Phylogenetic analysis of Lacazia loboi places this previously uncharacterized pathogen within the dimorphic Onygenales.
Lacazia loboi is the last of the classical fungal pathogens to remain a taxonomic enigma, primarily because it has resisted cultivation and only causes cutaneous and subcutaneous infections in humans and dolphins in the New World tropics. To place it in the evolutionary tree of life, as has been done for the other enigmatic human pathogens Pneumocystis carinii and Rhinosporidium seeberi, we amplified its 18S small-subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) and 600 bp of its chitin synthase-2 gene. Our phylogenetic analysis indicated that L. loboi is the sister taxon of the human dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and that both species belong with the other dimorphic fungal pathogens in the order Onygenales. The low nucleotide variation among three P. brasiliensis 18S SSU rDNA sequences contrasts with the surprising amount of nucleotide differences between the two sequences of L. loboi used in this study, suggesting that the nucleic acid epidemiology of this hydrophilic pathogen will be rewarding. (+info)
Gene genealogies, cryptic species, and molecular evolution in the human pathogen Coccidioides immitis and relatives (Ascomycota, Onygenales).
Previous genealogical analyses of population structure in Coccidioides immitis revealed the presence of two cryptic and sexual species in this pathogenic fungus but did not clarify their origin and relationships with respect to other taxa. By combining the C. immitis data with those of two of its closest relatives, the free-living saprophytes Auxarthron zuffianum and Uncinocarpus reesii, we show that the C. immitis species complex is monophyletic, indicating a single origin of pathogenicity. Cryptic species also were found in both A. zuffianum and U. reesii, indicating that they can be found in both pathogenic and free-living fungi. Our study, together with a few others, indicates that the current list of known fungal species might be augmented by a factor of at least two. However, at least in the C. immitis, A. zuffianum, and U. reesii complexes, cryptic species represent subdivisions at the tips of deep monophyletic clades and thus well within the existing framework of generic classification. An analysis of silent and expressed divergence and polymorphism values between and within the taxa identified by genealogical concordance did not reveal faster evolution in C. immitis as a consequence of adaptation to the pathogenic habit, nor did it show positive Darwinian evolution in a region of a dioxygenase gene (tcrP gene coding for 4-HPPD) known to cause antigenic responses in humans. Instead, the data suggested relative stasis, indicative of purifying selection against mostly deleterious mutations. Two introns in the same gene fragment were considerably more divergent than exons and were unalignable between species complexes but had very low polymorphism within taxa. (+info)
Immunohistochemical characterization of the cellular infiltrate in Jorge Lobo's disease.
Few studies have been conducted to evaluate the cellular composition of the granulomatous lesions induced by Lacazia loboi. Thus, the objective of the present study was to characterize the mononuclear cell population present in cutaneous lesions obtained from 15 patients with Jorge Lobo's disease. Histological sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and methenamine silver and the following mononuclear cells were identified by immunohistochemistry: T lymphocytes (CD3+), helper T lymphocytes (CD4+), cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CD8+), B lymphocytes (CD20+), plasma cells (CD79+), natural killer cells (CD57+) and histiocytes (CD68+). This study showed that the inflammatory infiltrate mainly consists of histiocytes and multinucleated giant cells, in addition to the presence of a large number of fungal cells. The identified inflammatory cells showed the following frequency: CD68+ histiocytes > CD3+ T lymphocytes > CD4+ T > CD8+ T lymphocytes > CD57+ natural killer cells > CD79+ plasma cells > CD20+ B lymphocytes. Based on the findings of a large number of fungal cells in the infected tissues and the disorganized cell arrangement in the granuloma, we hypothesize that patients with Jorge Lobo's disease present immunoregulatory disturbances, which are likely to be specific and perhaps responsible for the lack of containment of the pathogen. (+info)
Lacazia loboi and Rhinosporidium seeberi: a genomic perspective.
