developed, which used restriction fragment analysis of amplicons from the regions between the rDNA repeats and allowed us to class isolates into 3 major groups. Strains were further differentiated by use of PCR fingerprinting with 3 different primers. Fifty-nine isolates collected over 35 years from 15 regions (United States, India, Africa, Canada) were analyzed. Genotypic groups A, B, and C contained 17, 23, and 19 isolates, which were divided into 5, 15, and 12 types, respectively. All 16 isolates from North America in group A were from the upper midwestern United States or Canada, whereas 0 of 20 isolates from the southeastern United States were in group A. Studies of the largest collection from 1 locale (Eagle River, WI), revealed that the soil isolates studied were not responsible for the majority of cases in this outbreak, as previously proposed, and that >1 strain was present in the environment and in patients. Overall, these results provide a tool for the epidemiological study of blastomycosis and illuminate the genetic and geographic diversity of this important pathogen.

Journal Article.  5911 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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