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Molecular Evidence for Strain Dissemination of Penicillium marneffei: An Emerging Pathogen in Taiwan

Po-Ren Hsueh, Lee-Jene Teng, Chien-Ching Hung, Ju-Hui Hsu, Pan-Chyr Yang, Shen-Wu Ho and Kwen-Tay Luh
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 181, No. 5 (May, 2000), pp. 1706-1712
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30110222
Page Count: 7
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Molecular Evidence for Strain Dissemination of Penicillium marneffei: An Emerging Pathogen in Taiwan
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Abstract

From January 1987 through December 1998, Penicillium marneffei infection (23 patients) or colonization (1 patient) was diagnosed in a total of 24 patients in Taiwan. Of these 24 patients, 16 (67%) had AIDS and 20 (83%) had disseminated P. marneffei infection. The majority (63%) of the infections were considered indigenous. The number of cases has increased markedly in recent years, with 17 of the 24 cases diagnosed from 1996 through 1998. Twenty preserved isolates of P. marneffei, recovered from 11 patients treated at National Taiwan University Hospital during the period of January 1996 through December 1998, were studied to determine the epidemiology of P. marneffei infections. Among the 20 isolates, a total of 8 strains (highly related isolates) were identified on the basis of tests for susceptibility to 5 antifungal agents, for chromosomal DNA restriction fragment-length polymorphism types, and for randomly amplified polymorphic DNA patterns. One of the strains (6 isolates) was isolated from 4 patients treated in 1997 and 1998. Strain spreading of P. marneffei may partially contribute to the increased number of infections caused by this organism in immunosuppressed patients in Taiwan.

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