Genetic differences between Japan and other countries in cyp51A polymorphisms of Aspergillus fumigatus

Mycoses. 2021 Nov;64(11):1354-1365. doi: 10.1111/myc.13370. Epub 2021 Sep 29.


Background: Mutations in cyp51A gene are known as main mechanisms of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus, whereas azole-susceptible strains also carry cyp51A mutations (polymorphisms). The polymorphisms found in Europe mainly consist of two combinations of mutations, that is combinations of five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of cyp51A, referred to as cyp51A-5SNPs, and combinations of three SNPs of cyp51A, referred to as cyp51A-3SNPs. Few studies have compared the distributions of cyp51A polymorphisms between different regions.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the regional differences of cyp51A polymorphisms.

Methods: We compared the proportions of cyp51A polymorphisms in clinical and environmental strains isolated in various countries, and analysed the strains phylogenetically using short tandem repeats (STRs) and whole-genome sequence (WGS).

Results: Among the Japanese strains, 15 out of 98 (15.3%) clinical strains and 8 out of 95 (8.4%) environmental strains had cyp51A polymorphisms. A mutation of cyp51AN248K was the most prevalent polymorphism in both clinical (n = 14, 14.3%) and environmental strains (n = 3, 3.2%). Only one environmental strain harboured cyp51A-5SNPs, which was reported to be the most prevalent in Europe. For phylogenetic analyses using STRs and WGS, 183 and 134 strains, respectively, were employed. They showed that most of the strains with cyp51AN248K clustered in the clades different from those of the strains with cyp51A-5SNPs and cyp51A-3SNPs as well as from those with TR34 /L98H mutations.

Conclusions: This study suggests that there are genetic differences between cyp51A polymorphisms of A. fumigatus in Japan and Europe.

Keywords: Aspergillus fumigatus; cyp51A; microsatellite genotyping; phylogenetic analysis; single-nucleotide polymorphisms; whole-genome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / classification
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / drug effects
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / genetics*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / pathogenicity
  • Bombyx / microbiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Europe
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis / microbiology*
  • Japan
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mutation
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / microbiology*
  • Virulence
  • Whole Genome Sequencing


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • cytochrome P-450 CYP51A, Aspergillus