Multilocus Sequence Typing Reveals Extensive Genetic Diversity of the Emerging Fungal Pathogen Scedosporium aurantiacum

Azian Harun, Alex Kan, Katharina Schwabenbauer, Felix Gilgado, Haybrig Perdomo, Carolina Firacative, Heidemarie Losert, Sarimah Abdullah, Sandrine Giraud, Josef Kaltseis, Mark Fraser, Walter Buzina, Michaela Lackner, Christopher C. Blyth, Ian Arthur, Johannes Rainer, José F.Cano Lira, Josep Guarro Artigas, Kathrin Tintelnot, Monica A. SlavinChristopher H. Heath, Jean Philippe Bouchara, Sharon C.A. Chen, Wieland Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Scedosporium spp. are the second most prevalent filamentous fungi after Aspergillus spp. recovered from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients in various regions of the world. Although invasive infection is uncommon prior to lung transplantation, fungal colonization may be a risk factor for invasive disease with attendant high mortality post-transplantation. Abundant in the environment, Scedosporium aurantiacum has emerged as an important fungal pathogen in a range of clinical settings. To investigate the population genetic structure of S. aurantiacum, a MultiLocus Sequence Typing (MLST) scheme was developed, screening 24 genetic loci for polymorphisms on a tester strain set. The six most polymorphic loci were selected to form the S. aurantiacum MLST scheme: actin (ACT), calmodulin (CAL), elongation factor-1α (EF1α), RNA polymerase subunit II (RPB2), manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD2), and β-tubulin (TUB). Among 188 global clinical, veterinary, and environmental strains, 5 to 18 variable sites per locus were revealed, resulting in 8 to 23 alleles per locus. MLST analysis observed a markedly high genetic diversity, reflected by 159 unique sequence types. Network analysis revealed a separation between Australian and non-Australian strains. Phylogenetic analysis showed two major clusters, indicating correlation with geographic origin. Linkage disequilibrium analysis revealed evidence of recombination. There was no clustering according to the source of the strains: clinical, veterinary, or environmental. The high diversity, especially amongst the Australian strains, suggests that S. aurantiacum may have originated within the Australian continent and was subsequently dispersed to other regions, as shown by the close phylogenetic relationships between some of the Australian sequence types and those found in other parts of the world. The MLST data are accessible at This is a joined publication of the ISHAM/ECMM working groups on “Scedosporium/Pseudallescheria Infections” and “Fungal Respiratory Infections in Cystic Fibrosis”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number761596
JournalFrontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
StatePublished - Dec 27 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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