Could the determination of Aspergillus fumigatus mating type have prognostic value in invasive aspergillosis?
A clear link between mating type and virulence has been demonstrated for some fungal pathogens, but not for Aspergillus fumigatus as of yet. An association between mating type and invasiveness has recently been established. The mating type proportion (MAT1‐1:MAT1‐2) of 213 A. fumigatus strains was determined (48.5%:51.5%) and results were in agreement with previous studies. However, these percentages changed when the strain collection was divided into azole‐susceptible and ‐resistant strains. The 163 susceptible strains kept these proportions, but among the 50 azole‐resistant strains 60.0% MAT1‐1 and 40% MAT1‐2 were found. Moreover, looking at the clinical outcome associated to 27 azole‐resistant strains, we found that MAT1‐1 was linked to a high mortality rate (64%), whereas the rate associated to MAT1‐2 genotype was markedly lower (15%). The pathogenicity linked to the Mat type was tested in a Galleria mellonella model of infection, showing that MAT1‐1 strains were consistently more pathogenic than MAT1‐2, independently of their susceptibility phenotype. This data would suggest that A. fumigatus mating type determination at the time of diagnosis could have a prognostic value in invasive aspergillosis.
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