Phylogenetic Analysis Reveals a High Prevalence of Sporothrix Brasiliensis in Feline Sporotrichosis Outbreaks

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 Jun 20;7(6):e2281. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002281. Print 2013.

Abstract

Sporothrix schenckii, previously assumed to be the sole agent of human and animal sporotrichosis, is in fact a species complex. Recently recognized taxa include S. brasiliensis, S. globosa, S. mexicana, and S. luriei, in addition to S. schenckii sensu stricto. Over the last decades, large epidemics of sporotrichosis occurred in Brazil due to zoonotic transmission, and cats were pointed out as key susceptible hosts. In order to understand the eco-epidemiology of feline sporotrichosis and its role in human sporotrichosis a survey was conducted among symptomatic cats. Prevalence and phylogenetic relationships among feline Sporothrix species were investigated by reconstructing their phylogenetic origin using the calmodulin (CAL) and the translation elongation factor-1 alpha (EF1α) loci in strains originated from Rio de Janeiro (RJ, n = 15), Rio Grande do Sul (RS, n = 10), Paraná (PR, n = 4), São Paulo (SP, n =3) and Minas Gerais (MG, n = 1). Our results showed that S. brasiliensis is highly prevalent among cats (96.9%) with sporotrichosis, while S. schenckii was identified only once. The genotype of Sporothrix from cats was found identical to S. brasiliensis from human sources confirming that the disease is transmitted by cats. Sporothrix brasiliensis presented low genetic diversity compared to its sister taxon S. schenckii. No evidence of recombination in S. brasiliensis was found by split decomposition or PHI-test analysis, suggesting that S. brasiliensis is a clonal species. Strains recovered in states SP, MG and PR share the genotype of the RJ outbreak, different from the RS clone. The occurrence of separate genotypes among strains indicated that the Brazilian S. brasiliensis epidemic has at least two distinct sources. We suggest that cats represent a major host and the main source of cat and human S. brasiliensis infections in Brazil.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Calmodulin / genetics
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cat Diseases / microbiology*
  • Cats
  • Cluster Analysis
  • DNA, Fungal / chemistry
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology
  • Dogs
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1 / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology
  • Sporothrix / classification*
  • Sporothrix / genetics*
  • Sporothrix / isolation & purification
  • Sporotrichosis / epidemiology
  • Sporotrichosis / microbiology
  • Sporotrichosis / veterinary*

Substances

  • Calmodulin
  • DNA, Fungal
  • Peptide Elongation Factor 1

Associated data

  • GENBANK/KC576540
  • GENBANK/KC576541
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Grant support

AMR is a fellow and acknowledges the financial support of the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP 2011/07350-1) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (BEX 2325/11-0). GFF is a fellow of FAPESP (2011/01628-8). ZPdC thanks FAPESP (Proc. 09/54024-2) and CNPq (Proc. 472600/2011-7). TMPS is the recipient of a CNPq fellowship. This work was supported in part by grants from FAPESP (http://www.fapesp.br/), CNPq (http://www.cnpq.br/), and CAPES (http://www.capes.gov.br/). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.