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Clonal population structure and genetic diversity of Candida albicans in AIDS patients from Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire)


We have investigated the genotype at 14 enzyme-encoding loci in 275 isolates of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans sampled from 42 HIV-positive patients (all but one with AIDS) from Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire). We separately analyzed the following variables: patient, residence, age, gender, T cell count, hospitalization (yes or no), drug treatment, date of sampling, multilocus genotype, and serotype. The most important factors contributing to the genetic variability of C albicans are individual patient and gender. Our data manifest that the population size of the parasite is relatively small within each patient, although larger in women than in men, and that, at least for the patients involved in the study, the transmission rate of C albicans between human adults is very low. Most important is the inference that the prevailing mode of reproduction of C albicans in natural populations is clonal, so that sexual reproduction is extremely rare, if it occurs at all.

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