In the past five years, with the use of molecular strategies the phylogenetic affinities of the two more resilient pathogens studied in medical mycology, Lacazia loboi and Rhinosporidium seeberi were finally deciphered. These studies found that L. loboi was the sister taxon to Paraccidioides brasiliensis, and R. seeberi was closely related to protistan spherical aquatic fish pathogens, located at the point were animals diverged from the fungi, in the class Mesomycetozoea. These initial studies indicated that a molecular strategy was the ideal approach to further understand these anomalous pathogens. However, the limited amount of information gathered so far from few DNA sequences, although crucial to place these organisms in the tree of life and to take a glance to their ecological preferences, did not provide answers to other important traits. In the following pages we discuss a genomic perspective for both pathogens and the benefit that such information could generate to understand more about these two uncultivated pathogens. (+info)
The role of pollen in chalkbrood disease in Apis mellifera: transmission and predisposing conditions.
Chalkbrood in honeybees (Apis mellifera L. Himenoptera: Apidae) is a fungal disease caused by Ascosphaera apis (Maassen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir. This disease requires the presence of fungal spores and a predisposing condition in the susceptible brood for the disease to develop. In this study we examined the role of pollen in the development of chalkbrood disease under two experimental conditions: (i) pollen combs were transferred from infected to uninfected beehives and (ii) colonies were deprived of adequate pollen supplies to feed the brood. The results of both treatments confirmed that pollen is an element that should be taken into account when controlling this honeybee disease. (+info)
Two new species of Pseudogymnoascus with Geomyces anamorphs and their phylogenetic relationship with Gymnostellatospora.
Two new psychrophilic Pseudogymnoascus species with Geomyces anamorphs are described from a Sphagnum bog in Alberta, Canada. Pseudogymnoascus appendiculatus has long, branched, orange appendages and smooth, fusoid to ellipsoidal ascospores with a faint longitudinal rim. Pseudogymnoascus verrucosus has short, subhyaline appendages and warty peridial hyphae and ascospores, and both smooth to asperulate and irregularly warty conidia. Both species produce asci in chains, a feature that supports the distinction between this group and Myxotrichum, which produces asci singly. The discovery of species intermediate between Pseudogymnoascus and Gymnostellatospora, in having both ornamented ascospores and Geomyces anamorphs, prompted a re-evaluation of the genera. Sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA indicates that the two genera remain distinct and comprise a monophyletic group. Pseudogymnoascus species have smooth to warty or lobate-reticulate ascospores while species of Gymnostellatospora have walnut-shaped spores with distinct longitudinal crests and striations. Anamorphs assignable to the form genus Geomyces are allied with both genera. A key is provided to the four species and varieties of Pseudogymnoascus. (+info)
Morphology and development of the reticuloperidial ascomata of Auxarthron conjugatum.
Light and electron microscopy showed that the reticuloperidium of thick-walled hyphae, characteristic of the mature ascoma of Auxarthron conjugaturn, originated from branches that grew from the broad, gyre-like hyphal loops making up the ascomatal initials. Within the developing peridium, short, acropetally proliferating chains of prototunicate asci each arose from a single crozier and matured from base to tip. The walls of young asci were two-layered but evanesced as they matured with the outer layer dissolving before the inner one. Distal asci in some chains retained the inner wall, detached from adjacent asci by septum schizolysis and when transferred to fresh media produced germ tubes and mycelium. Ultraviolet epifluorescent staining with a DNA intercalator (Hoechst) indicated that these spore-like asci probably contained diploid nuclei. In normal asci, ascospores had an inner, electron lucent primary wall and a three-layered secondary wall. The deposition pattern of the middle layer of the secondary wall created the distinctive array of pits and ridges characteristic of the ascospores in this taxon. The production of ascospores, spore-like asci and arthroconidia, along with the tendency of ascospores to adhere in a mass, is interpreted as contributing to the reproductive flexibility and inoculum potential of A. conjugatum. In all respects the ascomata of A. conjugatum differed substantially from the morphologically similar taxon, Myxotrichum arcticum. These findings underscore the benefit of using DNA-based phylogenies in concert with cytological and ultrastructural observations for exploring selective pressures behind homoplasious characters and revealing novel structural features. (+info)
Use of sera from humans and dolphins with lacaziosis and sera from experimentally infected mice for Western Blot analyses of Lacazia loboi antigens.
Antibodies in the sera of patients with lacaziosis recognized an approximately 193-kDa antigen and other Lacazia loboi antigens. Paracoccidioides brasiliensis gp43 antigen was detected by all evaluated sera, but they failed to detect a protein with the same molecular mass in L. loboi extracts. This study is the first to examine the humoral response to L. loboi antigens by using multiple host sera. (+info)