Whole-genome sequencing has advanced our understanding of the population structure of the pathogenic species complex Cryptococcus gattii, which has allowed for the phylogenomic specification of previously described major molecular type groupings and novel lineages. Recently, isolates collected in Mexico in the 1960s were determined to be genetically distant from other known molecular types and were classified as VGVI. We sequenced four clinical isolates and one veterinary isolate collected in the southwestern U.S. and Argentina during 2012-2021. Phylogenomic analysis groups these genomes with those of the Mexican VGVI isolates, expanding VGVI into a clade and establishing this molecular type as a clinically important population. These findings also potentially expand the known Cryptococcus ecological range with a previously unrecognized endemic area.
Cryptococcus; Whole-Genome Sequencing; VGVI; phylogenomics; Molecular Type
Biology and Life Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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