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International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS, Mycology Division)
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An unknown species from Hypocreaceae isolated from human lung tissue of a patient with non-fatal pulmonary fibrosis

Druzhinina, I. S., LaFe, K., Willinger, B., Komoń-Zelazowska, M., Ammirati, J., Kubicek, C. P and Rogers, J.D., 2008
Clinical Microbiology Newsletters

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We describe the first case of detection of afungusfrom the family Hypocreaceae (Hypocreales, Ascomycota) in a human body. The specimen of an unknown species was isolated from lung tissue of a 19-year old patient diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis which was not fatal. The fungus inconsistently produced the hypocrea-like sexual state in culture, and lacks conidial sporulation. Perithecia were formed from the original isolation that contained asci with eight bicellular ascospores that soon disarticulated; mature asci thus contained sixteen part-spores.  Examination of the culture showed chlamydospores and arthrospores resulting from disarticulated hyphae, but lacked upright condiophores. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences from the internal transcribed spacers ITS1 and 2 of the rRNA gene cluster, a large exon and a short intron of the translation elongation factor 1-alpha encoding gene tef1 and of a fragment of RNA-polymerase subunit B-encoding gene rpb2 revealed that this fungus occupies a unique phylogenetic position around the border of the genus Hypocrea/Trichoderma. The absence of anamorphic characters and conflicting phylogenies of tef1 and rpb2 do not allow its safe attribution to the genus. The MICs of most antifungal agents were relatively high for this species with the exception of amphotericin B (MIC 0.125 µg/mL) and voriconazole (MIC 1.0 µg/mL). This case illustrates the widening spectrum of potential opportunistic pathogenic fungi in the genetic vicinity of Hypocrea/Trichoderma and emphasizes the problemsin diagnosing invasive fungaldiseases.

Copyright: Irina Druzhinina & Alexey Kopchinskiy 2004 - 2008